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2017

Georgia Bulldogs

College Football

Betting Preview

As has been the case for the past few seasons, Georgia is again one of the favorites to win the SEC East. In Kirby Smart’s second campaign, the Bulldogs will look to improve on what was ultimately another disappointing year, finishing 4-4 in conference play. With enough talent on the offensive side, the potential is there, but it’s a matter of staying healthy and putting it together.

Quarterback Jacob Eason is the reason for Georgia’s hope this season after he came in and had plenty of highlight plays a year ago as a freshman. But that inconsistency (55.1% completion) is what leaves the door slightly open for newcomer Jake Fromm to step in. Fromm somewhat outplayed Eason in the spring game, so that could be something to monitor. Something that doesn’t need monitoring is the backfield that has Nick Chubb (1,130 yards, 8 TDs) and Sony Michel (840 yards, 4 TDs) both returning. As long as those guys can stay healthy, they’ll be plenty dominant even with the offensive line a question with three guys gone from last year. Receiver is another toss up with Isaiah McKenzie gone, but that was an issue last year too.

One thing that’s known is that the defense will be one of the best in the conference, at least it should be with 10 returning starters from a group that allowed 24.1 points per game in 2016. The defense features talent at every position, starting with Trent Thompson on the line, Roquan Smith at linebacker and a secondary that will have an ongoing competition led by Tyrique McGhee and Aaron Davis. This unit stymied a lot of offenses last season, but also had cases in which they struggled early on against Missouri, Ole Miss and Tennessee. If they can find consistency earlier this season, that’s going to be a huge difference, especially with a trip to Notre Dame sitting on the schedule in September.

That road game against the Fighting Irish and then at Georgia Tech to close the year, makes this a more difficult schedule than normal for Georgia. To go with that, the Bulldogs also have to travel to Tennessee and Auburn in SEC play with that Vandy game also not being easy. To win the SEC East, they’ll have to win all of their home games against teams like South Carolina and Kentucky, who are both expected to be better, while the Florida game will be important like always.

If the defense is better and Eason shows improvement from his freshman season, the Bulldogs have a chance to be really good. But nothing has worked out for Georgia in recent years and it’ll be hard to trust them to win the East, even as the early favorites. To win the conference, Georgia was +700 in the spring at 5Dimes Sportsbook, tied for the third-best odds, only behind Alabama and LSU.

2017 Georgia Bulldogs Football Schedule

Sept. 2 vs. Appalachian State
Sept. 9 at Notre Dame
Sept. 16 vs. Samford
Sept. 23 vs. Mississippi State

Sept. 30 at Tennessee
Oct. 7 at Vanderbilt
Oct. 14 vs. Missouri
Oct. 28 vs. Florida (EverBank Field)
Nov. 4 vs. South Carolina
Nov. 11 at Auburn
Nov. 18 vs. Kentucky
Nov. 25 at Georgia Tech

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