College Football Pick
Both of these teams disappointed a year ago, but after quality wins to start the 2017 campaign, fans have rejuvenated thoughts about each team going forward. Georgia lost its starting quarterback early last Game, but freshman Jake Fromm came in and did what was asked. That said, Notre Dame likely got a few more points in the spread because of the freshman getting the start under center. The Fighting Irish were -4 point favorites at 5Dimes Sportsbook early in the week.
Notre Dame shot down its critics in the first Game, completely dismantling Temple from the start. A year removed from having trouble blowing out anyone, the Irish got out to a nice start with Brandon Wimbush under center. Of course, it was mostly the ground Game that did the work as Wimbush ran for 106 yards and had the third-highest total on the team. Josh Adams ran for a first down almost every touch (8.5 yards per carry), while Dexter Williams carried it six times for 124 yards. Wimbush may have to use his arm a bit more in this Game and that’s what everyone wants to see.
But maybe just as good as the Notre Dame offense was the Georgia defense that dominated an experienced and senior-laden Appalachian State team. The Bulldogs return 10 starters on the defensive side and that surely helped as they contained the Mountaineers to 10 points, all scored in the final quarter with the Game all but lost. The Irish are of course better offensively, but it will be one of the more intriguing matchups to watch this weekend.
On the other end, anyone backing Georgia will have to put its trust in a freshman quarterback playing in South Bend. Fromm looked great in his first action (10-of-15, 143 yards, 1 TD), but playing Appalachian State at home and Notre Dame on the road are two very different things. To ease the pressure, the Bulldogs will lean as much as possible on the running Game between Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. One of the best RB duos in the country, Georgia will feature those two in almost every Game. They combined for 31 carries, 183 yards and three touchdowns against App. State.
Notre Dame’s defense remains a big question after getting gouged frequently a season ago. They held up fine against Temple, allowing only 85 rushing yards, but Georgia is another animal. Facing this Georgia offense, even with a freshman quarterback, will be a good test and barometer for just how good the Irish can be this season.
The Irish showed little home-field advantage last year, so it’s a wonder if those points should be added into this line. The spread is interesting because it was much different before the season started as the Notre Dame hype is growing after only one Game. While both of these teams opened with nice wins, the Bulldogs have the better defense and may be the better team to back, especially as six-point dogs.
Our Pick – Georgia +6