This is a season gone wrong for the Georgia Bulldogs, who are no longer ranked, but still pose a serious threat to their opponents in NCAAF betting action. The Bulldogs have dealt with major injury issues all season, and have tumbled to 1-7-1 ATS on the season. Still, they have been in a lot of close games as well which helps explain their struggles against the line. Looking at those tight games will help us decipher Georgia’s worth as road dogs this weekend.
The Bulldogs have played in six games that have had a single-digit NCAAF betting line. In those games, they’re 3-3 SU and 1-4-1 ATS which is easy to assume based on their season record. But the average spread in those matchups has been Georgia -4.0 and their average point differential over the course of those six games is just -0.83 points (a minus indicates a losing point differential). Keep in mind that Georgia has been a favorite in every game they’ve played this season. Overall they’re not losing by much, and have one blowout win against South Carolina to offset the blowout loss they suffered at the hands of Missouri (even then calling either of those games a blowout is a stretch).
Georgia isn’t a bad football team. They’re just an unlucky one. Todd Gurley, who was absent for three straight games, has played in their last two against Florida and Appalachian State totaling 175 yards and 3 total touchdowns. His return has made Aaron Murray a lot more stable as a commodity against the spread, and the balance the two offer make them an attractive play against Auburn. The Bulldogs have lost a lot this season, but they haven’t lost by much. This feels like another tight Georgia contest that will be decided by a field goal.
The flip side of the argument is that Auburn has been on an absolute tear lately, going 6-0 SU and ATS in their last 6 games. And they have been demolishing people in every type of situation. The biggest game they’ve had all season was a road trip last weekend to Tennessee, and they squashed the Vols 55-23. By comparison, Georgia barely won that same type of game 34-31. During the six-game hot streak, Auburn has averaged a point differential of +26.0 points per game. That includes a strong showing by their defense which has allowed just 19.3 points against on average in those six games.
As you’d expect, almost all of the NCAAF betting trends favor the Tigers. They’re 5-0 ATS when playing the SEC, 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games. The head-to-head history favors the Bulldogs at 5-2 ATS, but it’s worth noting that the favorite in this matchup is also 4-0 ATS while the home team is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
All in all, Auburn looks like the team to back. They have the momentum, they have a complete team that plays a high-scoring brand of offence while dominating on the defensive side of the football. But I just can’t ignore Georgia’s value in this one as an upstart. They have a vulnerable defense to be sure, but they also don’t lose games by massive margins. If anything, they should be able to assault Auburn’s secondary after Gurley establishes a strong rushing threat.
The Bulldogs were once a fringe BCS Bowl hopeful, but those dreams have since been dashed. Now it’s time for them to ruin the hopes and dreams of other SEC teams. They can start by giving Auburn a run for their money this weekend in a tightly fought contest that will be decided by a field goal one way or the other.
NCAAF Betting Free Pick – Georgia +4.0