2019 Sugar Bowl Betting Guide: Will Georgia Fall Victim to SEC Curse vs. Texas?
USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Sam Ehlinger and Jake Fromm
2019 Sugar Bowl Betting Odds: Texas-Georgia
- Odds: Georgia -13
- Over/Under: 58.5
- Date: Tuesday, Jan. 1
- Location: New Orleans
- Time: 8:45 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
>> All odds as of Monday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time bowl odds and win probabilities on your bets
Georgia’s players spent much of Saturday night on Twitter mocking Notre Dame for taking the College Football Playoff spot the Dawgs thought they deserved.
Instead, UGA gets Texas in the Sugar Bowl. The Longhorns got the Big 12’s spot in this game despite losing four games because Oklahoma made the CFP.
Odds Movement for Sugar Bowl
By Danny Donahue
Despite a double-digit spread, Georgia has drawn 62% of bets and 73% of money in the Sugar Bowl, moving its line from -10.5 to -13 as of writing (see live odds here).
And with 83% of bets and 98% of money hitting the over, the total has inched up from 58 to 58.5.
Third Downs Mismatch for Georgia-Texas
Can the Texas defense get off the field? The Longhorns struggled on third down all season long, ranking 108th at 44.2%.
Georgia’s offense converted on 47.7% of third down attempts, 11th in country.
How Good Was Georgia’s Offense?
By Steve Petrella
The Dawgs rank No. 3 in S&P+ offense behind Oklahoma and Alabama. In a lot of seasons, UGA would have had the best in the nation — the other two were just historically good this season.
The Bulldogs ranked top 10 in both rushing and passing offense. They have, for my money, one of the five best quarterbacks in the country and two elite running backs with plenty of depth behind them. They scored at least 34 points in all but three games.
Against a Texas defense that ranked 55th in S&P+ and wasn’t outstanding in any area, I expect Georgia to move the ball and put up points all night.
Which Team Is More Motivated?
Texas has thrived in these spots under Tom Herman, so you have to figure the Longhorns will be fired up. Herman is 12-2-1 against the spread as an underdog, per our data at Bet Labs, with nine straight-up wins.
The only question about Georgia’s motivation is whether cornerback DeAndre Baker sitting out signal something larger about the level of interest?
Just look at the teams that have had star players sit out this bowl season:
- Arizona State: Lost to Fresno State, 31-20
- Michigan: Lost to Florida, 41-15
- South Carolina: Lost to Virginia, 28-0
- West Virginia: Lost to Syracuse, 34-18
- Houston: Lost to Army, 70-14
Which Team I’m Backing
By Collin Wilson
The statistics point to Georgia rolling to victory, while the situational spot is all about Texas: There’s a history of SEC teams failing to show up in bowls when they do not have much motivation.
Auburn lost a New Year’s Six bowl in each of the past two seasons. Ole Miss and Mississippi State finished in the 2014 College Football Playoff top 10 rankings, but lost in their individual New Year’s Six bowls. Alabama famously lost to Auburn thanks to the Kick Six game in 2013, then laid an egg against Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.
There’s precedence for Georgia not to show up in this spot.
Although the Bulldogs did not have the success of 2017, they still put up numbers as the third-ranked team in S&P+. Georgia is No. 3 in offensive efficiency and No. 5 in the nation against big plays.
The Texas offense relies on a high percentage in success rate for rushing, passing and in third downs — it’s efficient, but not explosive. If there’s an area that can be exposed on the Bulldogs, it’s rush efficiency. Plenty of teams have had success running between the tackles against Georgia, and the game plan for the Longhorns should feature plenty of the same.
The Action Network power ratings make this game 13.5 in favor of the Bulldogs. If the current number of 13 gets steam to 14, I’ll look to back the Longhorns in a spot the SEC is known to underperform.
Collin’s Pick: Texas at +14 or better
Herman As an Underdog: Don’t Jump Ship Now
As a non-trend bettor, these are the two trends I follow blindly:
- Service academy unders
- Herman as an underdog
There’s no reason to abandon ship here. Herman should have his guys motivated once again in the “us against the world” role.
I actually think Texas can have some success on the ground against a Georgia team that’s struggled against the run at times. But don’t expect any explosive runs. (Texas ranks 129th in rush explosiveness against a Georgia team that ranks in the top 25 at containing it.)
More importantly, I think Texas and its elite receiving group can take advantage of a tremendous Georgia secondary that will be shorthanded without the best corner in college football: Baker.
Stuckey’s Pick: Texas +13