For the second straight week, Georgia finds itself in a huge SEC East showdown, taking on a Kentucky team that surprisingly has an identical record. The Wildcats have been impressive and already won at Florida, but still aren’t getting much respect. The Bulldogs opened as -9.5 point road favorites with an over/under of 44 as seen at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
When these teams met last year, it wasn’t a contest with Georgia winning 42-13 behind 381 rushing yards. The Bulldogs weren’t challenged, but should face a little more resistance in this one. Kentucky has a great record, but it’s simply escaping Games at this point, beating Vandy 14-7 and most recently Missouri 15-14. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to escape against Georgia, and Florida found that out last week. If you can’t control Georgia’s defensive front, you’ll have a hard time scoring and that led to 17 points for the Gators, while Jake Fromm led his team to 36.
That’s UK’s main problem in this one because while Benny Snell (935 yards, 9 TDs) has been awesome, the offense hasn’t scored more than 15 points in the last three Games and is averaging 25.6 for the season. against a Georgia defense that’s allowing 140 rushing yards and 16.4 points per Game, it’s hard to expect more than 20 points for Kentucky. Snell can only do so much for the offense because quarterback Terry Wilson isn’t doing enough through the air with just five touchdowns and six interceptions on 6.46 yards per attempt. Florida ran into that problem with Feleipe Franks last weekend and it could be a similar issue with Wilson.
The best way for the Wildcats to cover is through its defense and so far that’s been enough. They still haven’t allowed more than 20 points in a Game and that came in the opener against Central Michigan. They’re stopping every kind of attack, holding teams to 3.3 yards per carry and 5.9 yards per pass attempt. If the defense can limit Georgia just like what LSU did a couple weeks ago, then the home team will at least be in business.
There’s still reason to be tentative, however, since the Bulldogs have only been stopped once this season. And while running backs Elijah Holyfield and D’Andre Swift have been great, Fromm showed up against Florida and that’s the difference between Georgia’s offense and most others in the conference. In addition to having a great rushing attack, Fromm at least brings competent quarterback play to the table and that’s why Georgia could win this Game by more than 10 points.
This matchup has been owned by Georgia in the last decade, having covered the last five with the last UK win coming in 2009. The Bulldogs are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 road Games and 9-3 ATS in their last 12 on grass. The Wildcats are 5-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, but only 8-21 ATS in their last 29 at home.
Our Pick – Kentucky has received some early betting support as the Game went from Geogia -10 to -9.5.
Our numbers not only have Kentucky covering this Game, but also winning outright! That said, we’re very concerned with the Kentucky offense and it’s inability to put the ball in the endzone. They have managed just 15, 14 and 14 in their last 3 Games and that likely won’t be enough this week against Georgia.
But their “D” is the real deal and if we can get +10 we’re willing to go to the well one more time with the Wildcats. So we’ll go with Kentucky +10 or better (or pass) as well as UNDER the total of 44.