Missouri Georgia Odds
The No. 7 Georgia Bulldogs (4-1) host the No. 25 Missouri Tigers (5-0) in an SEC East showdown on Saturday, October 12. Last year, the Bulldogs pulled away in the second half for a 41-20 road victory over the Tigers in their first meeting as SEC opponents.
This Top 25 battle will be nationally televised on ESPN at 12:00 EST Saturday afternoon. Taking a look at the odds in Las Vegas, I find Georgia installed as an 8-point home favorite over Missouri.
Why Georgia Covers
No team in the entire country has faced a more difficult schedule than Georgia. It has already played three ranked teams in the likes of Clemson, South Carolina and LSU. After losing a close one at Clemson 35-38 to open the season, the Bulldogs have reeled off four straight wins, including home victories over both South Carolina and LSU. This team is certainly battle-tested and has faced a much tougher schedule than Missouri to this point.
The Tigers may be getting too much respect from oddsmakers due to their 5-0 start. Their five wins have come against the likes of Murray State, Toledo, Indiana, Arkansas State and Vanderbilt. There’s really not an impressive win in there to be found. This will be by far their stiffest test of the season as they travel to face the Bulldogs, who are 10-0 at home over the last two seasons.
Aaron Murray has put up incredible numbers when you consider the difficulty of the schedule he has been up against to this point. The senior quarterback is completing 64.9 percent of his passes for 1,534 yards with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions thus far. He has also rushed for 73 yards and three scores. This guy came back for his senior season for one reason, and that was to win a championship. So far, he hasn’t let anything stand in his way of accomplishing that goal.
Georgia is a perfect 8-0 against the spread after two consecutive games where it committed one or less turnovers over the last three seasons. The Bulldogs are 5-1-1 against the spread in their last seven conference games. Georgia is 4-1-1 against the number in its last six home games. Gary Pinkel is 15-26 against the spread vs. good passing team that average 8 or more passing yards per attempt as the coach of Missouri.
Why Missouri Covers
The Tigers are the real deal in 2013. While they haven’t faced the toughest of schedules, they have taken care of business in blowout fashion. All five of their wins have come by 15 points or more. They have impressive road wins over both Indiana (45-28) and Vanderbilt (51-28) in games that were never in doubt. After being plagued by injuries all of last season, the Tigers are finally healthy in 2013, especially at the quarterback position.
James Franklin leads a Missouri offense that is putting up 46.6 points and 543.8 yards per game to rank 7th in the country in total offense. Franklin is completing 67.7 percent of his passes for 1,406 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions, while also rushing for 278 yards and two scores. The offense has overshadowed a defense that is also improved this season, giving up just 22.4 points per game. This offense will be up against a Georgia defense that is allowing 32.2 points and 403.8 total yards per game.
Georgia has been hit by injuries harder than just about any other team in the country to this point. Murray was already without his leading returning receiver in Malcolm Mitchell (knee) for the entire season. Now, he’s without two of his top three receivers thus far this season in Justin Scott-Wesley (16 receptions, 311 yards, two TD) and Michael Bennett (14, 176, 2 TD), who each went out with injuries against Tennessee last week. Also, leading rusher Todd Gurley (450 yards, 4 TD) is questionable to play Saturday, while Keith Marshall (246 yards, 1 TD) has been lost for the season to a knee injury. Both backs went out against Tennessee. This offense is simply decimated right now.
Plays on a road team (MISSOURI) – after three straight wins by 17 or more points against opponent after a playing a game where 60 total points or more were scored are 26-3 (89.7%) ATS over the last five seasons. Georgia is 3-16 against the spread in its last 19 home games versus a team with a winning percentage of greater than 75%. The Bulldogs are 16-32 against the number in their last 48 home games off a win against a conference rival.
Plays on a road team (MISSOURI) – after three straight wins by 17 or more points against opponent after a playing a game where 60 total points or more were scored are 26-3 (89.7%) ATS over the last five seasons.
My Early Lean: Missouri +8