SEC Football Betting Preview: Georgia Bulldogs at Auburn Tigers

Georgia Bulldogs at Auburn Tigers
Jordan-Hare Stadium – Auburn, Alabama
Saturday, November 14, 2015, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: Auburn -1 1/2
Current Line: Auburn -2
Opening Total: 49 1/2
Current Total: 52 1/2
Opening Money Line: Auburn -120 / Georgia +100
Current Money Line: Auburn -135 / Georgia +115

Auburn is a slight favorite against Georgia Saturday.
Auburn is a slight favorite against Georgia Saturday.

At the beginning of the season, many experts thought Georgia and Auburn had a great chance of contending for the SEC title and even a potential playoff spot. However, Georgia is 6-3 and Auburn is 5-4. Georgia is in second place in the SEC East with a 4-3 record. Auburn is in last place in the West Division at 2-4. The Tigers need a win to become bowl eligible.

Georgia and Auburn have been playing since 1892, and the series is tied 55-55-8. The Bulldogs have won 9 of the last 13 games in the series including 34-7 last year in Athens. The two teams have played annually except for 1917-18 and 1943 because of World Wars I and II.

Georgia is coached by Mark Richt. The Bulldogs have a home loss to Alabama 38-10 and at Tennessee 38-31, along with a neutral site loss to Florida 27-3 in Jacksonville. Georgia has home wins over UL-Monroe 51-14, South Carolina 52-20, Southern 48-6, Missouri 9-6 and Kentucky 27-3 last week, along with a road win over Vanderbilt 31-14.

Georgia was a 17 point favorite against Kentucky and the total was 57.5. The Bulldogs led only 10-3 at halftime but Georgia would score 17 unanswered points in the second half. Georgia held Kentucky to 180 total yards. The teams combined for 5 turnovers including three by Kentucky. The Bulldogs are 3-6 ATS and the total is 3-6 this season.

Auburn is coached by Gus Malzahn. The Tigers have a win over Louisville 31-24 in Atlanta, along with  home wins over Jacksonville State 27-20 in overtime, and San Jose State 35-21. Auburn has road wins at Kentucky 30-27 and last week against Texas A&M 26-10. Auburn has road losses at LSU 45-21 and Arkansas 54-46 in four overtimes along with home losses against Mississippi State 17-9 and Ole Miss 27-19.

Auburn was a 7 point underdog against Texas A&M and the total was 58.5. The Aggies took an early 3-0 lead but Auburn scored 20 straight points to take control of the game. Texas A&M pulled to within 20-10 going into the fourth but the Tigers would add two fourth quarter field goals to seal the upset. Auburn had 443 total yards to just 303 for TAMU. The Aggies had the only three turnovers of the game. Auburn is 3-6 ATS and the total is 2-5-2 this season.

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Georgia is outscoring teams 29-18 this season. The Bulldogs are #19 in points allowed nationally. Georgia averages 402 total yards per game on offense including 193 passing and 209 rushing yards. The Bulldogs are #98 in passing and #27 in rushing. On defense, Georgia is allowing 305 yards per game including 174 passing and 131 rushing yards. The Bulldogs are in the top 28 nationally in all three categories. Georgia has forced 14 turnovers and has 16 of their own this season. Georgia averages 50 penalty yards per game and opponents average 39. The Bulldogs are 36/112 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 48/151. Georgia has 16 sacks and has allowed 9 this season. The Bulldogs are 26/33 scoring in the red zone with 15 touchdowns, and opponents are 17/24 with 12 touchdowns. Georgia has 2 punt returns for touchdowns and two defensive touchdowns, and has also allowed two defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Quarterback Greyson Lambert has thrown for 1,340 yards with 10 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, and also has a rushing touchdown. Back-up Brice Ramsey has thrown for 247 yards and a touchdown with 2 interceptions. Junior Faton Bauta started the Florida game. He threw for 154 yards and 4 interceptions. Lambert and Ramsey split the snaps against Kentucky and could do so again this week.

Running back Nick Chubb had 92 carries for 747 yards and 7 touchdowns, plus 4 catches for 32 yards and a touchdown. He suffered a torn ACL against Tennessee and is out for the season. Sony Michel has 126 carries for 718 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 18 catches for 206 yards and 3 touchdowns. Keith Marshall has 49 carries for 255 yards and 3 touchdowns along with 4 catches and a touchdown. Brendan Douglas has 29 carries for 115 yards along with 3 catches.

Receiver Malcolm Mitchell has 43 catches for 617 yards and 4 touchdowns. Terry Godwin has 21 catches for 245 yards. Reggie Davis has 12 catches for 187 yards and a touchdown. He is probable with a head injury. No other receiver has more than eight  catches. Three defensive players are questionable or out Saturday.

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Auburn is being outscored 27.2-27.1 this season. The Tigers average 379 yards per game including 190 passing and 189 rushing yards. Auburn is #46 in rushing but #101 in total offense and #83 in passing out of 128 teams. On defense, Auburn is allowing 431 total yards per game including 239 passing and 191 rushing yards. The Tigers are #80 or worse in all three categories. Auburn has forced 15 turnovers and  has 10 giveaways this season. The Tigers average 41 penalty yards per game and opponents average 31 per game. Auburn is 58/132 on third and fourth down conversions, and opponents are 72/149. The Tigers have forced 13 sacks and have allowed 14 this season. Auburn is 33/37 scoring in the red zone with 21 touchdowns, and opponents are 30/38 with 22 touchdowns. Auburn has a defensive touchdown this year.

Quarterback Jeremy Johnson has struggled this season. He has completed 62% of his passes for 649 yards with 6 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, along with 26 carries for 75 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. Freshman Sean White had played in five straight games before missing last week with a knee injury. He is questionable against Georgia. He has completed 59.2% of his passes for 1,063 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, and also has 42 rushing yards on 28 carries. Another back-up QB Tyler Queen is out for the season with an elbow injury.

Running back Peyton Barber has 193 carries for 828 yards and 12 touchdowns, along with 6 catches for 70 yards. Jovon Robinson has 49 carries for 270 yards and a touchdown. Kerryon Johnson has 40 carries for 164 yards and a touchdown along with 12 catches for 124 yards. Roc Thomas has 34 carries for 154 yards, and 11 catches for 200 yards and a touchdown.

Receiver Ricardo Louis has 36 catches for 563 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 19 carries for 107 yards and a rushing touchdown. D’haquille Williams has 12 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown. Melvin Ray has 15 catches for 213 yards and 2 touchdowns. Seven defensive players are listed on the injury report.

Georgia is 5-0 ATS against teams with winning home records, 4-1 in November and after passing for less than 170 yards, 12-5 after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 3-7 after a cover, 3-7-1 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, 1-4 in SEC games, and after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 1-5 after a straight up win overall and on grass, 0-4 against teams with winning records, and 0-5 after allowing less than 275 total yards.

Auburn is 3-8 against teams with winning records, 8-22 after allowing less than 20 points, 3-11 overall and on grass, 1-4 after an ATS win, after rushing for 200 yards or more, 1-5 after a straight up win, 1-7 at home, and 0-6 after allowing less than 170 passing yards. The favorite has covered the last 6 games in this series. The home team is 7-1 ATS in this series recently.

Both of these teams struggle on offense but Georgia has a much better defense. Auburn played arguably their best game of the year last week in the upset at Texas A&M. Stiil, I think the Bulldogs win on the road in a close low scoring game.

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