It’s kind of rare in college football that you can get a game between the number one and number two ranked teams in the country, but we got one this Saturday. Kind of. In the Associated Press rankings, the Georgia Bulldogs, the defending national champions, are at the very top. And the Tennessee Volunteers are tied with the Ohio State Buckeyes for the second spot.
What is probably more significant, in terms of crowning the eventual national champion, is that Tennessee is first in the College Football Playoff rankings, and that means that even if they lose to Georgia on Saturday, they can at least put themselves in some kind of position to challenge for one of the top four spots if they went out the rest of the way.
I guess what we’re trying to say is there’s a lot of football to be played, and Tennessee, which owns a victory over Alabama, is hardly in the driver’s seat.
They will be a considerable underdog at some of the best football betting sites as these teams kick off at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time at Sanford Stadium in Athens, and BetOnline will have live betting available on this game so that you can stay very much in action all the way through.
Tennessee’s 52-49 win over Alabama was among the most thrilling games in many years, and Jalin Hyatt took control with five touchdown catches. He’s one of Tennessee’s wide receivers, perhaps the one who is in pole position for the Biletnikoff Award, and he’s averaging 20 yards a catch with 14 touchdowns. Georgia needs to give him special attention because he may be the fastest player in the country.
And if his presence isn’t enough, the Volunteers also have Cedric Tillman, who had 200 receiving yards against Georgia in last year’s meeting, which wound up in a 41-17 Bulldog victory. And there’s more where that came from.
Hendon Hooker went into last year’s encounter with 21 touchdowns and two interceptions. This year, his stats are sizzling again, as he’s got 21 touchdowns, with only one pickoff. At 71.2% accuracy, he is now an expert in piloting Josh Heupel’s fast-break offense. And Tennessee makes it double tough on opponents because of its rushing game, including Hooker, who has 338 yards on the ground. All told, Tennessee averages 47.1 points per game against FBS opposition, and no one has scored more.
In the NCAA football betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetOnline, Georgia is a considerable favorite.
Georgia Bulldogs -9.5 (-118)
Tennessee Volunteers +9.5 ( -102)
Over 65.5 points -115
Under 65.5 points -115
The Bulldogs are primarily known for their defense, as they’ve allowed just 12 points per game and 282 yards per contest. But on offense, they’ve gained 537.4 yards on average, and no other team has done more against FBS opponents. So we actually have a couple of offensive juggernauts here. Stetson Bennett began his collegiate career as a game manager, coming in after JT Daniels got injured. Now he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the country and possibly a Heisman Trophy candidate. Bennett has 2349 passing yards, and that’s actually more than Hooker.
Like Tennessee, Georgia uses a “running back by committee” process, and all of their backs can gain chunk yardage.
This is not a team with game-breaking wide receivers necessarily, but Brock Bowers is one of those guys the scouts really like because of his versatility. You might see him lined up in a few different places in the formation, and he is averaging 17.6 yards per catch, primarily as a tight end. The Bulldogs will do two tight ends at once, and 6-7, 270-pound Darnell Washington is a huge complimentary target. He’ll be playing on Sundays, we can assure you.
Tennessee’s defense is capable, but not in the same league as Georgia’s. The Vols are surrendering 62.8% completions, and they are ranked 122nd in passing defense, which means that only ten teams in the country have permitted more yards per game. Georgia is pretty good at getting itself into favorable situations, averaging 5.9 yards per rush, and that is reflected with 54.2% success on third down.
Still, Tennessee will present a lot of pressure to that Georgia secondary. And Hooker should enjoy some time to throw since the Bulldogs have gotten only ten sacks on the season……and the guy who would be the most help in that area, Nolan Smith, is out for the year.
Anybody who saw Tennessee beat Alabama knows they can score on just about anybody. So we wouldn’t want to sell their chances short. Instead, while we appreciate this team enough to take the points, the bigger play would be to go POVER the total of 65 points.
BetOnline is the best place to be for NCAA football betting action because they not only have great sides and totals but also a plethora of props and live betting possibilities so that you won’t miss a thing all day…… And there is simply no excuse not to be able to sign up; they accept credit cards and also every form of cryptocurrency you can think of!