The Georgia Bulldogs are the new No. 1 team in the country after Alabama was upset 41-38 at Texas A&M last Saturday as an 18.5 point favorite. Georgia headlines this week’s two Top 25 match-ups, and the Bulldogs boast the nation’s No. 1 defense allowing just 5.5 points per game, 203 yards per game and 3.4 yards per play.
Georgia plays their fourth ranked team of the season this week in a battle of ‘Cats vs ‘Dawgs. ESPN GameDay visits Athens to see Georgia tackle the Kentucky Wildcats in a battle of unbeatens and an expected defensive duel with the over/under set at 44.5 points. Kentucky plays just their second road game of the season, and the winner takes sole possession of the top spot in the SEC East.
Georgia is laying 22 points as the heavy favorite at Caesars Sportsbook, and other leading sportsbooks have Georgia at -21.5.
Saturday, Oct. 16
No. 11 Kentucky at No. 1 Georgia (-22) | 3:30 p.m. | CBS
No. 12 Oklahoma State at No. 25 Texas (-3.5) | 12 p.m. | FOX
Betting lines, totals and moneylines are subject to change and vary at different sportsbooks. This week’s Top 25 college football lines provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
Others receiving votes: Auburn 106, Clemson 63, Baylor 62, UTSA 22, Mississippi State 7, Kansas State 3, Air Force 2, Appalachian State 2, Pittsburgh 1
So the shuffling continues in the Top 25 with Alabama falling to No. 5 and Iowa moving up to No. 2 after a rallying from a 17-3 deficit to take down Penn State 23-20 last week in Iowa City.
Undefeated Cincinnati moves up to No. 3 while Oklahoma is No. 4 after the Sooners also rallied last week from a 38-20 halftime deficit to take down Texas 55-48. Big Ten heavyweights Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan are ranked No. 6, 7 and 8 in this week’s AP Top 25, and all three Big Ten East teams have a bye this week. No. 10 Michigan State is also in the East division, and the Spartans play at Indiana for homecoming in Bloomington with the Hoosiers rested and ready off a bye week.
Thirteen teams remain undefeated, and Oklahoma now has the longest active winning streak in the country at 14 games.
While Georgia and Kentucky features SEC defensive dominators, the Ole Miss at Tennessee game has the highest total in SEC history with an over/under of 82.5 points. That’s up sharply from the opener of 77 points at Caesars Sportsbook.
Thursday nights college football kickoff to the weekend generated significant betting action and a sharp move on Memphis that cost Caesars and others sportsbooks money. Memphis beat Navy 35-17 to cover the opening (-7) and closing (-11) number. But the sportsbooks were bailed out on the total when the teams combined for a scoreless fourth quarter with the over/under going from 51.5 to 55.5.
“This (was) a very significant move because it’s gone across key numbers,” said Craig Mucklow, Vice President of Trading for Caesars Sportsbook. “For us to make such a move, we were taking a good amount of sharp action on Memphis and the over.”
Caesars Sportsbook reports on Friday that the most bet teams by amount of money wagered (handle) are:
- Oklahoma State (+5 bet down to +3.5) – 90% of money
- Florida (-11.5) – 93%
- Alabama (-17) – 89%
- Arkansas (-5) – 86%
- Tennessee (+2.5 from +4) 79%
The Florida at LSU and Kentucky at Georgia games are generating the most betting action on the Week 7 college football card with the SEC games combining for most of the bets and handle.
Here are some stats, ATS info, analysis and picks from some public handicappers, newsletters and media analysts for the two Top 25 match-ups and other key games generating more betting action on Saturday.
Kentucky at Georgia (-21.5)
Both Kentucky and Georgia are undefeated at 6-0, and 5-1 ATS. The winner moves into sole possession of first place in the SEC East division.
Georgia has played three ranked teams in its 6-0 start, and the Bulldogs are winning games by an average of 34 points per game and covering the spread by more than 14 points per game.
Georgia quarterback JT Daniels has missed the last two games with a strained lat muscle, and he remains questionable again this week.
Power Plays: Georgia
The Northcoast Sports Power Plays newsletter is a stats based publication by Phil Steele and is based on power ratings. It projects a 40-6 Georgia win and highest 4.5* rating. Those 4.5* picks are 11-5 ATS this season.
The Power Sweep newsletter is a popular publication of Northcoast Sports with more analysis, stats and ATS info. It notes that Georgia is outgaining opponents by an average of 249 yards per game and holding opponents to 206 yards per game below their average while Kentucky is holding opponents to 106 yards per game below their average. The posted total on the game is just 44.5 points.
Oklahoma State at Texas (-3.5)
Texas comes off the shootout loss to rival Oklahoma, 55-48. The Longhorns blew a 38-20 halftime lead, and now return to Austin to tackle an undefeated Oklahoma State team rested and ready off a bye week. Texas is averaging 52 points per game since Casey Thompson took over at quarterback following the Week 2 loss to Arkansas, and he’s averaged 10.0 yards per pass attempt. Thompson had five touchdown passes last week against Oklahoma, but he’ll now face the toughest secondary to date of Oklahoma State and Thompson did struggle against another solid secondary on the road at TCU. But Thompson has star RB Bijon Roberson to lean on, and he leads the Big 12 in rushing with nearly 800 yards and 8 touchdowns.
The Longhorns balanced offense both runs and passes for at least 235 yards per game and is among the most efficient in the country at 8.32 yards per play with Thompson at quarterback.
Kenny White – Under 60
Kenny is a power ratings expert, handicapper and former Las Vegas oddsmaker. He notes in his Sports Insider newsletter that Texas has a power rating of 119.5 (7th in the country) and Oklahoma State is 112. Texas has a 6-point home-field advantage, making the math line Longhorns -13.5. The situation favors Oklahoma State off a bye, and the emotional downer for Texas off the rivalry loss comes into play. But Texas is on a run of 18-2 SU and 14-6 ATS in their next game following the Red River Rivalry and showdown against Oklahoma.
Kenny White adds that he prefers the game to stay under the total, and that the Longhorns defense is not as bad as their stats suggest and Texas has played some stronger offensive teams. Oklahoma State’s strength is its defense, which ranks top 15 in the country in yards per play allowed at just 4.6. But the Cowboys offense has struggled and averaged just 5.2 yards per play while the Longhorns offense is balanced and efficient ranking top 10 in the country in yards per play at 7.0 and piling up 480 yards per game.
Other Top 25 Games and Picks
Purdue at No. 2 Iowa (-11.5)
Power Sweep: Purdue (Underdog Game of the Week)
Playbook: Purdue (4*)
No. 18 Arizona State at Utah (pk ‘em)
Playbook: Arizona State (5*)
No. 13 Ole Miss at Tennessee (+2.5)
Playbook: Tennessee (3*)
Marc Lawrence’s Playbook Sports newsletter is 6-0 on its 3* college football best bets this season and 12-4 ATS overall. This week’s 3* is on Tennessee as a short home underdog against No. 13 Ole Miss.
The Playbook Sports newsletter also has a handicapping section called “Betcha Didn’t Know” with ATS info aligning certain situations and parameters. Those plays are 6-1 ATS this season and calls for Tennessee to pull the mini home upset over Mississippi. The situation plays against a road favorite off a win if the team allows at least 30 points per game and at least 60 points in their last two games. There are other parameters, but the situations against Ole Miss are 14-35 and 11-29 ATS including 3-20 ATS in the first half of the season. The line opened -4 favoring Ole Miss, but is down to -2.5. The moneyline on Tennessee to win the game outright is +120 ($10 to win $12 or $100 to win $120).
ESPN College GameDay will be in Athens for the Georgia and Kentucky game, and those two teams have a bye next week. So does Texas, and despite the line move and more money on Oklahoma State, I favor Longhorns to Hook ‘em and get the home win and cover the point spread.
You can bet on it.