Bank On Offenses To Get 'Over' In Texas-Georgia Sugar Bowl

Jason Lake

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 10:18 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 10:18 PM UTC

Get the latest college football picks on the Sugar Bowl. The game from New Orleans, Louisiana, is Tuesday, January 1, at 8:45 p.m. ET on ESPN. Bet confidently with tips from SBRpicks.com.

Sugar Bowl: No. 15 Texas (9-4 SU, 5-7 ATS) vs. No. 5 Georgia (11-2 SU, 8-5 ATS)Tuesday, Jan. 1, 8:45 p.m. ET (ESPN)Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LouisianaFree NCAAF Pick: 'Over'Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The Georgia Bulldogs snatched defeat from the jaws of victory at last year’s National Championship Game. It was their third bowl game in two years under head coach Kirby Smart; they won the first two SU, and all three ATS. The Texas Longhorns are in their second season with Tom Herman at the helm. They won the Texas Bowl last year, 33-16 over Missouri as 3-point underdogs.

How They Got Here

Georgia almost beat Alabama again during this year's SEC title game, but fell to yet another second-half comeback to miss out on the College Football Playoff. Otherwise, the only blemish on their record was their Week 7 loss to LSU as 7-point faves. Texas has made great strides under Herman; they beat Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown before losing to the Sooners (-9.5) in the Big 12 title game – although a win would have put them in the Sugar Bowl anyway.

Why Georgia Can Win/Cover

The Bulldogs are good enough on paper to deserve a playoff berth, but two losses were just too many. They’re 11-point favorites at press time to beat Texas, holding steady since the open, with 53-percent of early bettors taking Georgia. That’s a pretty tight line; ESPN’s Football Power Index has the ‘Dawgs winning 77.6 percent of the time, or around -10.5 for a vig-free point spread.

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Kirby Smart with one of the worst calls in recent memory. pic.twitter.com/Z9VkJJ6Y17

— NYSportsCast (@NYSportCast) December 2, 2018
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There’s definitely a gap in performance level between the two teams. Georgia checks in at No. 3 on the S&P+ Ratings at Football Outsiders, while Texas is way down at No. 36. The Longhorns defense (No. 55 overall) is suspect, especially in the trenches, with the team giving up at least 30 points on six different occasions. And safety Caden Sterns will be playing on an injured knee that knocked him out of the Big 12 title game.

Why Texas Can Win/Cover

The Bulldogs may be the stronger team, but will they be motivated? The Sugar Bowl will seem like a consolation prize after they came so close – again – to beating Alabama. CB DeAndre Baker is likely to go in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft; will he be able to focus on beating Texas?

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There's no coming back from this if you're Tom Herman pic.twitter.com/3WaMzyFgxg

— Bottlegate (@Bottlegate) December 1, 2018
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It’s not just the players, either. Georgia’s defensive co-ordinator, Mel Tucker, will apparently be taking the top job at Colorado – although nothing has been made official at press time. There’s a non-zero chance Tucker won’t be at the Sugar Bowl, which would put at least something of a dent in Georgia’s excellent pass rush.

Common Opponent/Series History

These teams didn’t share a common opponent in 2018, and they have yet to play a game against each other with a betting line attached.

Final Verdict

The Sugar Bowl betting line doesn’t offer much of a profit margin, so if you’re looking for value, try the "over" instead on the total of 58 points. Both teams pack more punch on offense, and if the Bulldogs don’t give this game their full attention, that lack of effort should hurt them on defense more than anything. Playing inside the Superdome should help keep the chains moving, too.

Sugar Bowl Trends & Betting History
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