The top-ranked and defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs will host the Kent State Golden Flashes. Here are our Kent State-Georgia picks and predictions.
For Kent State (2-1 ATS, 2-1 O/U), this Week 4 contest marks the conclusion of a brutal non-conference schedule. The Golden Flashes played true road games against both Washington and Oklahoma to begin the year before earning their first win over an FCS opponent last week.
As for Georgia (2-1 ATS, 0-3 O/U), Saturday’s home game provides one last opportunity for fine-tuning before the champs face SEC opposition in their next seven games. The Bulldogs opened up conference play last week with a rout of South Carolina on the road. Georgia has begun its title defense with three straight wins by a combined margin of 130-10.
Kent State vs. Georgia Game Info
Date/Time: Saturday, Sept. 24, 12 p.m. ET
Location: Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA
Weather: 76℉, 0% chance of precipitation, 4-5-mph winds (blowing south)
Kent State vs. Georgia Odds Analysis
It’s no surprise to see the college football betting market showing Georgia a great deal of respect again this week.
Oddsmakers first installed the Bulldogs as a massive 42-point home favorite. Influential members of the market clearly felt that was too light of a spread. UGA is now a consensus favorite of 45 points. Several prominent Las Vegas books have already moved the line to Georgia -46.
Based on the latest betting percentages, Georgia is the overwhelming choice. Despite having to lay such a massive line, over 90% of all ATS bets at DraftKings Sportsbook are on the champs.
Meanwhile, the total has also ticked up after opening at 60.5 earlier this week. It’s also worth noting that the game-week opening number was significantly higher than the initial Las Vegas lookahead offering of 55.5. At the time of writing, the consensus Over/Under has ballooned to 62 across the market.
Kent State vs. Georgia Picks
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Kent State vs. Georgia ATS Pick
Kent State +45.5 (-110) ★★
Hopefully, you’re ready to hold your nose because we sure are! The spread for this game is massive, and rightfully so. By no means should a bet on Kent State to cover be confused with implying that the Golden Flashes have an actual chance of winning the game. Considering the sheer size of the line and the situation at hand, the underdog is the more appealing side.
Two weeks ago, Georgia completely outclassed FCS-level Samford. However, after building a 30-point halftime lead, Kirby Smart opted to call off the dogs. UGA went on to maintain a shutout victory, but the 33-0 final score came nowhere close to covering a similarly massive point spread.
In all likelihood, Georgia will get out to an insurmountable halftime lead again this week. Kent State’s defense showed no ability to contain an explosive Washington attack whatsoever. While the Golden Flashes did hold Oklahoma to just seven first-half points, the floodgates opened in the third quarter.
Knowing that the Bulldogs’ offense is more explosive than either of those previous opponents, things figure to get ugly in a hurry. Unless there is some bad blood between Smart and Kent State coach Sean Lewis, Georgia will likely pull back as they did against Samford.
Kent State vs. Georgia O/U Pick
Under 62.5 (-110) ★★★
Once again, it’s worth harkening back to how Georgia handled its game against an overmatched opponent two weeks ago. If the Bulldogs race out to an early lead, Stetson Bennett and the rest of the offensive starters may not even see the field after halftime.
In addition, a lopsided contest would result in Georgia focusing on running the football to keep the clock moving and get the game over with as quickly as possible. Backup quarterbacks Carson Beck and Brock Vandagriff came on in relief of Bennett against Samford and combined to attempt only eight passes.
Speaking of taking the air out of the football, that is precisely what Kent State would like to do offensively this season. The trio of Marquez Cooper, Xavier Williams, and Bryan Bradford form arguably the best backfield in the MAC this season. The Golden Flashes had well over 100 yards rushing against both Washington and Oklahoma before exploding for 353 in last week’s win. Clearly, this team is not afraid to run the ball even when trailing big on the scoreboard.
Based on the handicap of a run-heavy game script, it’s impossible to follow the line move that has taken place thus far. Given that the total first opened at 55.5 in Las Vegas, there is literally no value left on the current consensus. Bettors are advised to take advantage of a BetMGM line that sits a half-point above the rest of the market when buying back on the Under.
Kent State vs. Georgia Prop Pick
Georgia team total: 41-50 (+185) ★★
Based on the adjusted game total, it’s not exactly surprising to see the betting odds heavily juiced in favor of Georgia surpassing the 50-point threshold. That said, the Bulldogs have yet to hit the half-century mark in any game this season.
Smart has shown mercy in the latter stages of games, even against a ranked Oregon team in Week 1 and an SEC rival last week. Kent State poses no true threat with regard to winning this game outright, so it's all the more likely that Georgia will take its foot off the gas and intentionally avoid running up the score.
One additional argument can be made on the behalf of the Dawgs’ defense. Even in garbage time, Georgia’s second-stringers have proven difficult to score against. Given the very real possibility that Kent State musters nothing more than a field goal offensively, pride and ego would be the only reasons that Smart would have to push for more than 50 points in this game.
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Kent State-Georgia picks made 9/21/2022 at 7 p.m. ET