Penn State vs. Georgia: Back 'Over' as the Sharp Pick of TaxSlayer Bowl

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, December 22, 2015 8:10 PM GMT

Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015 8:10 PM GMT

Penn State takes on Georgia in the TaxSlayer Bowl on Saturday, January 2nd. Georgia is favored by 7 points in Bookmaker's college football odds and the total is set at 42.5.

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College Football Pick: Over 42.5
Best Line Offered: at Bet365

 

Penn St. vs. Georgia 12:00PM ET 
This is yet another of the Big 10/SEC matchups. This one features Penn St. against Georgia in the Taxslayer Bowl. The game is scheduled for a Noon ET kickoff from Everbank Field, the home of the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars. 

With a low total on the game, some 2 TDs below the average score in the college football game this season, my selection will be on the OVER (42-), between a pair of teams who may be enjoying their opportunity to show their offense in what can only be considered a minor Bowl Game.

 

Betting Preview
Penn St. enters post-season action with a 7-5 SU record just 4-8 ATS and with a 4-7 OVER/UNDER mark. More was expected of the Nittany Lions under 2nd year HC Franklin. The Lions lived up to their expectations on the defensive side of the ball allowing 22 PPG, 325 YPG and 4.8 YP play. But, it was on the offensive side of the ball where they underachieved, averaging just 24/334/5.5. Most frustrating for the Lions was their 0-3 SU ATS finish with November losses by 2 to Northwestern then 12 to Michigan and a season-ending wipeout by a score of 55-16 to Big 10 Champion Michigan St. They have much to prove on the offensive side of the ball. A much ballyhooed QB Hackenberg has a final opportunity to prove his worth in the NFL Spring Draft. Look for HC Franklin to afford him that opportunity in a game where Penn St. has little to lose.

As frustrating as the season was for Penn St., it was even more so for the Georgia Bulldogs. The goal for Georgia teams is to always play in the SEC Title Game and get a berth in the Final Four. Neither of those was a remote possibility following a trio of October losses to Alabama by 28, Tennessee by 7 and Florida by 24. Though the Bulldogs responded by sweeping the November slate to enter on 4 consecutive victories, those 3 high-profile losses were not enough to save the job of former 15th year HC Mark Richt.  Much like Penn St., the Georgia defense was superb allowing just 17 PPG on 298 YPG and 4.7 YP play. But, the underachieving offense could average just 27/381/6.1. Former Asst. HC and WR Coach, McClendon, will be the interim coach for the Bulldogs in this Bowl Game. Along with 1st year HC Schottenheimer, expect Georgia to open things up for QB Lambert.

 

Final Analysis
I’ve seen this type of matchup before in Bowl games. It is a contest with a low total in which it appears a pair of outstanding defenses will dominate below average offenses. But with little pressure, this minor Bowl becomes a playground for the underachieving offenses. I invite you to put the college football odds in your favor with my college football pick on the over.

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