College Football Picks: Georgia & Tennessee Best Value O/U Bet

Willie Bee

Thursday, October 8, 2015 3:10 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015 3:10 PM UTC

A couple of SEC teams desperate for a win collide in Knoxville on Saturday when Tennessee hosts Georgia with the Bulldogs small favorites on the college football odds.

So much for the Tennessee Volunteers contending in the SEC East. Off to an 0-2 start in conference play and seemingly finding new ways to blow leads each week, the Vols will try and get things turned around with a matchup against a Georgia Bulldogs team that also can't afford another league setback.

The rivals tee things up Saturday in Knoxville at 3:30 PM (ET), CBS carrying the contest in limited markets  Georgia is generally a 3 point favorite across the betting board, though a few shops such as BetOnline hold the Bulldogs to 2½ point chalk. The total has bounced up a bit since beginning at 57, bettors able to find it now from 58-59½.

If nothing else, this matchup will at least serve as a temporary tiebreaker in the rivalry knotted at 21 wins apiece with a couple of ties. The all-time record might be even, but it's a series that has run in streaks for both side. Georgia has won the last five, Tennessee covering the last three each time as the underdog, after the Vols ran off 8-straight wins from 1992-1999.

Tennessee's most recent victory came inside the friendly confines of Neyland Stadium in 2009, the Volunteers closing as 1 point favorites then running away from the 'Dogs with a 41-14 romp. Four of the last five played on the ol' Rocky Top gridiron never made it to the totals, the lone 'over' on the College Football Odds during that span coming in the '09 UT triumph.


Chubb Lone Plus From Loss To Alabama
After bolting from the gate with four wins, Georgia (4-1 straight up, 2-3 against the spread) was squashed by Alabama a week ago, 38-10. The Bulldogs closed as 1 point favorites and was knotted 3-3 against the Tide three minutes into the second quarter, but 'Bama took charge at that point and ripped off three touchdowns in less than five minutes to take a 24-3 lead into the locker room.

Four Georgia turnovers, including a blocked punt returned for one of those 2nd-quarter scores, were a big part of the Alabama blowout. The other three giveaways were picks thrown by Bulldogs quarterbacks Greyson Lambert and Brice Ramsey, the latter of whom actually completed more passes to the Crimson Tide (2) than he did his own receivers (1).

Nick Chubb had his fifth consecutive 100-yard game rushing for the Bulldogs, about the only bright spot between the hedges last Saturday. The sophomore enters this matchup third in the country with 745 total yards on the ground, and will be facing a Tennessee run defense ranked 79th in the country (171.6 ypg). The Bulldogs might need to rely on the ground game a little this weekend with wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie questionable with a pulled hamstring.


Vols Blow Leads In All 3 Losses
If Tennessee (2-3 SU, 2-2-1 ATS) knew how to play with a lead and close out games, the Volunteers would be 5-0 at this point and probably ranked in the top 10. They entered the season ranked 25th in both polls, but promptly imploded in a Week 2 overtime loss at home to Oklahoma after leading by 14 midway through the fourth quarter.

The Vols had a 20-7 lead in the third over Florida in Gainesville two weeks ago, but fell 28-27 when they let Antonio Callaway loose for a 63-yard catch and run with under 90 seconds to play. Last week at home, Tennessee jumped out on a downtrodden Arkansas bunch with a kickoff return to open the game and scoring drive six minutes later to take a 14-zip lead, only to bow to the Razorbacks in the end, 24-20.

It might be a little wet Friday night, Saturday morning in the Knoxville area, but the showers are supposed to pretty much be gone by kickoff to leave some muggy, 80º conditions for the 100K or so who cram their way into Neyland. This is a tough decision for a free College Football Pick, and it comes down to entrusting the defenses to hold the game 'under' the mark.

My College Football Pick: Georgia-Tennessee Under 59½ at BetOnline
Season: 3-2 (+0.80)

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