It is a glorious matchup of top-10 ranked teams when No. 7 Notre Dame goes between the hedges at Sanford Stadium to take on third-ranked Georgia. The big question for bettors is why are the Bulldogs favored by 14 points? Is that just some SEC bias or what? It’s actually a chance for bettors to cash in.
Georgia is a preseason favorite to make this year’s College Football Playoff. Remember, Notre Dame qualified last year and one of their victories was a 20-19 thriller over the Bulldogs. Georgia has proved it is worthy of the No. 3 ranking with impressive wins over Vanderbilt and Murray State.
The Bulldogs are averaging 49.3 points per game thanks to a strong running game that averages over 286 yards per game. That is going to be the difference on Saturday night. D’Andre Swift is one of four capable Georgia backs and leads the team with 290 rushing yards.
Georgia also has a three-year starter at quarterback in Jake Fromm who is 42-of-56 – that’s 75 percent – for 601 yards and five touchdowns. Head coach Kirby Smart can rely on his quarterback to make plays in the passing game when necessary.
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The Bulldogs are also very good on defense. The unit is giving up just 7.5 points per game. Sure, they haven’t really played anyone, but Smart’s teams have always been good on defense. They will have to contend with Irish QB Ian Book. The senior threw for five touchdowns in Notre Dame’s win over New Mexico last week.
Here’s what it comes down to.
Georgia runs the ball extremely well.
The Fighting Irish do not defend the run very well.
Notre Dame has given up 249 yards rushing to Louisville and 212 to New Mexico. The number would have been higher against the Lobos if not for a 28-yard-loss on one play. Neither Louisville nor New Mexico is anywhere near as good as Georgia on the ground.
So, here it is. In their last seven games as a double-digit favorite, Georgia is 5-2 ATS. The Bulldogs won all seven games and held five of those opponents under 20 points. There is a reason why the spread is pegged at 14.5. Georgia is that good.