Teams with 6-0 overall records and 4-0 SEC records battle Saturday. Kentucky and Georgia are at the top of the SEC East Division and will try to take a big step toward a division championship in Athens. Let’s take a look at this matchup along with the best options for college football picks.
|Game: Kentucky (6-0) at Georgia (6-0)
Location: Sanford Stadium
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Over/Under||Team Total|
The last meeting between these teams was last year. Georgia defeated Kentucky 14-3 in a game that barely lasted more than three hours, which is a half-hour shorter than a usual game. Georgia got an early lead and took no risks on offense. Its defense was able to lock down Kentucky. A lot of people would expect a relatively similar game this year, though Georgia’s offense and running game both appear to be noticeably stronger than in 2020.
Next game: at Mississippi State
The Wildcats drilled LSU, 42-21, in a game they led 21-0 and 35-7 early in the fourth quarter. It was more of a blowout than the final 21-point margin indicated. Kentucky ran for 330 yards against a soft, weak LSU defense. The Wildcats were so much in command on offense that they faced only seven third downs the whole game. That’s a shockingly small number of third downs, and a sign that Kentucky did pretty much whatever it wanted on first and seconds downs in this game.
Kentucky finished with 475 yards of offense. LSU got most of its yards only after it trailed by 21 or more points in this game, racking up empty statistics in garbage time. Kentucky demonstrated comprehensive control of this game from start to finish and showed that it can handle all the SEC games in which it is supposed to win. Kentucky also showed no letdown or lapse of focus after a huge season-turning win over Florida.
This was a mature win, because it showed that the Wildcats can sustain momentum and aren’t easily satisfied with one or two good weeks of football. They are hungry for more.
The Wildcats are 5-0 against the spread and 3-2 in over-under, with one of their games not receiving a betting line because it was against an FCS opponent.
Kentucky has three players who will be unavailable: receivers Dekel Crowdus and Josh Ali are out for undisclosed injuries, and nose tackle Marquan McCall is out for three more weeks with a leg injury which was sustained a week ago. There’s nothing major that will impact NCAA odds.
Next game: vs. Florida
The Bulldogs gave up more points than their season average, but they still gave up only 10 points in another blowout win, this time over the Auburn Tigers. Georgia gave up a field goal on Auburn’s first drive of the game but then settled in on defense and throttled Auburn. Georgia didn’t allow a touchdown until it already had the game well in hand in the second half. The Bulldogs are simply the toughest and most physical team in the SEC, on both offense and defense.
Georgia controlled the ball for 33 minutes to just 27 for Auburn. Georgia’s defense limited Auburn’s offense to just 5 of 18 on third down conversions, roughly 30 percent. Georgia’s defense simply doesn’t make many mistakes, and it collects a lot of timely plays. Georgia’s closest game since the Week 1 game versus Clemson? It was this one. That’s right: 24 points is as close as anyone has gotten to UGA since Clemson.
The Bulldogs are 5-1 against the spread and 3-3 in over-unders.
The Bulldogs have several players who are questionable. Three receivers, three defensive backs, a defensive lineman, an offensive lineman, and a linebacker. They all appeared on the injury report on Monday, Oct. 11. The biggest injury question surrounding Georgia, though, is quarterback J.T. Daniels. He was the Week 1 starter against Clemson but injured his back in that game and was replaced by backup Stetson Bennett in Week 2 against UAB.
Bennett has been good in Daniels’ absence, but in truth, Georgia hasn’t really missed Daniels not because of Bennett, but because the defense keeps shutting down opponents. Georgia hasn’t allowed more than 13 points in any game this season. Georgia is allowing an average of under six points per game.
No quarterback would be losing games with this kind of defense. Daniels’ status is officially questionable but with an off-week coming up, it would make a lot of sense if Georgia plays Stetson Bennett one more week and then hopes Daniels can return two weeks later for the big neutral-site game against the Florida Gators.
Betting on the Game
This is an easy moneyline game, but if you want to win any amount of money which will significantly fatten your wallet, you will need to put down a solid chunk of change. You should not be worried, though, about Kentucky winning this game. Georgia held Kentucky to three points last year, and Georgia’s defense in 2021 is better than it was in 2020.
This is a spread Georgia might not cover. Kentucky limited Georgia to 14 points last year, and the Wildcats pride themselves on having a tough, rugged defense that won’t get overpowered with the ground game. Add in Daniels probably won’t play (Georgia’s best and most talented quarterback), and it’s reasonable to think that Georgia won’t win by another huge margin (24 or more points). Kentucky has been great against the spread, and that demands some attention and thought.
The 44½ total is fairly reasonable. Last year’s game had just 17 total points. Georgia will probably score around 30. It will be up to Kentucky’s offense to score 15 or more points. Given that Georgia allows under six points per game, the under is still the better option if you betonline here.