The Georgia Bulldogs are seeking their sixth straight win over Georgia Tech in the in-state battle on Friday.
NCAA basketball odds have the Bulldogs as +4 underdogs, which is a highly surprising opening line.
Bragging rights and a 3-1 record is on the line at Stegeman Coliseum in what should be an excellent contest.
Yellow Jackets Overrated?
Georgia Tech hasn’t done enough to warrant being a -4 favorite in our opinion.
The Yellow Jackets started its season with a loss to Miami-Ohio before beating Stetson and Lamar. The win over Lamar came by only nine points, so we’re unsure what angle the sportsbook is trying to present.
Given their lack of recent success against Georgia, we thought the Yellow Jackets would be +5½-point underdogs. However, there is clearly confidence in this team and it could have something to do with Michael Devoe.
The guard is averaging 18 points per game on 50 percent shooting. He has been the key player for the visitors and he also averages five assists, so he’s a quality point guard.
Another important player is Dallan Coleman, who made five three-pointers in the win over Lamar. He came off the bench and had a huge impact, so expect more of the same.
Georgia Tech averages 73.7 points in college basketball, so it has better offensive statistics compared to Georgia. However, it has fewer blocks and steals, so the little things could make a difference.
Georgia at Value
Betting online markets are offering bettors with great value. The 2-1 Bulldogs have lost only to Cincinnati, which is their best form guide.
Losing 73-68 to Cincinnati isn’t a huge negative, and they rebounded with a 76-60 win over South Carolina in dominant fashion.
Aaron Cook had 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting to reach 1,000 points in his Georgia career. He is also averaging 8.3 assists, but Braelen Bridges has been the most impressive Bulldog.
Bridges is averaging 16 points and eight rebounds and, despite Georgia’s offensive struggles, he has been the shining light. Georgia ranks outside the top 200 in points scored, field goal percentage and rebounds.
The Bulldogs know how important beating Georgia Tech is for their season. They have won the last five games, so the dominance is there.
“It’s obviously been a school rivalry forever in every sport, and basketball certainly is one of the top ones in that,” Georgia coach Tom Crean told AJC.com. “But, to me, the more time I think about the rivalry, the (more) you get away from how important it is and how good they are.
“Our guys will figure that out, and the fans will help with that with the attendance tomorrow night. But they’re a really good team.”
Keeping that record intact is important for Georgia, which is 0-3-1 against the spread in its last four home games. It’s 2-0 at home overall, but the Bulldogs have struggled to cover the number.
However, the only time they were underdogs was against Cincinnati, where they covered a +10½ line.
Georgia Tech vs Georgia Pick
We can’t turn down the value with Georgia, which only needs to improve slightly on offense to win.
The Bulldogs have dominated the Yellow Jackets in recent meetings, so we don’t see any reason to jump off their backs.
Getting four points at home is a value line and we’re locking in who we think is the better team.