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With only two conference games to go for each of these teams, no one expected their current situations. Georgia was a preseason National Championship contender, while Auburn was coming off a three-win season. Now it's the Tigers that are No. 7 in the BCS and rolling opponents.
You have to shop for the best lines. Depending on which side you like here, there are -3.5's all the way up to -4.5 on the board for this one. For example, sportsbook.com has Auburn favored by -4.5 as a result of 90% of their action coming in on the Tigers. 5 dimes is right in the middle at -4.
Right in line with the unexpected positions, comes lopsided trends ATS for both teams. Auburn is 8-2 ATS on the season, covering in six straight games. Georgia is 1-7-1 ATS (0-4 on the road/neutral) and have not covered since beating South Carolina back in early September. Yet even with all that said, the Tigers aren't really considered that much better as seen in the 3/4-point line.
Georgia has not looked good on the road all year. They have losses at Clemson and Vanderbilt, and needed overtime to beat 4-6 Tennessee. That Bulldogs have not stopped anyone with a viable offense all season. They may have held Florida to 20 points, but the Gators have one of the worst offenses in the conference.
Auburn brings in one of the best rushing attacks around with 320 rushing yards per game, and scoring 38 points per contest. Their only loss came on the road against a tough LSU defense. Quarterback Nick Marshall is not very accurate and will not beat anyone by passing. That's why he's only attempted 16 passes the past three games. He destroyed the Volunteers last week on the ground with 214 yards and two touchdowns. He's joined by Tre Mason in the backfield, who has seven TDs in the past two games.
Georgia's run defense isn't half bad, which may be why the line is so low, but that doesn't mean they'll be able to stop Marshall and Mason when no one else has. This is another tall task for the injury-ravaged Bulldogs.
Offensively, Aaron Murray got a weight off his shoulder a couple weeks ago when Todd Gurley returned from injury. Gurley is one of the best RBs in the nation, but has been hurt for most of the year. Still, he's averaging 6.2 yards per carry and has six TDs. Gurley could be the difference maker in this game for the Bulldogs. Murray's numbers (20 TDs, seven INTs) have still been solid even with all of his top receivers going down, which says a lot about him. In games that Gurley has played in and not gotten hurt, the Bulldogs are 4-0.
The last time Auburn played a top offense, they won at Texas A&M 45-41. They stopped the Aggies run game from dominating and intercepted Manziel twice, which was the difference. This game will be a bit different as the Bulldogs defense is a little better than the porous Aggies.
Ultimately, whoever can get the ground game going will win this game. Right now it looks like Auburn is going to win that battle. The Bulldogs have dominated two straight matchups, but the tables have turned on these teams this year.
The Bulldogs are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven road games, but 5-2 ATS in their last seven games in this meeting. The Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games.
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