College Football Odds, Picks for Louisville vs. Georgia Tech
Brian Fluharty/Getty Images. Pictured: Louisville running back Jawhar Jordan.
- The Louisville Cardinals face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Friday night Week 1 college football action.
- The Cardinals enter as favorites of just over a touchdown in Jeff Brohm's return to his alma mater.
- Read on for BJ Cunningham's betting preview and pick for Louisville vs Georgia Tech.
Louisville vs Georgia Tech Odds
Louisville opens a new era under Jeff Brohm when it heads to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech.
The Cardinals are making a transition from being primarily a run-attacking team with Malik Cunningham to an Air Raid system under Brohm.
Louisville won the schedule lottery in the ACC — avoiding both Clemson and Florida State — so winning the opener here is crucial for its chances of getting to the ACC Championship game.
Georgia Tech begins Year 2 under Brent Key with a lot of changes on both sides of the ball. Haynes King transfers in from Texas A&M to play quarterback with a new offensive coordinator.
Georgia Tech won five games a season ago, but given all of the changes and the production it lost on the defensive side of the ball, it's likely going to be a tough season for the Yellow Jackets.
Louisville begins a new era under Brohm this year, which means the offense is going to change quite a bit. When he was at Purdue, Brohm's offenses threw the ball close to 60% of the time.
So, to run his offense, he brought in one of his old Purdue quarterbacks in Jack Plummer, who spent last season at Cal. Plummer was hit or miss at Cal in 2022, putting up a 78.4 PFF passing grade and averaging 6.8 yards per attempt with 19 big-time throws compared to 18 turnover-worthy plays.
But he knows Brohm's offenses inside and out, which is a big plus.
The pressure won't be entirely on his shoulders because Louisville returns one of the best running backs in the ACC in Jawhar Jordan. Jordan averaged 5.7 yards per carry last season while posting an 80.8 PFF rushing grade and recording 26 runs of 10 yards or more.
Louisville is losing three important starters across its offensive line — including first-team All-ACC left guard Caleb Chandler — but Brohm went into the portal and added six offensive linemen with 150 combined career starts. Louisville should be just fine in that area.
Louisville's defense was outstanding last season. The Cardinals allowed only 4.8 yards per play, ranked ninth in EPA/Play Allowed and were fifth in Finishing Drives Allowed.
The problem with Louisville, though, is it's losing quite a bit in its front seven. The Cardinals' top two defensive linemen and top three linebackers are gone. Brohm did add some Power 5 transfers to help fill the void, but the defense is going to regress toward the average.
On Georgia Tech's offense, King has transferred from Texas A&M.
Let's just say his career as an Aggie didn't go too well. King started five games, and these are the numbers he put up:
Image via PFF.
He'll also be under a brand new system, with Buster Faulkner beginning his first year as offensive coordinator. Faulkner has been a quality control coach at Georgia for the last three years, but in the past, he was the offensive coordinator at Southern Miss, Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee.
He's always been pretty balanced between the run and pass, and his offenses at the G5 level have been successful. In 2019 with Southern Miss, his offense finished 35th in the nation in yards per play. He spent three years working under Todd Monken at Georgia, so the future does look brighter for Georgia Tech than it did under Geoff Collins.
We have to remember, though — this is a new quarterback in a new system in his very first game, so it's not the best of spots for the Yellow Jackets.
This is also a revenge game for Trey Cooley, who transferred to Tech from Louisville after backing up Jordan last season. However, he averaged only 4.7 yards per carry.
Now, four offensive linemen return, but they have only 66 starts between them. Georgia Tech finished 126th in Rushing Success Rate last season, so it's hard to see it improving much early in the year.
Georgia Tech's secondary was the strength of its defense last year, finishing 39th in EPA/Pass Allowed. The Yellow Jackets lost two starters in the secondary but brought back LaMiles Brooks, who led the team in pass breakups and interceptions last season.
The problem for Georgia Tech is it can't stop the run to save its life, and it's not getting better anytime soon.
The Jackets are losing a massive amount of production in their front seven with linebackers Ayinde Eley and Charlie Thomas both leaving for the NFL. The duo combined for an absurd 230 tackles a season ago.
Georgia Tech brought in a couple of transfers — including Andre White and his 139 tackles and 13 career starts at Texas A&M — but the Yellow Jackets aren't going to be able to replace both players and keep the same level of production.
Even with second- and third-team All-ACC linebackers, Georgia Tech still gave up 4.5 yards per carry and ranked 114th in EPA/Rush Allowed.
Louisville vs Georgia Tech
Betting Pick & Prediction
This is a really great matchup for Louisville. Even though it's changing to Brohm's Air Raid system, Louisville has a quarterback who's been in his offense before, which is a massive plus.
Plus, the Cardinals' top running back returning is huge, as well, especially in this matchup if the Air Raid takes some time to get going.
Georgia Tech is going through a transition period on offense with a quarterback who had a really bad season in the SEC, so it's hard for me to see him being effective in the first game — even against an average defense.
I have Louisville projected at -12.1, so I like the value on it at -7.5, and I would play it to -9.