Georgia 2019 Betting Guide: Finding Worthwhile Dawgs Futures After Price Drop
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: D’Andre Swift
Georgia 2019 Betting Odds
- National Title: 6-1
- To Win SEC: +275
- To Make The Playoff: +120
- Win Total: 11
Georgia Schedule, Projected Spreads
What to Like about Georgia
A host of people joined me and my podcast partner Stuckey at the Westgate SuperBook for the national title game last January.
The rumor around the book was that title odds for the 2019 season would be posted for betting that night.
Soon enough, the odds dropped, and the immediate chatter centered around Nebraska 25-1.
But my eyes fixated on Georgia.
“That number is way too high!”
Georgia 12/1 pic.twitter.com/sjOBTwQlbf
— Collin Wilson (@_Collin1) January 8, 2019
There was no hesitation. No schedule or power ratings checks. I was on a tractor beam to the window for a purchase of some Kirby Smart in his fourth season at Athens.
There is plenty to love about this Georgia team. Kirby Smart has finished no lower than third in recruiting since 2017. Heisman darkhorse Jake Fromm returns at quarterback behind one of the best offensive lines in FBS.
Running back is a who’s who of future NFL stars with D’Andre Swift, James Cook and Zamir White.
77 yards. TO. THE. HOUSE. ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/3GNTrgeYPa
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 11, 2018
The defense finished No. 8 in S&P+ last year, but was viewed as a lesser version of the squad that beat a Baker Mayfield-led Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl two seasons ago.
The key element missing was havoc, with a dip to 75th overall last season. Smart and new defensive coordinator Dan Lanning have stressed havoc all offseason.
Lanning was promoted from coaching the linebackers, a unit that has been top 10 in the nation in havoc the past two seasons.
What Could Cause Problems
While the talent is there to win a national championship, Georgia has hurdles in 2019. The wide receiver unit does not return a single player with more than 10 catches.
The latest news from camp is plenty of explosive plays from the current set of targets, but growing pains are expected for Fromm and new offensive coordinator James Coley until a rhythm is established.
Coley will be tasked with improving red zone success rate. Last season under Jim Chaney, the Bulldogs ranked 129th in goal line success rate.
The defensive side of the ball must improve havoc, and true freshman Nolan Smith is expected to be part of the chaos.
Nolan Smith meet Isaiah Wilson! pic.twitter.com/tpSGL8lF7w
— Bulldogs Game Day (@WSBbulldogs) April 20, 2019
Not only did the defense have issues creating havoc, certain situational spots must improve. Basically, Georgia gave up chunk yardage on defense, but never gave up big plays. Bend-don’t-break.
The Georgia defense ranked 130th in average third down distance.
Explosiveness is an important metric in cashing tickets against the spread, and Georgia was No. 3 in the nation in IsoPPP. If the Bulldogs can improve in success rate after a rank of 63rd defensively last season, a national title is within reach.
The schedule is worth mentioning as something that could cause problems.
Georgia will face four conference opponents off a bye week. Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida and Auburn all have extra rest before facing the Bulldogs.
The season finale against Georgia Tech has a rest advantage for the Yellow Jackets, who will have nine days to prepare after North Carolina State.
It’s one of the more amazing stats in college football right now:
Between the 2017 national title game and 2018 SEC Championship Game, Georgia has been tied or led Alabama in 119 of the 120 minutes of regulation football. Both ended in losses, of course.
The national title game two years ago took a heroic act of Tua Tagovailoa to keep the Dawgs off the podium. Last season’s SEC title game saw Jalen Hurts get the win and save from the bullpen when Tua went down.
If Georgia-Alabama III takes place in the SEC Championship Game, Alabama would not have the quarterback depth from recent years.
My projections make Alabama a 3.5-point favorite at a neutral site if they met in Week 1, but keep the schedules in mind.
The Crimson Tide end the season with LSU, Mississippi State and Auburn, which will all have a top 25 defense. Georgia ends the season with a rebuilding Georgia Tech.
Injuries have already begun hitting Alabama, and Georgia may have the healthier roster in the SEC Championship Game.
Bets to Watch
The Action Network win total projection is 10.8, making the oddsmaker total of 11 a pass.
While the 12-1 ticket for the national title had value, 6-1 is far too low for a team that may have three must win games against Alabama, Clemson and another playoff team. You’re better off with an open parlay or rolling over moneylines.
The best play is Georgia to win the SEC +275. The Bulldogs may drop two games, going under the win total and falling out of the playoff, but a victory over Florida all but guarantees a trip to Atlanta.
The Bulldogs would only be a short underdog to Alabama and favored over every other team. That +275 is much, much better than you’ll get on the moneyline in the SEC title game.