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Georgia

vs.

Tennessee

College Football

Free Pick

9/30/17

For the first time in a while, it looks like Georgia is finally putting things together for an SEC East title run. While there’s still a long way to go, the Bulldogs already have some impressive wins and enter a road game against Tennessee as -7.5 point road favorites as seen at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

Winning at Notre Dame was great a few weeks ago, but dismantling a Mississippi State team that just handled LSU may have been a bigger win. The Bulldogs still have to go through plenty of other SEC teams, but it’s clear this team has what’s needed to reach the SEC title game. The same can’t be said for the Volunteers after escaping Georgia Tech and UMass in two wins and of course falling to Florida on a Hail Mary. Their most recent performance (17-13 win) against UMass has to be most troubling as the Minutemen are considered one of the worst teams in the country.

Georgia’s defense has become a dominant group this season and will be best unit in this game. They held a solid Notre Dame offense to 19 points and just kept Miss. St. to three points last weekend. When these teams met a year ago, it was a more offensive game, although not until the fourth quarter. The Vols needed 20 fourth-quarter points including a late 43-yard touchdown to win 34-31. Without Joshua Dobbs and Alvin Kamara, it’s unlikely Tennessee reaches that 30-point mark again.

Quinten Dormady has been an okay replacement at quarterback for Dobbs, but he’s still shown some issues in his first season as the starter. He only has three touchdowns in the wins against lowly Indiana State and UMass and has 6 TDs to 4 INTs for the year. With that being the case, the Vols will lean heavily on running back John Kelly, who already has 450 yards and six touchdowns. While that’s true, Georgia has stopped the rushing attacks of both Notre Dame and MSU, so Kelly will find some resistance in this game. If Kelly doesn't reach the 100-yard mark like he’s been doing, Tennessee will have trouble scoring against this defense.

The question will be what Georgia can do against the Tennessee defense and right now it looks like a lot. The Vols haven’t played a decent offense since getting run through by Georgia Tech in the opener and the same could happen in this one. Freshman Jake Fromm has taken over under center, but he may not be needed, similar to the last two games in which he only attempted 25 passes. Instead, this is going to be the Nick Chubb show from the start and there have been no signs from Tennessee that they can stop this ground game. Expect Chubb, Sony Michel and D’Andre Swift to all see close to double-digit touches.

Georgia looks like a legit top-10 team, while nothing has looked legit about Tennessee through the first four games. Unless the Vols turn it up a notch in this game, the Bulldogs should have their way with a second-straight SEC opponent.

Our Pick - BE CAREFUL here. This is the type of setup where people might be heard grumbling "whoa, I didn't see that coming"  while leaving the stadium.

Logic tells us that Georgia may have one of the top defensive units in the land. The Vols offense struggled against UMASS! So this should be a slam dunk Georgia win and cover, right? Maybe. Maybe not.

This series has been nothing but tight. 3 of the last 4 have been decided by 3 and the largest margin in the last 6 games was 8 points. The talent at an SEC school doesn't change that drastically in one year. There's talent up and down both sides of the ball for both of these teams. In bettors eyes, a team is only as good as their last game. But as a handiicapper, you have to go far beyond the last game and even far beyond the current season.

We're not ready to kick the Vols to the side of the road just yet. We'll grab the 8.5 points and we'll also play this one under the total in what we hope will be a low scoring SEC battle. Vols +8.5 and UNDER 47

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