Georgia-Missouri Betting Guide: Which Defense Can Stand the Test?
USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jake Fromm and Drew Lock
Georgia at Missouri Betting Odds, Pick
- Odds: Georgia -14
- Over/Under: 64.5
- Time: 12 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: ESPN
>> All odds as of 3 p.m. ET on Thursday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.
Georgia faces its second conference road test against a potent passing attack this Saturday when it travels to Missouri.
Trouble for Mizzou is that Kirby Smart’s team passed the first one with flying colors in a 41-17 dismantling of South Carolina.
Georgia’s offense has been ridiculously efficient through three games, and hasn’t even unleashed its backfield completely, while Missouri quarterback Drew Lock continues to put up video-game numbers against bad defenses.
Which defense will prevail in this pivotal SEC East game?
Market Moves for Georgia-Missouri
Georgia has been one of the most popular bets on the entire Saturday slate, picking up 85% of bets and 91% of dollars to this point. The line hasn’t really reflected that support, however, as most of the market has kept the spread stagnant at its opener of -14.
The over has also drawn a heavy majority, landing 95% of bets and 88% of dollars. The total has moved from 61.5 to 64.5 as a result.
>> Check out Sports Insights’ Bet Signals to track sharp action for college football’s entire Week 4 slate.
Key Injuries for Georgia-Missouri
Missouri’s excellent wide receiver, Emanuel Hall, nearly missed last week’s game against Purdue (groin), but is expected to play against Georgia. So is starting cornerback DeMarkus Acy (concussion).
Trends to Know
By John Ewing
Missouri is an undefeated Power 5 team playing at home, yet the Tigers are 14-point underdogs. This is bad news for Mizzou.
Since 2005, undefeated teams from the big boy conferences getting double-digit points at home have gone 2-28 straight-up and 13-17 ATS. That’s all according to our betting system database at BetLabs.
By Evan Abrams
Kirby Smart has been the head coach at Georgia since the start of 2016. Over that span, the Bulldogs have faced four opponents who were undefeated.
Georgia is 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS, covering the spread by 12 points per game in those four contests. Since the start of last season, Bulldogs are 3-0 SU/ATS, beating and covering vs. South Carolina, Mississippi State and Notre Dame.
Pass Defenses Will Make the Difference
I think this will come down to the differential in pass defenses. While both teams have an explosive passing offense, Missouri is tied for 99th in the nation in yards per pass attempt against (8.1) despite playing games against UT-Martin, Wyoming and Purdue (David Blough threw for almost 600 yards).
Meanwhile, Georgia has allowed only 4.8 yards per pass — tied for sixth-best in the nation — which does include a game against what is expected to be a pretty potent passing attack in South Carolina.
Can Lock Best an Excellent Defense?
Drew Lock torched bad competition last year, but struggled against top-tier defenses.
Here are his averages in five games against top-40 defenses (by FootballOutsiders’ S&P+) and his averages in the other eight.
His best game against any elite defense actually was vs. Georgia — 15 of 25 253 yards with four TDs and one INT — but that contest was never really close.
Can Georgia Pressure Lock?
We know the Bulldogs offense can do what it wants, when it wants, and at the speed it wants. It’s the Georgia defense that needs further inspection.
That unit is first in the country in defending explosiveness, but has an adjusted sack rate of 127th. If you want to compete for a national championship, you have to get to the quarterback.
This could be a result of holding back on stunts and blitzes so far in the season, but Missouri’s offensive line is seventh in adjusted sack rate. If Georgia wants to cover this game and prove themselves as SEC contenders, they have to get to Drew Lock in this game.
The Bulldogs defense has been awfully bend-don’t-break.
Bet to Watch for Georgia-Missouri
By Ken Barkley
These two teams are being rated properly because we’ve already had meaningful games to figure out who they are.
Georgia has already played a true conference road game (smashing South Carolina), and Missouri has already traveled to a Power 5 opponent (narrowly beating Purdue last week).
Tigers offensive coordinator Derek Dooley is getting a lot of credit in the local papers because his team has put up points and rushing yards galore so far, but to be fair, basically everyone has moved the ball on Purdue this season, and the Tigers’ two other opponents were non-competitive.
This is the first real test of this new offense, and it comes against Dooley’s “good friend” in Smart. Can Missouri run the ball with any effectiveness against the Georgia front? Georgia allowed just 2.7 yards per carry to South Carolina, forcing Jake Bentley into tough decisions on third down.
Lock had some success against Georgia last year, but for all of his hype, most of his phenomenal statistical performances occurred against bad competition.
It’s the Missouri defense I’d be really worried about in this game. It was awful against Georgia last year, allowing 370 rushing yards, and remember this was still Week 7 with Jake Fromm having the training wheels on to some extent.
The Georgia offense is just as impressive this year, and I think we see a lot of D’Andre Swift, who is apparently healthy but having his carries limited.
Missouri’s defensive metrics aren’t a whole lot different than those of last year’s team through three games, so there isn’t a lot of hope for optimism other than a change of scenery.
I think the spread of 14 is dead-on, and would lean over 64.5 with the idea that Lock, Dooley and Missouri can throw a few extra wrinkles at the Bulldogs this year in another high-scoring game between the two schools.
Barkley’s Pick: Over