Tennessee at Georgia Betting Odds & Pick: Points Will Be Hard to Come By (Saturday, Oct. 10)
Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Azeez Ojulari.
- Tennessee will travel to Georgia on Sunday to take on the Bulldogs in a top-15 SEC showdown.
- The Bulldogs most recently rolled to a dominant victory over then-No. 7 Auburn, so they're certainly battle-tested heading into another big matchup.
- Check out BJ Cunningham's full betting breakdown with updated odds below.
Tennessee at Georgia Odds
|Tennessee Odds||+12 [BET NOW]|
|Georgia Odds||-12 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+380/-530 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||423 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET|
The SEC game of the week takes place in Athens as the No. 3-ranked Georgia Bulldogs host the 14th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers.
Georgia has taken care of business in its first two games by beating Arkansas and Auburn handily. The Bulldogs may have the best defense in the country and will be nightmare for Tennessee to deal with on Saturday.
However, Tennessee is off to its first 2-0 start in conference play since 2016. The Volunteers had high expectations going into 2020 after winning seven of their last eight games to close out 2019. With Georgia in a look-ahead spot facing Alabama next week, Tennessee could be a live dog on Saturday.
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Jarrett Guarantano has been solid under center in 2020, throwing for 8.3 yards per attempt and no picks. The senior has started 27 games in his Tennessee career and has the benefit of playing behind a stacked offensive line. Tennessee has four former five-star recruits on its o-line, and those experienced and skillfull linemen have delivered Guarantano a clean pocket to open the year.
Furthermore, that experience in the trenches has helped mitigate the loss of Guarantano’s top two targets from last season: Jauan Jennings and Marquez Callaway. In their stead, the Volunteers receiver that seems to have established a strong connection with Guarantano is senior Josh Palmer, who has 10 catches for 156 yards and touchdown this year.
Tennessee really struggled to run the ball in 2019, ranking 90th in rushing success and 120th in rushing explosiveness. Those issues have carried over into 2020, as the Volunteers have averaged only 4.3 yards per carry in their first two games. The Vols do bring back their running back tandem and their entire offensive line, so there is still optimism that things will improve. However, I don’t know how they are going be able to establish a running game against Georgia’s front seven.
Tennessee’s defense went to another level in the second half of the 2019 season. In the Volunteers’ final six games, the defense allowed 4.4 yards per play and only 15.1 points per game. That defense brings back a ton of talent but will need to replacing three of its best players from last year.
So far, the strength of the Tennessee defense has been against the run. The Volunteers ranked in the top half of college football in defensive rushing success and explosiveness last season, which has carried over into 2020. Tennessee has allowed only 3.0 yards per rush, and the front seven should be disruptive against Georgia’s inexperienced offensive line.
Tennessee has been below average against the pass but has a ton of talent in their secondary. In fact, Tennessee had more interceptions last season than passing touchdowns allowed. The Volunteers return three starters in the secondary who must step up on Saturday to keep Stetson Bennett and company in check.
If Georgia falls short of a national title this year, its going to be because of its offense. Kirby Smart made a change at offensive coordinator by hiring Todd Monken, who’s had success everywhere he’s been. Georgia was supposed to have Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman or USC transfer JT Daniels at quarterback. But so far its been junior Stetson Bennett under center, who has been solid throwing for 8.6 yards per attempt in his first two starts.
JT Daniels is available to play against Tennessee, but Daniels likely won’t see much game time: Reports suggest that Georgia is being cautious with his return. Whoever is starting at quarterback will have the benefit of throwing to George Pickens, who was Georgia’s most productive receiver from 2019.
Where the Bulldogs need to improve is on their offensive line. They lost four starters this offseason — including both tackles — which has really affected their running game. In 2019, Georgia ranked 32nd in rushing success; but this season, the Bulldogs have only managed 3.7 yards per carry. Their inexperience upfront will be tested on Saturday against Tennessee’s stout run defense.
Kirby Smart may have the best defense in the country. In 2019, Georgia ranked inside the top 10 in defensive rushing and passing success. The Bulldogs only lost one starter from the back seven from last season, when the defense ranked 15th in havoc.
Georgia has picked up right where it left off in 2019. The Bulldogs lead the nation in yards per pass attempt allowed (4.8 yards) and rank fifth in rushing yards per attempt allowed (2.3). So, they should have no issues against Tennessee’s offense, which isn’t much better than Auburn’s offense.
In last season’s matchup between these two teams, the Bulldogs held Tennessee to 70 yards rushing and forced two turnovers. Georgia arguably has a more talented defense this year than 2019, so it’s hard to imagine that Tennessee will outperform its 14-point performance in Knoxville last season.
Athens won’t be strongly affected by Hurricane Delta, but winds will be blowing more than 10 mph on Saturday. When the winds are blowing 10 mph or greater, betting the under on totals in the 40s has been a profitable strategy.
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Betting Analysis & Pick
From Georgia’s offensive struggles to Tennessee’s rushing defense and even the weather forecast, everything points to a defensive slugfest on Saturday afternoon. Georgia’s defense specifically should be able to dominate this game and hold the Volunteers to less than 14 points. However, Georgia’s inexperience on the offensive line renders the Bulldogs susceptible to another subpar rushing performance against Tennessee’s stout run defense.
I have the total projected at 37.14 points, so with these two defenses and the wind blowing at around 10 mph, I think there is value on the under 43.5 points. However, I wouldn’t play it any lower than 42.5.
Pick: Under 43.5 points. Play down to 42.5.