Georgia vs. Arkansas Week 5 Betting Odds & Picks: Our Top Plays for Saturday’s Top-10 Matchup (October 2)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Dominick Sanders (24), former member of the Georgia Bulldogs football team.
- The Georgia Bulldogs and Arkansas Razorbacks go at it on Saturday in a top-10 SEC matchup.
- The second-ranked Bulldogs enter as heavy favorites, but our staff sees a lot of value on the Hogs from Fayetteville.
- Check out odds and all of our favorite picks for the SEC showdown below.
Georgia vs. Arkansas Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Our Best Bets for No. 2 Georgia vs. No. 8 Arkansas
The set of college football team logos below reflects each of our college football staff’s best bets for Saturday’s top-10 SEC showdown between No. 2 Georgia and No. 8 Arkansas.
Click one of the bets in the “Pick” column below in order to navigate to that specific section in this article.
|Arkansas TT over 14.5|
|1H under 25.5|
Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAF Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.
By CJ Vogel
This comes down to being able to execute in the red zone. Both teams are talented defensively, and there is a reason the total is sitting under 50 on most sportsbooks.
However, there is a glaring statistic that will keep this game much closer than the current 18.5 line Vegas has it at: red-zone efficiency.
Coming into the contest, there is over a 100-spot difference in red-zone efficiency between Arkansas and Georgia in the national rankings. While Georgia is more talented across the board than Arkansas, there is an execution factor that goes into this pick, and it’s Finishing Drives.
Arkansas ranks 13th in the country in red-zone efficiency, and Georgia comes in near dead last at 123rd.
KJ Jefferson is a dynamic quarterback who is going to keep Georgia on its toes throughout the evening. I do believe Georgia wins and likely wins by two scores.
However, 18.5 points sure is a lot to cover when there are four weeks of evidence that show the Bulldogs can’t get the ball in the end zone on sustained drives.
Pick: Arkansas +18.5 (to +17.5)
Arkansas continues to not get enough respect in the market. In two games as underdogs against Texas and Texas A&M, it won outright by double digits.
In its other two games against Group of Five opponents, it won by a combined margin of 56 points, covering both to move to 4-0 on the season. What else does this team need to do to get more respect in the market? It’s played like a top-five team this year with convincing wins over two ranked teams.
Speaking of covers, that’s all Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman — or Sammy Covers, which is what I refer to him as — has done since taking over as the head man in Fayetteville. He’s now 11-2 ATS (84.6%, covering by an average margin of over a touchdown per game. That includes a perfect 5-0 away from home.
Pittman has done a tremendous job building both the offensive and defensive lines, which were the weak areas for Arkansas before he arrived. The Hogs were simply too small in the trenches when they went up against the big boys.
That’s no longer the case. The bulk added in the interior of Barry Odom’s heavily-disguised 3-3-5/3-2-6 defense has made all of the difference in the world.
And while Georgia has been dominant in almost every phase this year, its rushing attack has struggled a bit, ranking just above the national average in Rush Success Rate and Line Yards. Arkansas won’t necessarily have to load the box here and can show all kinds of exotic looks and simulated pressures while protecting against explosive passing plays.
There’s no doubt that Georgia has an elite defense by every single metric, but have the Dawgs really been tested? They have two SEC wins over the completely inept offenses of Vanderbilt and South Carolina. They have a Froup of Five victory over UAB in a game they just had a severe talent edge. And their other win came by a final score of 10-3 against Clemson thanks to a pick-six.
That win looks less impressive with each passing Saturday the Tigers take the field.
I’m not trying to imply Georgia doesn’t have a top-three (or arguably the best) defense in the nation, but this Arkansas offense will provide it with its biggest test to date.
And I think the Razorbacks have enough explosive players to get to at least 14 points, which would at the minimum put them in a great position to cover.
It’s worth noting that Arkansas should be at full health with early-week concerns for Jefferson and Treylon Burks being put to bed by Pittman. Also, Georgia may get two key pieces back in five-star tight end Darnell Washington and safety Tykee Smith, who have yet to suit up this year.
Arkansas, which I have as the most improved team in the country compared to last year in my power ratings, also can take away a lot of positives from last year’s matchup with Georgia and knows it can compete.
Yes, the Hogs lost 37-10, but they actually led 7-5 at the half and trailed 13-10 late in the third quarter before a Georgia blocked punt and interception return for a touchdown put the game out of reach.
Lastly, a noon kick may benefit Arkansas here on the road. And Pittman is still on good terms with Kirby Smart, who he coached under as the offensive line coach before taking the head coaching position at Arkansas. I don’t think Smart will want to run it up late, which could play into the cover.
This is just too many points for where I have Arkansas rated in a game with a total of 48. For you trend folks, 7+-point road underdogs in conference games with a total of 48 or lower have gone 384-265-13 (59%) since 2005 for a 15% ROI. Not too shabby.
After such an odd 2020 season, I’m relying more heavily than usual at this point of the season on what we’ve seen on the field this year. And the Arkansas results speak for themselves. In Sammy Covers we trust.
Pick: Arkansas +18.5 (Play to +17.5)
Arkansas being undervalued is becoming a common theme through the first month of the college football season.
It was an underdog against Texas (+6) and Texas A&M (+6.5) before beating both by double digits. In the other two weeks, the Razorbacks covered the spread, defeating Rice and Georgia Southern by a combined 56 points.
Now, they match up against the Georgia Bulldogs who have emerged as the No. 2 team in the country.
Georgia’s defense has been nothing short of amazing. It’s the best scoring defense nationally, allowing less than six points per game. The Bulldogs have held opponents to 185 yards per game and just 3.1 yards per play.
But the big question mark is, can this defense continue to perform at this level against a competent offense?
We’ve seen that Clemson is not the same offensive powerhouse as it was last year. South Carolina ranks 88th and Vanderbilt ranks 117th, according to Collin Wilson’s Power Ratings. The best offense that Georgia has faced to this point in terms of yards per play is UAB.
|Team||Offensive Yards per Play||FBS Rank|
Arkansas’ offense has averaged 36 points per game and ranks 14th with seven yards per play. The depth of the Razorbacks backfield will test the mighty Georgia front-seven.
Trelon Smith is lightning quick, Raheim Sanders is another speedster, and Dominique Johnson is an absolute tank.
The Razorbacks still aren’t getting enough love as nearly three-touchdown underdogs in this game.
The early start will help avoid some rowdy Georgia fans and play into Arkansas’ favor. I would make this spread closer to two touchdowns, and I’m backing the Razorbacks
Pick: Arkansas +18.5 (Play to +17)
The Razorbacks continue to be disrespected in Vegas.
After largely shutting down the Texas A&M offense a week ago, they enter Athens as 18.5-point underdogs. Arkansas has as good of a resume as any team in the country to this point, and you better believe Sam Pittman will have his team continuing to play with a chip on its shoulder.
Taking a deeper look at the Georgia offense, while it has put up 40+ points in each of its last three games, those results have come against UAB, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt.
JT Daniels’ status continues to be up in the air, and whether it’s him or Stetson Bennett under center, either will have their hands full against an elite Arkansas defense.
KJ Jefferson is the type of playmaking quarterback a team needs to have any kind of success against a nasty Georgia defensive group. The Hogs will look to churn clock on the ground and take their chances down the field when the right opportunity presents itself.
It will take the perfect storm for Arkansas to keep its perfect season alive on Saturday, but I believe the Hogs should be able to hang well inside this number.
This is a group playing with way too much confidence on both sides of the ball. Georgia has some legitimate injury concerns to deal with, and I just don’t see the Bulldogs offense having the firepower to blow this thing open.
Give me the Razorbacks and the points in what should be a fun one.
Pick: Arkansas +18.5 (Play to +17)
No. 8 Arkansas makes the trek to Athens, Georgia, to face off against No. 2 Georgia in a top-10 matchup that will have season-defining implications.
The Razorbacks will be looking to avenge last season’s 37-10 loss and do some damage control on the all-time series that stands at 11-4 in the Bulldogs’ favor.
Arkansas is coming off an impressive triumph over Texas A&M, which propelled the team to its highest AP ranking since 2012. This was a signature win for the Razorbacks and a confidence booster as they enter the thick of a grueling SEC schedule.
Arkansas has shined on offense so far this season, ranking 21st in FBS total offense and averaging 480 yards per game. The Razorbacks rushing offense has been the top contributor to offensive production, averaging 261 yards per game.
They will be in for their toughest test of the season as the staunch Georgia defense ranks seventh nationally against the run, allowing only 69.5 yards per game.
Georgia has the top-ranked defensive unit in the country based on total defense, but the Razorbacks have been excellent on the opposite side of the quarterback as well. They rank 12th nationally in FBS total defense, allowing only 267.3 yards per game. Additionally, the Razorbacks generate plenty of Havoc, ranking 34th in FBS in the metric.
Georgia’s defense is best in the nation, but Texas A&M’s is second-best in the even after last weekend’s loss to the Razorbacks. Arkansas established the run and relied on the passing game to register the win last weekend.
The same game plan is going to apply here, and the Razorbacks should be full of confidence.
I am modeling Georgia as a 10.23-point favorite largely based on its ability to be efficient inside the opponent’s 40-yard line and having excellent average starting field position.
Season to date, Georgia is the better team, but 18.5 points is way too many.
I believe that Vegas is selling Arkansas short here by hanging that large of a number. Statistically, Georgia is the better team based on the five factors, but the sample size is still small at this point in the season.
Take the points, as Arkansas proved last weekend that it has what it takes to show up against a top-10 powerhouse program.
Pick: Arkansas +18.5 (Play to +16.5) · 3 units.
Arkansas Team Total Over 14.5
By Doug Ziefel
K.J. Jefferson is going to play through some rib soreness, and he is the X-factor for this offense. His dual-threat ability will be a unique challenge for this daunted Georgia defense.
It should be noted that the only other mobile quarterback the Bulldogs have faced had some success. Mike Wright of Vanderbilt rushed for 41 yards on eight attempts — though he is not the runner that Jefferson is.
While Jefferson has had great success running with the ball, he has also shown the ability to throw down the field. He ranks second in the nation at yards per attempt.
Of course, Jefferson is not a one-man show, as he will have his leading receiver Treylon Burks and the team’s leading rusher Trelon Smith, who have been playing well despite injuries of their own.
Though primarily a rushing-style offense, the Razorbacks are explosive. They showed it against a great Aggies secondary, connecting on touchdown passes of 48 and 84 yards.
Lastly, this number seems too low.
The Razorbacks put up their lowest point total of the season last week at 20, but 17 of them came in the first half when Jefferson was playing. The Georgia defense may be one of the best in the country, but it’s not good enough to keep the Razorbacks under two touchdowns.
Pick: Arkansas team total over 14.5
First Half Under 25.5 (-114)
Saturday will be a matchup between two top-15 defenses nationally, and I expect both to put that defensive power on full display.
Arkansas has limited opponents to an impressive 4.08 yards per play through four games, while Georgia has given up only one offensive touchdown in the same span of time. The Razorbacks are allowing 14.5 points per game, while Georgia allows only 5.8.
Arkansas is ranked 23rd in Defensive Rush Success and 27th in Defensive Passing Success, while Georgia ranks fourth in Defensive Rush Success and second in Defensive Pass Success. Both teams also rank inside the top 30 in Defensive Havoc.
Through four games, Arkansas first halves have gone under three out of four times, with the lone over coming against an inferior opponent in Georgia Southern.
Georgia’s first halves have gone over in three of its first four games, but again, I think this is due to the teams they faced in those games rather than its tempo and offensive success early.
Both of these defenses should be able to get stops and cause Havoc early, and I think we see a first half similar to what we saw from Georgia and Clemson in Week 1.
I also lean to the first half offering a slight edge compared to the full game, which is listed at most books at 48. I would bet this number down to 24.5 (-110).