Georgia vs. Tennessee College Football Odds & Picks: No. 1 Bulldogs Should Blow Out Vols
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images
- Georgia (-20) is almost a three-touchdown favorite on Saturday over Tennessee.
- The Volunteers offense appears to be a bad matchup for the Bulldogs' top-ranked defense.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down the matchup and delivers his betting pick below.
Georgia vs. Tennessee Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Georgia looks to remain undefeated when it travels to Knoxville to take on Tennessee in an SEC East battle.
Georgia continues to be the most dominant team in college football after beating Missouri 43-6 last Saturday in Athens. The Bulldogs have blown out every single opponent since their 10-3 win over Clemson on opening night and are safely in the No. 1 spot in the College Football Playoff.
Complacency is the key for Georgia as a date with Alabama in the SEC Championship looms in less than a month.
Tennessee improved to 5-4 after beating Kentucky, 45-42, in Lexington last Saturday. Under first-year head coach Josh Heupel, the Vols are playing at an incredibly fast pace with a very good dual-threat quarterback in Hendon Hooker.
However, Tennessee hasn’t seen a defense even close to how good Georgia’s is, so it will be interesting to see how effectively it’ll be able to move the ball on Saturday night.
With how good the Bulldogs’ defense has been, the offense has done their part to keep Georgia as the No. 1 team in college football.
Stetson Bennett is not a quarterback that is going to make you fall out of your chair, but he’s perfect for this Georgia offense. Bennett has only attempted over 20 passes in one game this season, as Georgia is running the ball 61.4% of the time. That is mainly due to the fact that it has been blowing out everyone.
Bennett is averaging 11.7 yards per attempt and has an 83.1 passing grade, with only five turnover-worthy plays, per PFF. He also has Georgia ranked 13th in Passing Success Rate and third in EPA/Pass.
So, if he’s called on to throw more than expected in this game, he’ll be able to move the ball against a very below-average Tennessee secondary.
Highest ADOT among P5 QBs:
1. Sam Hartman: 12.8
2. Stetson Bennett: 12.6
— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 10, 2021
Even though Georgia is running the ball at a very high rate, it hasn’t been that effective. The Bulldogs are only 65th in Rushing Success Rate and 94th in EPA/Rush.
However, the Tennessee front seven has been really below average against the run this season, ranking outside the top 60 in a lot of run defense metrics.
What makes Georgia’s defense so dominant is the fact that it is elite in both the front seven and secondary.
Kirby Smart’s defense is only allowing 3.6 yards per play, which is the best mark in College Football and they are the No. 1 team in terms of tackling, per PFF. So, it’s almost impossible to move the ball consistently on this defense.
The front seven has been absolutely dominant against the run. Georgia is fourth in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, 10th in EPA/Rush allowed and is only allowing 2.6 yards per carry, which is third in college football.
They will be well equipped to handle Tennessee’s rushing attack that has not seen a front seven like Georgia’s this season.
Georgia’s secondary has taken over as the best unit on the defense, as they’re only allowing 5.1 yards per pass attempt and are the No. 1 team in college football in EPA/Pass allowed and coverage, per PFF.
If you want a picture of what Georgia looks like against a dual-threat quarterback, just go back a few weeks ago when it played Florida.
The Georgia defense held Anthony Richardson and Emory Jones to 5.5 yards per attempt and 2.8 yards per carry on the ground. So, they will be ready for Hooker on Saturday.
Heupel has completely changed the Tennessee offense, bringing his fast-paced style of play to Knoxville. Tennessee is the No. 1 team in the country in terms of plays per minute.
Last weekend might have been Heupel’s Mona Lisa, putting up 45 points with a time of possession of only eight minutes and 29 seconds.
The Vols are a rush-heavy offense, carrying the rock 62.2% of the time, and they have been really successful with it, as the Tennessee rushing attack ranks 25th in Rushing Success Rate and 25th in EPA/Rush.
The offensive line also sits 16th in Offensive Line Yards.
However, Tennessee is dealing with a lot of injuries at the moment as it could be without its top two backs Tiyon Evans and Jabari Small, along with starting tight end Jacob Warren on Saturday.
#Vols’ Josh Heupel on the availability of Tiyon Evans, Jabari Small and Jacob Warren against Georgia: You know we’re gonna evaluate them Friday and then see. Good try, though.
(Worth a shot.)
— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) November 11, 2021
However, the major problem for Tennessee in this matchup is if it isn’t able to run the ball effectively.
They don’t have much hope in the passing game for two reasons.
First, Georgia is the best secondary in the country and no opposing quarterback has been able to have any success against them this season.
Secondly, Tennessee’s offensive line is one of the worst pass blocking units in the country, ranking 113th, per PFF, while Georgia has the 14th best pass rushing grade in the country.
Given the rate at which Georgia runs the ball, Tennessee is going to have to stop the rushing attack in this game, which it didn’t do a good job of against Kentucky, allowing 4.6 yards per carry.
The Volunteers have been pretty average against the run this season, as they rank 62nd in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, 79th in Offensive Line Yards and 94th in Rushing Explosiveness Allowed.
If they can’t stop Georgia’s rushing attack, they have no chance in this game given all of the issues they’ve had in their secondary.
Tennessee is 88th in Passing Success Rate Allowed, 73rd in EPA/Pass allowed and graded as the 76th-best unit in terms of coverage, per PFF. So, there isn’t much hope for the Volunteers defense, especially if they are going to be on the field for an extended period of time.
Georgia vs. Tennessee Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Georgia and Tennessee match up statistically:
Georgia Offense vs. Tennessee Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Tennessee Offense vs. Georgia Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||35||15|
|Plays per Minute||117||1|
|Rush Rate||61.6% (18)||62.2% (16)|
Georgia vs. Tennessee Betting Pick
This is a really bad matchup for a fast-paced offense like Tennessee.
Things are great when you’re driving down the field and scoring in under a minute, but if the Volunteers can’t move the ball, they’re going to go three and out in record time and put a lot of pressure on their defense that has to be gassed after being on the field for over 41 minutes last weekend.
I have Georgia projected at -24.7, so I think there is some value on the Bulldogs at -20.
Pick: Georgia -20
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