Bet Georgia to Cover vs. Missouri for College Football Picks

Darin Zank

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 1:49 PM UTC

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014 1:49 PM UTC

Two years ago Georgia welcomed Missouri into the SEC by beating the Tigers on their home field; last year Mizzou returned the favored, beating the 'Dawgs between the hedges. Which way should we go with our free NCAAF pick when the teams meet Saturday back in Columbia?

The Betting Odds
As of mid-week most college football odds were listing Georgia as a three-point favorite over Missouri. Those who think the Tigers might win this game outright could get a price of +125 on the money line at various outlets.

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'Dawgs-Tigers: The Match-Up
Georgia is 4-1 SU but only 2-3 ATS this season. The Bulldogs opened season with that 45-21 victory over Clemson, covering at -10. But they then began SEC play with a 38-35 loss at South Carolina, falling outright as six-point road favorites. UGA then trounced Troy 66-0, covering at -41, beat Tennessee 35-32 but lost ATS at -19, and last week beat Vandy 44-17 but couldn’t cover at -33.

Georgia has outgained four of its five opponents, and outrushed all of them.

Last week the Bulldogs led the Commodores 21-0 after one quarter, and 34-10 through three quarters, but came up one score short of covering that big spread.

On the season Georgia RB Todd Gurley, now a leading Heisman contender, has run for 773 yards and eight touchdowns, and first-year starting quarterback Hutson Mason has completed 68 percent of his passes, with a 7/3 TD/INT ratio.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs defense has held foes to 112 yards per game rushing.

Missouri is 4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS. The Tigers opened this season with a 38-18 victory over South Dakota State, missing the cover at -25. They then won at Toledo 49-24, covering at -3.5, and beat Central Florida 38-10, covering at -10. Mizzou then suffered a bit of a letdown and lost at home to Indiana 31-27 as a two-touchdown favorite. But two weeks ago the Tigers bounced back to win at South Carolina 21-20 as six-point dogs. They then had last week off.

Missouri trailed the Gamecocks 20-7 midway through the fourth quarter, but scored twice on short Russell Hansbrough runs, the second on fourth-and-goal with a minute and a half to go, to steal one from the ol' ball coach.

The Tigers got outgained by South Carolina 338-280 and lost time-of-possession by a 36-24 margin.

So far this season first-year starting QB Maty Mauk has completed only 56 percent of his throws, but compiled a 14/4 TD/INT ratio, and kept many plays alive with his mobility. Defensively the Tigers have allowed 144 yards per game on the ground.

Mizzou has outgained and outrushed four of its five opponents this season.


'Dawgs-Tigers Recent History
These two teams have split two games since Missouri joined the Southeastern Conference, each team winning on the others' home field. Two years ago, in Mizzou's first SEC game, Georgia went into Columbia and beat the Tigers 41-20, covering as a one-point road favorite. But last year Missouri, on its way to a division title, went to Athens and, as seven-point dogs, upset 'Dawgs 41-26.

The Tigers led that game last year 28-10 at the half, allowed the Bulldogs to get within 28-26 with 12 minutes left, but made a stop on defense, and iced the game with two scores.

Georgia actually outgained Mizzou that day 454-375, but committed four turnovers, to the Tigers' none.


'Dawgs-Tigers Betting Trends
Georgia is 5-0 on the totals this season.

Missouri is 14-4-1 ATS over its last 19 games, while the Bulldogs are 4-11-1 ATS over their last 16 games. But trends like that tend to reverse themselves over time.

The last time Missouri was a home dog it beat Florida last October 36-17.


'Dawgs-Tigers Free Pick
This is a tough one. The Tigers impressed us with the wins at Toledo and at home over Central Florida, and while they laid an egg against Indiana, proving they're not quite the team they were last year, they bounced back and won at South Carolina. And now they're working on a week off. However, we give Georgia the edge in the running game and on defense. So we'll go with the Bulldogs, at the -3 offered at Pinnacle, for our free college football pick.

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