Georgia-Kentucky Betting Guide: Is This the Right Matchup for the Wildcats?

Georgia-Kentucky Betting Guide: Is This the Right Matchup for the Wildcats? article feature image
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USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jake Fromm and Josh Allen

Georgia-Kentucky Betting Odds, Pick

  • Spread: Georgia -8.5
  • Over/Under: 44
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS

A top 10 showdown to decide the SEC East in November is nothing new. But one in Lexington? That’s not just rare. It’s a miracle.

Georgia and Kentucky meet on Saturday in a game that will decide their division and serve as a College Football Playoff eliminator.

Will the Bulldogs take care of business as a sizable road favorite, or can Kentucky’s excellent defense keep this game inside the number?


>> All odds as of 10 a.m. ET on Friday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.


Market Moves for Georgia-Kentucky

By Danny Donahue

The brunt of the bets being placed on this game have landed on Georgia, as the Bulldogs have attracted 76% of bettors and 73% of dollars wagered. Still, their line has fallen from from -10 to -8.5 as sharp action has has hit Kentucky throughout the week.

The over has yet to make much of a move, only going from 44 to 44.5. While 60% of bets have come in on the over, the under has accounted for 73% of dollars wagered.

A Dream Matchup For Kentucky?

By Steve Petrella

It’s pretty clear what Kentucky is at this point. A stellar defensive team that only wants to run the ball on offense.

This Kentucky defense is no joke. Against a schedule that includes four top 30 teams, the Wildcats rank third in defensive S&P+, including ninth against the pass and 12th against the run.

Kentucky’s offense will need to carry its weight if the Cats want to cover, but this might be the perfect matchup for them. Georgia has a strong secondary but has been pushed around in the trenches most of the season. The Dawgs rank 77th against the run and sixth against the pass in S&P+ ratings.

Benny Snell and Co. can and will run the ball against UGA. As Stuckey pointed out in his mismatches piece, the Dawgs’ opponents face an average third down distance of 5.9 yards, the shortest in the country. Kentucky will pick up chunk yards on early downs all day.

Not All 8.5-Point Spreads Are Created Equal

By Ken Barkley

Not all 8.5-point spreads are the same. Those would be my words of wisdom here. It is easy to look at Kentucky, and see the 109th-ranked offense in S&P+, which is ghastly for a Power 5 team. It’s also easy to watch the Wildcats games against Texas A&M and Missouri these last couple weeks and still find it unfathomable they were competitive in either.

Against the Aggies, it took a miracle defensive touchdown to force overtime, and against Missouri, it was a punt return touchdown and an untimed-down game-winner. From a metric standpoint, this game isn’t close, and Georgia also has a big coaching edge and a big special teams edge. These are not good things for Kentucky.

What I will say, though, is that Kentucky’s path to victory has been winning low-scoring games where it capitalizes on mistakes and drain clock. An 8.5-point spread in a high-scoring game (like say, in the Big 12) is less meaningful because there are going to be so many possessions and so many points. The points are less valuable.

In this game, points may be incredibly valuable, and there may be so few of them with Kentucky’s defense playing at home that 8.5 may be around the correct number.

I also still do not trust Georgia’s offense in a big spot whatsoever — its game against Florida last week was decided mostly by two awful Gators turnovers that set up an easy 10 points the other way with almost no consistent efficiency required.

I still think the Bulldogs are a team more prone to turning the ball over than others, even as random as those plays are in some instances. Kirby Smart has talked about it all season. What that really means is that from a raw numbers standpoint, this spread is close, and Georgia is still too unreliable (to me) to back if I’m assuming it will continue its improved play of late.

Pass.

Kentucky-Georgia Trends to Know

By John Ewing

—This is just the fifth game since 2005 that Kentucky has played in which both teams were ranked. The Wildcats went 1-3 SU and ATS in the previous four games.

—In matchups of top 25 SEC teams, the favorite has gone 91-73-4 (56%) ATS since 2005. SEC favorites of a touchdown or more in the same span are 41-27-1 (60%) ATS.

By Evan Abrams

—In Benny Snell’s career against conference opponents, he is averaging 5.2 yards per carry, averaging 1.2 touchdowns per game. Snell Jr. has faced Georgia twice in his career, and has kept up his end of the bargain: 43 carries, 208 rush yds, 3 TDs, 4.8 yards per carry.

—Over the last two decades, Georgia has faced Kentucky 20 total times. The Bulldogs are 18-2 SU and 13-7 ATS, with their only two losses coming in 2006 and 2009.

—Kentucky is allowing an FBS-low 13 points per game (tied with Clemson) this season and the under has cashed in its last five games.

Since 2005, teams allowing less than two touchdowns per game, with their last five games going under the total, have actually been profitable to the over, going 30-19-1 (61.2%).

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