Georgia Bulldogs (0-0) vs. Arkansas Razorbacks (0-0)
It is the opening weekend in the SEC, and that means that national contender Georgia will take to the field as they take on the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday. This is the opening matchup for both teams.
Georgia is coming off a 12-2 season and was the top team in the SEC East Division after going 7-1. Arkansas went winless in the conference last season, going 0-8, finishing last in the West. The Razorbacks were 2-10 overall.
The line for this game has trended in an upward direction. After opening at Georgia -25, we've seen the number climb up to Georgia -28 at this point. 66 percent of the picks ATS are backing the Bulldogs.
The over/under for this game has stayed consistent all week long at 53 points. 57 percent of the wagers on the over/under have come in on the under at this point.
Game-time Weather: The temperature at kickoff for this contest is expected to be in the low-80s with sunny skies. There is no precipitation in the forecast for this game. Winds are expected to come from the south around 12 miles an hour while gusts could kick up to around 15 miles per hour.
Big Changes at GeorgiaGeorgia won the SEC East last season but fell to eventual national champion LSU in the SEC Championship. The Bulldogs rebounded to defeat Baylor in the Sugar Bowl.
The success of the program has Georgia entering play ranked fourth in the country. Georgia helped themselves by landing the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, which is good as there are going to be some dramatic changes in Athens this year.
Jake Fromm and D’Andre Swift both graduated, meaning there will be a new starting quarterback and a new running back for the Bulldogs this season.
JT Daniels takes over the quarterback duties and he already comes with a lot of hype as he is projected to be a first-round pick in the NFL draft. However, he has a lot prove. Daniels is returning from a torn ACL he suffered while at USC last season. Oddly enough, it was against Arkansas that he suffered the injury, so it will be interesting to see if there are any psychological effects of returning to face the very team he suffered the injury against. Daniels is also waiting to be medically cleared for this one as of Thursdy.
If Daniels cannot go, the game changes dramatically. This is why it might be a good time to jump on taking Arkansas in this game while the point spread is big. D’Wan Mathis has been taking the majority of the snaps this week and he winds up being the starter.
OUT: WR Dominick Blaylock, QB Jamie Newman
Doubtful: TE Tre' McKitty
Questionable: QB JT Daniels, OL Broderick Jones, RB Kendall Milton
A Home Coming of SortsThe Razorbacks have a new coach as former Georgia assistant Sam Pittman takes over the Arkansas football team. He has quite a task ahead of him, as facing a very focused Bulldogs team to begin the season should make for a tough afternoon.
Pittman has more challenges ahead. He takes over a team that was the doormat of the SEC last season and still has yet to name his QB. It looks like former Gators signal caller Feleipe Franks will get the job. Franks spent three years at Florida but saw very little action as a junior. In his sophomore season, Franks threw for 24 touchdowns and 2,457 yards, but last year was relegated to just four games. A fresh start is just what the senior needs.
Pittman served as an offensive line coach for 16 years, so look for the Razorbacks to have an even more formidable rushing attack. Rakeem Boyd was outstanding last season, rushing for 1,133 yards and eight touchdowns and the team adds Arizona State transfer Trelon Smith who adds a lot of speed and is great catching passes out of the backfield.
OUT: WR Jaquayln Crawford
- 3-7 ATS in the last 10 SEC games.
- 3-8-2 ATS in their last 13 September games.
- 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games.
- 20-6 ATS in their last 26 road games.
- 5-2 ATS in their last seven games.
- 9-4 ATS in their last 13 SEC games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I think the choice of Pittman really helps Arkansas to be a better football program. They are headed in the right direction and Franks adds a veteran presence in a year where the team is learning a new system. Plus, it should help that he comes from Georgia, so he will have some experience and knowledge on what can be done to slow the Bulldogs down.
The problem is that this is the best that Arkansas can do. They are not going to beat Georgia and all they can do is keep this game close. That may happen through the first half, but this is going to be a determines Bulldogs team looking to rally behind a new running back-quarterback tandem. Georgia is going to roll in this game.
Prediction: Take the Bulldogs in a romp (-26) (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
What should be interesting about this contest is that both teams will want to get some rhythm with their offense. So even if Georgia is rolling or Arkansas is getting stomped, both teams are likely going to keep playing their starters deep into the contest to develop some chemistry for later on. That should lead to plenty of points being scored.
The fact that I think that Georgia will cover the 26 point spread says a lot about the score. I do not expect Arkansas to get shutdown. They will put up 17 points in this game. Take the Bulldogs to win, 44-17.
Prediction: Take the over 52.5 (-110)