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June 18, 2010

Bulldog Nuggets

Underdogs against Arkansas last season, the Bulldogs would win the game by 11 points.  Georgia's covering of the spread by nearly two touchdowns could easily be repeated (in my opinion) against the Hogs in 2010.

The Golden Nugget Casino recently released its 200 "College Games of the Year" for the upcoming season.  Five of Georgia's 12 games are featured:

GEORGIA  -3  Arkansas
GEORGIA  -7  Tennessee
GEORGIA  +6  Florida
GEORGIA  +3  Auburn
GEORGIA  -4  Georgia Tech

These early lines help support my notion that if the Bulldogs were to play any of their games tomorrow, I believe Vegas would consider them underdogs against only two opponents - Florida and Auburn.  At South Carolina is going to be nearly a toss-up but I'd be willing to bet Georgia will be a slight favorite. 

Last season, the Golden Nugget's GOYs featured seven Bulldog games (Georgia's actual closing line is in parenthesis following each opponent):

GEORGIA  +3  Oklahoma State (+5')
GEORGIA  -2'  Arkansas (+2')
GEORGIA  -14  Arizona State (-12)
GEORGIA  -4  LSU (-3')
GEORGIA  -3'  Tennessee (+1')
GEORGIA  +16  Florida (+14')
GEORGIA  -10'  Auburn (-4)
GEORGIA  +1  Georgia Tech (+7')

The average difference between the Golden Nugget's early line compared to the actual line at kickoff was just a little more than four points.  That's not much of a difference considering the Bulldogs weren't near the team in November they were presumed to be entering the season. 

Based on the aforementioned five early lines for 2010, I've identified my Bulldog Best Bet and another game I wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole:

GEORGIA -3 Arkansas: Factored very little, if at all, in this game being played in Athens is that Arkansas was a much, much better team at home last season than on the road.  While the Hogs averaged 126 more yards per game than their opponent at home, they averaged 91 yards less in away and neutral-sited games.  Quarterback Ryan Mallett's numbers last year were remarkable overall (seventh-best passing rating in nation); however, in games on the road at Alabama, Florida, Ole Miss, and LSU, Mallett completed just 39 percent of his passes.

Although Georgia was only 18-26-2 against the spread during the 2006-2009 regular seasons (second worst in SEC, tied for 10th worst in nation), the Bulldogs played extremely well in their games immediately following South Carolina, covering each of the three lined games (2006- UAB, 2008- Arizona State, 2009- Arkansas) by an average of 13.5 points. 

An already tested Georgia team, who will have been toughened the week before in Columbia, will have the tremendous advantage of welcoming the Hogs to Sanford Stadium.  A three-point spread should be more like seven.

GEORGIA +6 Florida: Not only does Georgia have a dismal 3-17 record against Florida since 1990 but the Bulldogs have also struggled against the number, covering just six of the 20 contests.  The 2010 Gators may be the most difficult to figure in the SEC during the preseason; they might run the table, or they could lose as many as four games, who knows?  Considering this uncertainty, Georgia's two decades of misfortune in Jacksonville, plus a spread of less than seven points, and I would stay far, far away from this game.

Starting tomorrow, I'll be on vacation for the next week.  Soon after I get back and for the two months leading up to the start of the season,  I'll be posting more old videos, providing a historical perspective, and plenty of outlooks and previews regarding the 2010 Dawgs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like GA plus the points at Auburn. The away team usually has the upper hand in that one. And I agree that GA will be favored in Columbia. Dave Hale of the Bulldogs Blog says SC by 3 but no way. If GA was favored in 2006 at SC, they'll be favored this year.