Kentucky vs. Georgia Odds, Picks: Betting Value on Wildcats in Top-15 Matchup (October 16)
Kentucky vs. Georgia Odds
Kentucky Odds+21.5 (-115)Georgia Odds-21.5 (-105)Moneyline+1000 / -2000Over/Under44.5 (-110 / -110)Time3:30 p.m. ETTVCBS Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.
If you told me before the season that the last two undefeated teams in the SEC would be Kentucky and Georgia, I would’ve bet any amount of money that wouldn’t happen.
I would’ve lost.
On Saturday, the Cinderella story of Kentucky football rolls into Athens to face the No. 1 Bulldogs, who sit atop the College Football world.
In most scenarios, the matchup of the last two undefeated SEC teams is Game of the Year material, a blockbuster showdown and the two biggest titans in college football squaring off.
That’s not this game, though, as it features a 23-point spread.
However, the second-biggest spread of the Saturday slate is there for a reason: Kirby Smart and these Georgia Bulldogs have earned it.
Georgia has held four SEC opponents to a combined 23 points. The Bulldogs have outscored all opponents this season by a combined 239-33.
No one can score on these Bulldogs and no one can stop these Bulldogs.
Kentucky can not and will not beat Georgia without a lot of luck and some help. I know it, you know it and anyone with a vague understanding of college football knows it.
So what, if anything, can the Wildcats do to keep up with Georgia on Saturday?
This Kentucky offense continues to progress every week. Against LSU, they recorded 475 yards, with running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. leading the way with 147 of those yards.
The Wildcats have dominated on the ground, ranking 12th with 236 rush yards per game and fifth in yards per rush at 5.8. But they will face their biggest test of the season against Georgia, who limits opponents to just 66 rush yards per game.
Quarterback Will Levis and offensive coordinator Liam Coen have gotten somewhat of a break in the passing game with how effective the rush has been. But I don’t think that will be the case this weekend,
If Georgia shuts down the run game and Kentucky looks to pass, the Wildcats are unlikely to find better results.
Levis has had success with receivers Wan’Dale Robinson and Josh Ali but has yet to throw more than 200 yards against an SEC opponent. Levis will need the best game of his career against the best secondary in the SEC — one that’s produced eight interceptions — if Kentucky wants to stay in this fight.
Georgia may have the best defense in the country, but the Wildcats’ defense is nothing to look down on. Kentucky ranks 15th in the country in yards allowed per game (298) and 11th in opponents points per game (16.4).
But again, Kentucky isn’t on the same level as the Bulldogs.
One thing that could change that for Kentucky, however, is turnovers. Georgia may only have six turnovers on the season and Kentucky’s defense has only recorded four takeaways, but quarterback Stetson Bennett threw two picks last year against Kentucky.
Taking the ball away and keeping it from Georgia could change this game for the Wildcats.
The Georgia defense is getting the headlines, but the offense has been impressive in its own right.
In JT Daniels’ absence, Bennett has been able to keep this offense rolling. He hasn’t had to do that much though, because the Georgia running back group seems to have elite talent all the way down the depth chart once again.
The Bulldogs run the ball on 62% of plays, average 4.7 yards per carry and put up 197 yards per game, all numbers that rank inside the top 50.
At the same time, four different Georgia running backs have accumulated at least 100 yards this season. Kentucky isn’t sure who they’ll see in the backfield, but it’ll have to find ways to get stops no matter who it is.
This is the best defense in the country and maybe one of the best I’ve seen in my lifetime.
The Georgia defense ranks inside the top 20 in nearly every measurable stat.
While I can’t find any negatives for this defense, there are vital things Kentucky can do to find success.
First and foremost being ball security. Kentucky won’t get anywhere turning the ball over. Winning the time of possession battle and keeping the ball away from Georgia is one of the most straightforward paths for the Wildcats.
Keeping Will Levis protected when he does throw isn’t something the Wildcats have been great at as they rank 93rd with a 7.76% sack percentage.
There is one outlier for this Georgia defense, though. It’s a tiny one, but it exists. The Bulldogs rank 31st in opponent fourth-down conversions (40%).
Kentucky won’t beat Georgia with punts. I’m not saying it has to go full Lane Kiffin and go for it on its own 47 in the second quarter, but taking advantage of the opportunity when it presents itself could be huge for Kentucky.
Kentucky vs. Georgia Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Kentucky and Georgia match up statistically:
Kentucky Offense vs. Georgia Defense Rush Success 22 6 Line Yards 6 18 Pass Success 70 1 Pass Blocking** 11 6 Big Play 30 6 Havoc 66 12 Finishing Drives 4 2 ** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.) Georgia Offense vs. Kentucky Defense Rush Success 46 65 Line Yards 34 51 Pass Success 39 110 Pass Blocking** 12 60 Big Play 21 95 Havoc 8 29 Finishing Drives 44 48 ** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.) Pace of Play / Other PFF Tackling 13 1 Coverage 18 1 Middle 8 73 13 SP+ Special Teams 32 34 Plays per Minute 116 115 Rush Rate 62.% (27) 63.3% (18) Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.
Kentucky vs. Georgia Betting Pick
I don’t know anyone who genuinely believes Kentucky can beat Georgia. But can it cover? I believe so.
Arkansas struggled against Georgia with penalties. Kentucky is one of the least penalized teams in the country.
The Wildcats likely won’t have substantial explosive plays, but they have the offensive line and a dependable running back (Rodriguez) to march down the field, control the time of possession and keep this within three scores.
Preventing turnovers will be another major key for Kentucky and taking the ball away from Georgia could make this game quite interesting if they pull it off.
This line opened at 26.5 and has since dropped to 22.5. It’s still available at 23 in some shops.
I was able to grab Kentucky at 23.5, but I still like this line above three scores down to 21.5 (-115).