Large Spread Makes Troy +39.5 the Pick vs. Georgia Bulldogs

Darin Zank

Monday, September 15, 2014 4:25 PM UTC

Monday, Sep. 15, 2014 4:25 PM UTC

The Bulldogs are coming off a tough SEC loss, and now step back out of conference for what should be little more than a good workout against Troy Saturday between the hedges (noon ET, SEC). Do we give the points with the big favorite for our free NCAAF pick here? Or take the points with the dog?

The Betting Line
As of Monday most of the college football odds market was chalking Georgia at -39 over Troy, although with a little searching one could find the Bulldogs as low as -37.5.

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The Match-Up
The Georgia Bulldogs are off to a 1-1 start both SU and ATS this season. The Bulldogs opened with an impressive 45-21 victory over Clemson, covering the spread as 10-point favorites. But last week, in their SEC opener, the Bulldogs fell at South Carolina 38-35, going down as six-point road chalk.

UGA trailed the Tigers two weeks ago 21-14 midway through the second quarter, but scored the last 31 points of the game. The 'Dawgs out-gained Clemson 459-291 and won the ground battle 328-88, as Heisman candidate RB Todd Gurley gained 198 yards on just 15 carries.

But last Saturday Georgia just couldn't stop South Carolina, giving up 447 yards of Gamecocks offense. And when they had a chance to tie the game late Bulldogs K Marshall Morgan missed from 28 yards out. 

Georgia returned 14 starters from a team that went 8-5 last year. Six starters were back on offense, although they had to replace their starting QB and three along the offensive line. And eight starters were back on defense.

On the dogged side of this match-up Troy is off to an 0-3 start, 1-2 ATS. The Trojans opened with a 48-10 loss at Alabama-Birmingham, getting blown out as three-point favorites. They then fell at home to Duke 34-17, but hung on for the cover at +17.5. And last week Troy lost as an 11-point home favorite to FCS Abilene Christian 38-35.

The Trojans led the Blue Devils early in that game 14-3, and in the end only got out-gained by 452-396. But last week Troy blew a 21-7 halftime lead to AC, and eventually got out-gained 493-417 and out-rushed 181-131. 

Troy only returned 12 starters this year, from a team that went 6-6 last year. Six starters came back on offense, including three along the offensive line, and six starters were back on defense.

These programs have met just once before, back in 2007, a 44-34 Georgia victory. But Troy came away with the cash that day as a 14-point dog.


Trojans-Bulldogs Betting Trends

Over the last three seasons Troy is 4-3 ATS against power-conference opponents.

Georgia is 0-6 ATS in its last six games chalked by four touchdowns or more.


Free NCAAF Pick
We're going to take a chance and proffer that Georgia is probably going to win this game. Sense the sarcasm? But the question is, by now much? Troy can't even beat UAB or Abilene Christian. But when we see the Bulldogs' ATS record as a big favorite in recent seasons, it leads us to believe Coach Richt uses these types of games for something more than just making the alumni and financial backers (sometimes one and the same) happy. So in this spot we'll take the underdog Trojans, plus as many points as we can find, for our free college football pick.

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