Pick – Analysis
It has been a while since both of these teams have been this relevant when playing against each other. Both are ranked in the top 15 of the Coaches Poll and Georgia has a slight chance of reaching the College Football Playoff. Playing at home, the Bulldogs are -12.5 point favorites as seen at 5 Dimes sportsbook.
Considering both teams have the same record, this line is a bit interesting. But looking into Georgia Tech’s Schedule explains the number. Playing in the ACC, the Yellow Jackets have a pretty easy Schedule. What makes people respect this team even less is the two losses against Duke and North Carolina. Just how good is this team? It should be noted that GT is playing its best football of the season, with Four straight wins by at least 22 points, including a 28-6 win over Clemson in their last Game.
Georgia is kind of in the same boat, as they get the SEC East Schedule and their two losses are against South Carolina and Florida. Albeit those are better losses than GT, they are still Games this team expects to win. The Bulldogs have three big wins on the year, beating Clemson, Missouri and Auburn all by at least 24 points. That’s pretty significant against three current top 25 teams.
Georgia Tech’s defense has not been able to hold up in this rivalry labeled ‘Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.’ The Bulldogs have won 12 of the last 13 meetings, including a 41-34 win last year on the road in one of Hutson Mason’s first Games as starting QB.
The most important matchup in this Game is the Georgia Tech run Game against the Georgia defense. Everyone knows the Yellow Jackets and their triple-option offense, but stopping it does not come easy. They rush for 328 yards per Game for a reason. The worrisome thing for Georgia is that they have been beaten up on the ground throughout the year, but held strong against Auburn a couple weekends ago.
If the Bulldogs stop the run, this Game is all but over, but the Jackets ran for 263 yards last year and there’s no question they can run for that again. Zach Laskey should be healthy for this Game after returning last week, and he’s joined by Synjyn Davis as the main RBs. Quarterback Justin Thomas has done everything, including passing when needed (15 TDs).
The Georgia Tech defense has improved this year, but it’s still an unknown playing in the ACC. They did allow 48 points to UNC earlier in the season. Georgia could easily have their way with them as usual.
The Bulldogs are without Todd Gurley, but Nick Chubb has been just fine in replacement this season, averaging 7.2 yards per carry for 11 touchdowns. Running the ball shouldn’t be a problem for Georgia. If they can get that going, then things will open up for Hutson Mason which they have done all season long for 19 TDs and only three interceptions.
This is a big Game, but Georgia Tech still has to prepare for Florida State in the ACC title Game next weekend. As for Georgia, they need a Missouri loss, or they won’t get a shot at the SEC title. Georgia Tech doesn’t get much respect in the ACC, but if they can move the ball on the ground like last year, this should be another close Game.
The Yellow Jackets have covered in Four straight Games, are 4-1 ATS in their last five road Games, but have not covered in Four straight against the SEC. The Bulldogs are 5-1 ATS in their last six overall and 4-1 ATS in their last five vs. the ACC. The road team is an astounding 12-3-1 ATS in the last 16 meetings between these schools.
No question Georgia Tech has their hands full. We keep Our own power ratings here at BW, but there are also dozens and dozens of well known power ratings sites. One of the most well known is Sagarins ratings. Many of these popular sites power ratings have Georgia as the #2 highest rated team in the nation.
Those ratings are backed up by Georgia’s offensive yards per point numbers which, at 10.6, rank Georgia #1 offensively in the nation.
Our model when using full season stats has Georgia on top by 18 point however when only using the last 7 Games, the margin shrinks to 10.
Both teams are among the best in the nation in turnover margin with Georgia at +16 and Georgia Tech +10. Always a trait of “good teams”.
In order to wager on a Game, you need to find an edge on one side or the other. Often times, as in this Game, a handicappers methods can make a case for either side. When that happens, you have to pass the Game, which is what we’ll be doing here.
Our best guess here is that Georgia Tech finds a way to keep this close enough to cover the number. 3 of the last 5 in this series have been decided by 10 points or less and this is one of the better Georgia Tech teams over the last 5 years. Providing there’s no letdown due to already having a spot in the ACC title Game, this one could be fun and close. Georgia Tech +13