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No. 2 LSU will meet No. 4 Georgia in the most anticipated conference championship of the week when the two teams square off in the SEC title game on Saturday afternoon in Atlanta. The Tigers are one game away from entering the College Football Playoff as an undefeated squad, while the Bulldogs are looking to secure a berth of their own with a win. The Tigers are led by Heisman favorite Joe Burrow, who has thrown for nearly 2,000 yards in his last five games.
Georgia playing in third straight SEC title gameGeorgia is appearing in its third straight conference championship game under Kirby Smart. Quarterback Jake Fromm has thrown five touchdown passes and zero interceptions in the last two SEC title games against Auburn and Alabama. Georgia is known for its stingy defense, which ranks No. 2 in scoring defense. The Bulldogs are barely giving up 10 points per game this season. Georgia rolled through its first five games of the year, beating up on Vanderbilt, Murray State, Arkansas State, Notre Dame and Tennessee. However, the Bulldogs slipped up against South Carolina, losing a double-overtime stunner at home as 21-point favorites—it was one of the most shocking results of any game this season. The offense struggled in the following five games, failing to crack 30 points in any game. However, the Bulldogs survived in all five contests and closed the regular season with a rousing 52-7 win against Georgia Tech.
Fromm leads the way with 2,385 yards and 21 touchdowns this year, while throwing three interceptions. Junior running back D’Andre Swift has been one of the best running backs in the SEC, carrying the ball 193 times for 1,203 yards and seven touchdowns. He is averaging 6.2 yards per carry. Swift has been dealing with a bad shoulder, but he should be close to 100 percent for the game. Senior Brian Herrien has added 95 carries for 466 yards and six touchdowns. Freshman wide receiver George Pickens leads the team with 33 catches for 498 yards and six scores. However, Pickens is suspended for the first half of Saturday’s game due to a punch he threw against Georgia Tech. Senior wide receiver Lawrence Cager, the team’s second-leading receiver, is out for Saturday’s game with an ankle injury. The suspension and injury could loom large, as Fromm’s completion percentage when he targets Cager and Pickens is 73 percent, but it drops to 53 percent when he targets any other receiver.
LSU making first SEC Championship game appearance since 2011LSU has not been to an SEC Championship since 2011, but they have been one of the best teams in the country this season under head coach Ed Orgeron. The Tigers bring the No. 2 scoring offense in the nation into Saturday’s game. They likely have a spot in the College Football Playoff secured, but a win against Georgia would put them in the conversation for the top seed in the playoff. LSU swept all 12 games this season, picking up wins against Texas, Florida, Auburn and Alabama along the way. Outside of narrow wins against Auburn and the Crimson Tide, LSU’s closest contest was a 7-point win on the road against Texas in the second week of the season. The Tigers closed out their immaculate regular season with a 50-7 drumming of Texas A&M last week. They led the Aggies by a score of 21-0 by the end of the first quarter and limited Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond to a 10 of 30 effort through the air.
The Tigers are led by Burrow, who is currently sitting at -2500 to win the Heisman Trophy. The senior has thrown for 4,366 yards and 44 touchdowns on 401 attempts this season. He has only thrown six interceptions and has a passer rating of 203.0. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who had several key runs in LSU’s win against Alabama, has rushed for 1,233 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. Freshman back Tyrion Davis-Price has carried the ball 56 times for 260 yards and six touchdowns. Burrow has also been a threat on the ground, rushing for 248 yards and three scores on 85 attempts. He also had several important first down runs in the win against the Crimson Tide. Sophomore wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase has been Burrow’s top target, catching 70 passes for 1,457 yards and 17 touchdowns. He is averaging 20.8 yards per reception. Justin Jefferson has added 81 receptions for 1,092 yards and 13 scores. Terrace Marshall Jr. has 32 catches for 456 yards and Thaddeus Moss has 36 receptions for 423 yards.
- 4-1 ATS in its last five neutral site games
- 6-2 ATS in its last eight games against a team with a winning record
- 8-3-1 ATS in its last 12 games in December
- 2-5 ATS in its last seven games following an ATS win
- 1-5 ATS in its last six games after accumulating more than 280 passing yards in its previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I’m siding with the team I trust more in this contest. LSU has not been through prolonged scoring droughts this season. Georgia’s inability to move the ball is concerning, especially in a game of this magnitude. The absence of the Bulldogs’ top two wide receivers will allow LSU to stack the box in the first half and grab an early lead. Georgia’s defense will keep in the game, but the Tigers will tack on a late touchdown to cover the spread.
Prediction: LSU -7
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is the play in this game. Georgia’s only chance in this contest is to slow the game down and rely on its stingy defense. The Bulldogs are going to struggle doing anything offensively in the first half, which will lead to a lot of running plays. LSU is going to be scoring some points, but Georgia’s defense is going to limit them for spurts of the game. I like this one to go under the total.
Prediction: Under 54.5