Big matchup in the SEC as the Georgia Bulldogs head to Alabama to take on the Auburn Tigers. The Dawgs have already clinched the SEC East but still have work to do as they’ll likely face a stiff challenge from Alabama in the CFP standings for the rest of the season. The #4 Bulldogs could have a tough battle here as Auburn is a team that is somewhat ‘under the radar’ despite a solid performance this year going 7-2 SU including a 4-2 mark in SEC play.
Auburn gets a lot of credit for their defense as well but it’s hard to think that they’re not somewhat overrated. They definitely haven’t passed the ‘eye test’ when stepping up in class on either side of the ball. Their performance against elite teams–or even ‘semi-elite’ teams–has been a bit problematic for our taste. They played tough in their 3 point loss at LSU where they covered easily against the Bayou Bengals as +12.5 road dogs. Our concern is their performacne agaisnt good but not great teams. It’s one thing to manhandle bottom feeders like Arkansas and Mississippi State but the Tigers have lost to Florida as -2.5 point favorites and were life and death against Ole Miss last week at home, finally winning but failing to cover as -17 point favorites.
Maybe Auburn does have a ‘good defense’. By that metric, Georgia has a great defense. This vintage of the ‘dawgs D is a flat out wrecking crew. They’ve allowed a paltry 10.1 PPG all season and haven’t allowed more than 20 points to any opponent. Given that Auburn struggled to put points on the board against Florida (13 points) and LSU (20 points) it doesn’t bode well here as they’ll face the best defense that they’ve seen yet. Georgia’s defense is downright brutal ranked #2 against the run where they haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown all season. They’re also first in red zone defense.
Georgia has definitely regained their focus since the loss at South Carolina. They beat a tough Florida team, winning by 7 and (barely) covering as -6.5 favorites. They’ve also completely shut down a pair of overmatched opponents as they beat Kentucky and Missouri by a combined 48-0. Auburn will do well to put up more than 10 points on the nasty Bulldogs’ defense and that won’t get it done. Georgia covers with ease as a short priced road favorite here.