SEC Championship Odds, Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Georgia vs. LSU
Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images & Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images. Pictured from left: Christopher Smith (29) of the Georgia Bulldogs and Armoni Goodwin (22) of the LSU Tigers.
- The Georgia Bulldogs once again cruised to the SEC Championship, where they will take on the LSU Tigers on Saturday afternoon.
- The Bulldogs are the biggest favorites of the day, but our staff sees betting value on the underdog Tigers, as well as some other bets.
- Check out our best bets and picks for the SEC Championship between Georgia and LSU below.
SEC Championship Odds
#1Georgia vs. #14LSU
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
It’s not the matchup many would have predicted in August, even with Georgia dominating its way to its fifth SEC East title in the last six seasons.
The No. 1 Bulldogs take on a surprise LSU team in Saturday’s SEC Championship after the Tigers dethroned Alabama in the West for the second time in five years.
Georgia’s berth in the College Football Playoff is virtually guaranteed, regardless of what unfolds Saturday in Atlanta. Although, a loss paired with a Michigan win would force the Bulldogs to face a tougher opponent in the semifinals.
The journey to the conference championship game has been business as usual for Georgia, which relied again on one of the best defenses in the country, complemented by Stetson Bennett and a handful of dangerous pass-catchers on the offensive side of the ball.
LSU arrives after an upset loss at Texas A&M last week. The Aggies’ win delivered a crushing blow to LSU’s CFP aspirations and saw quarterback Jayden Daniels sustain an ankle injury that could have a notable impact against the Bulldogs.
The Arizona State transfer, who has accounted for 25 touchdowns this season, is expected to play, but to what level he is hobbled remains in question.
Georgia enters this year’s SEC Championship under circumstances similar to 2021. The undefeated Bulldogs had already all but clinched a CFP appearance, regardless of the result againsy an Alabama team that needed a win. The Tide went on to win by 15 points.
This year, however, Georgia’s opponent isn’t playing for its playoff life, leaving the Bulldogs as giant 17.5-point favorites over LSU.
Our staff details below whether they think the Bulldogs can cover as hefty favorites and if the Bulldogs defense can help keep this game under 52 points.
Georgia vs. LSU Point Spread
By Dan Keegan
Georgia is favored by 17.5 points in Atlanta — the biggest spread on conference championship Saturday. Our staff believes that line is too big, with seven of our 14 experts backing LSU in this spot.
The Bulldogs are excellent, of course, and check in at No. 1 in almost every poll, power ranking or metric you can imagine. But they’re a few steps shy of last year’s dominance, and they have shown vulnerability in some of their close wins.
They also have made a recent habit of slow starts, which could open the door for a young LSU team to believe in its chances as an underdog.
Plus, Georgia might not have any interest in finishing strong and accumulating “style points” for the committee. The Bulldogs are comfortably in command and don’t need to impress the boardroom to make the bracket. Without motivation to run up the score, the Tigers could easily slip in the back door.
On the field, expect the game to be played in a methodical manner, which can keep it close. LSU sits middle-of-the-pack in terms of pace, but Georgia is among the slowest teams in the country.
LSU’s defense is vulnerable to explosive pass plays, but Georgia’s offense is unlikely to expose that weakness, ranking 125th in FBS in that metric.
Likewise, the Tigers are a ball-control offense, ranking 10th in Success Rate and looking to methodically move the ball down the field.
Ultimately, this comes down to the health of LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels. The Arizona State transfer has tapped into his full potential in the bayou and is one of the breakout stars in college football this year.
His escapability has been critical for LSU’s offense this year; he has scrambled 66 times this season for 646 yards — almost a full 10 yards each time he escapes the pocket.
Daniels was injured late in last week’s loss to Texas A&M, although Brian Kelly recently reported that he has been practicing and looking sharp all week.
Without Daniels, or with his mobility severely limited, it might be difficult for LSU to control the ball enough to keep this one close. But if he’s at full strength and powering this LSU ground attack, the Tigers have enough bite to keep this contest within a few possessions.
Staff Pick: LSU +18
Georgia vs. LSU Over/Under
By Doug Ziefel
It may seem a bit scary to back the under in a game with an LSU defense that just gave up 38 points to Texas A&M, but the other defensive hammers this side home.
The Bulldogs essentially have to prepare for Jayden Daniels, as the LSU quarterback led the team in rushing and passing. However, his dual-threat ability doesn’t pose much of a threat to this Georgia defense.
Georgia enters this matchup No. 1 in points per game, No. 5 in yards per game and No. 1 in red-zone scoring percentage. So, if you’re looking for a defense to take the under with, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better one.
In addition, the Tigers’ opportunities will be few and far between, as Georgia ranks sixth in yards per rush allowed.
If — or more likely “when” — the Tigers fall behind, their comeback efforts won’t be any easier. Georgia sits fifth in yards per pass allowed and 19th in opponent completion percentage.
While the Bulldogs’ defense may shut down the LSU offense, it takes two to tango, and the Tigers should be able to generate some stops of their own.
Despite Stetson Bennett being extremely efficient through the air, Georgia opts to keep the ball on the ground around 53% of the time. That plays right into the strength of LSU’s defense.
The Tigers have been solid against the run all season, ranking 44th in yards per rush. That ranking goes right in stride with a Defensive Line Yards rank of 44th and a Stuff Rate rank of 46th.
The Bulldogs should dominate this game on both sides. But with little production from the LSU offense and the Bulldogs offense putting together long drives, the under shouldn’t be too sweaty.
Staff Pick: Under 51
LSU Team Total Over 16.5 (-130)
One of the favorite sharp plays of the conference championship week was hammering the over for this matchup.
The Mercedes Benz Stadium will foster a faster game while eliminating any exogenous weather circumstances.
But in order to hit the over, LSU is going to have to score. The Georgia offense is good but not good enough to steamroll the 33rd-ranked LSU defense that’s giving up just 21.5 points per game.
Clearly, the sharps are anticipating LSU to chip in mightily to a total that opened at 50.
While Georgia does, yet again, finish the regular season with the best scoring defense in the nation, I have reason to believe LSU will find the end zone a couple of times in this matchup.
The Bulldogs give up just 11.8 points per game this season, but LSU has plenty of firepower behind quarterback Jayden Daniels.
Georgia has given up over 16.5 points on four occasions this season, and that came against Kent State, Missouri, Florida and Mississippi State.
On the season, the Tigers are averaging 32.5 points per game in large part because of Daniels’ dual-threat capability.
As a whole, the Tigers rank 36th in rushing offense, averaging 4.9 yards per carry.
This ground game, complemented with Daniels’ aerial attack, will be enough to put 17 points on the board as the Tigers bounce back from last week’s devastating loss.