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The Georgia Bulldogs are the new number 1 ranked team in the country this week! They welcome the No. 11 Kentucky Wildcats to Athens this Saturday. College football expert Alex Kirshner gives us his Georgia vs. Kentucky predictions.
ANALYSIS

Georgia vs. Kentucky Prediction, Over/Under Pick, and Latest Odds

Spread: Georgia -22.5 

Total: 44.5

Game Time: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: CBS

Georgia Bulldogs vs. Kentucky Wildcats Prediction

Georgia vs. Kentucky Odds

Kentucky and Georgia’s meeting on Saturday in Athens has morphed into the premier game of the college football weekend. The Bulldogs jumped to No. 1 after Alabama lost in Week 6 to Texas A&M, and the Wildcats moved up to No. 11 after dismantling LSU in Lexington. Both teams are in rarified air, as Georgia looks for its first national championship since 1980, and Kentucky sits at 6-0 for the first time since 1950 when UK’s head coach was Bear Bryant.

At first glance, there shouldn’t be much offense on display. Georgia’s defense is not just the best in the country right now but is tracking toward being one of the greatest in college football history. (For now, the Dawgs’ 5.5 points allowed per game have them comfortably on pace to top 2011 Alabama’s 8.2 for the best scoring defense of the 21st century.) And Kentucky is, well, Kentucky, which is to say the Wildcats are not known for high-flying scoring performances.

Glance a little deeper, though, and I see a reason to believe UK and UGA will score enough points to get this game above its total of 44.5 points. Of course, you’ll have to take a deep gulp to do it, given how good Georgia’s defense is, but I hope the logic will check out for you. After all, the over is 3-3 in UGA’s first six games and 4-2 in Kentucky’s contests so far. No matter how good a defense is, the oddsmakers can set the total low enough to make the over a value play.

The UGA defense will be the best unit on the field, by far. If the Bulldogs let the Wildcats get into the 20s, it’d be a significant surprise. But there’s a good case that Kentucky has the best offense Georgia has seen so far, and I don’t think the Wildcats are likely to get blanked the way Arkansas did in Week 5 or Vanderbilt did in Week 4. Quarterback Will Levis has been pretty effective, his offensive line has done a decent job keeping him from feeling too much heat, and his skill-position players have shown flashes of being able to create their own space. So I feel pretty good about Kentucky’s ability to score at least 10 points in this game, and I don’t think it would be a big shock if the UK set a new high for points against Georgia at something like 14 or 17.

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I have some concerns that Kentucky’s only standout performances on offense have come against LSU and Missouri, which have two of the worst defenses in the SEC. But Levis is better than the quarterbacks on either of those teams, and I think he can find a touchdown or two, even if it requires garbage time. On the other hand, if Georgia’s defense totally overwhelms Levis, that might mean some turnovers and short fields for Stetson Bennett (or JT Daniels, whoever’s playing QB) and the Dawgs’ offense. Remember, if Kentucky can just get to 10 points –– a reasonable ask, given that Auburn just scored 10 and could’ve easily enough had 13 or 14 –– then we only need 35 Georgia points to cash the over.

The UK defense has been mostly strong, but Georgia has scored 34-plus points every week since Week 1, and Bennett has looked good. Kentucky hasn’t exactly played lockdown defense against the likes of Chattanooga (23 points), Mizzou (28), and even LSU (21, but the Tigers ran well and would’ve scored more if they had a more functional QB than Max Johnson).

All of this is to say: Kentucky can make enough of an offensive contribution that an average Georgia offensive game would get us to the over. Or Georgia’s offense could get there by itself. Don’t forget that the Dawgs are quite respectable on that side of the ball, too. 

Georgia vs. Kentucky Betting Pick

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Alex Kirshner covers college football for the Moon Crew newsletter. He is a co-author of The Sinful Seven: Sci-Fi Western Legends of the NCAA, and he lives in Washington, D.C.

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