It was expected to be a big drop from LAmar Jackson and that’s how the season has gone for Louisville from scoring three points at Virginia to letting a lead slip away against Florida State. Things haven’t gone much better for Georgia Tech as it has the same record, but even on the road, the Yellow Jackets were -3.5 point favorites as of Monday at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
There’s been little to take away from the early Games for these teams and it’s a wonder why Georgia Tech is favored since it already lost two road Games this year as a 3-point favorite at Pitt and USF. Jawon Pass hasn’t exactly been the answer at quarterback for the Cardinals, but he can at least make plays each Game, though he has a problem with turning it over already with seven interceptions. The good news is that Tech’s defense is still an issue and after moving the bell well against FSU, Pass and company should at least put points on the board, especially at home under the lights.
Louisville’s goal will be to control the clock, somewhat similar to the FSU Game when it ran for 115 yards, and while the Cardinals only managed 3.0 yards per carry, that at least kept their defense off the field. If Pass and the running backs can do that, Louisville will be in this Game from the start. The question is if Louisville’s defense can make a stop or two as it’s allowing close to 170 rushing yards per contest and that’s not the answer against the triple-option.
TaQuon Marshall should have his way against this defense and it doesn’t matter who he gives the ball to. Whether it’s Jordan Mason, Tobias Oliver or another tail back, the Yellow Jackets average 6.2 yards per carry and that’s including the three losses. This Game will likely be back-and-forth given each team’s defense allows points too easily. But while the numbers don’t suggest Louisville can stop Tech’s triple-option, it can’t be ignored that it just held Florida State to only 76 rushing yards on 2.5 yards per carry. The Seminoles are struggling, but that stat can’t get overlooked because the Cardinals still have talent on the defensive front and that could come into play in this Game. If they can make a couple stops and Pass can keep the ball moving, that could be enough. Of course, the same can be said for the other side of the field because Tech could churn the clock with the triple-option.
Louisville isn’t the same team as previous years, but playing at home under the lights as an underdog against a team that’s only really beaten Bowling Green, it’s hard to pass up on them. The Cardinals don’t have many good trends from being 3-9 ATS in their last 12 home Games to 3-12 ATS in their last 15 on fieldturf, but a lot of those came as big favorites with LAmar Jackson at quarterback. On the other end, the Yellow Jackets are 1-6 ATS in their last seven overall and 0-4-1 ATS in their last five on the road.
Our Pick – Louisville +3.5