SEC Title Game: Don't Mistake Georgia Bulldogs For Puppies Against Auburn

auburn georgia

Jason Lake

Friday, December 1, 2017 1:36 PM GMT

Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 1:36 PM GMT

The Georgia Bulldogs are 2-point puppies on the NCAAF odds board, but they’ll basically be playing at home Saturday against the Auburn Tigers in the SEC title game.

Georgia Bulldogs vs Auburn Tigers

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Free College Football Pick: Georgia +3 (–120)
Best Line Offered: at Bovada

Location, location, location. They’re the three most important things in business, and business is about to pick up this Saturday (4:00 p.m. ET, CBS) at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. That’s where the No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs will face the No. 2 Auburn Tigers for the SEC title; Georgia is the designated road team in this matchup, but really, this is pretty much a home game for the ‘Dawgs. And that might be enough for us to put Georgia in our college football picks this week.

This game is a toss-up otherwise. The Tigers are 2-point favorites on the NCAAF odds board at press time after opening at –2.5, even though our consensus reports show a majority of bettors on Auburn. In theory, that means more money has been put on Georgia, in the form of bigger bets – and big money is sharp money, so they say. Let’s see if these Bulldogs fit the profile.

Anyone Can Win

First, the math. FiveThirtyEight projects Auburn to win Saturday’s game 54 percent of the time, or around –1.5 according to the estimated probabilities at Wizard of Odds. ESPN’s Football Power Index thinks it’s even closer with the Tigers at 50.5 percent, for a virtual pick ‘em. And check this out: Sports Reference has Georgia (plus-21.34 SRS) ranked ahead of Auburn (plus-19.95 SRS) on their Simple Rating System.

That might be a little generous towards the Bulldogs – but not by much. Auburn ranks second overall on the F/+ Combined Ratings at Football Outsiders heading into Champ Week, one spot ahead of Georgia. Those ratings combine the Fremeau Efficiency Index, which has the Tigers at No. 2 and the Bulldogs at No. 4, and the S&P+ Ratings, which have Georgia at No. 4 and Auburn at No. 7. All right, we’ll call it a draw.

Oh yeah, there’s just one thing... Auburn smoked the Bulldogs 40-17 in Week 11 as 2.5-point home dogs. The ‘Dawgs dug their own grave with turnovers and penalties, but the Tigers pushed them in and shoveled on the dirt. Maybe playing at “home” will help Georgia stay focused this time – in case making the College Football Playoff isn’t enough motivation. Put us down for a small wager here at the ranch, and we’ll take that +3 we see on the board for a small premium in vigorish. Shop smart.

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