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Tennessee Volunteers at Georgia Bulldogs Betting Preview

It’s #1 vs. #2 time as the Tennessee Volunteers head to Athens to face the Georgia Bulldogs. Both teams are 8-0 on the season coming off yet another dominating win last weekend. The Bulldogs are top-ranked in both the AP and the coaches poll, but it was Tennessee who came out at #1 in the first playoff ranking.

Obviously, Saturday’s game is going to shake up the top five a bit, but the loser is also not eliminated from CFP contention either. This just looks like a good old-fashioned, great football game between two stellar teams, so get the popcorn ready. UGA is a somewhat surprising -8.5 favorite here.

Prove It Game for Vols

There’s no doubt that the signature win for Tennessee this season was their 52-49 victory over then #3 Alabama. That was in front of a chaotic orange mob in Knoxville, though, so if Tennessee can go into Sanford Stadium – where UGA hasn’t lost since 2019 – and get the win they can show they’ve earned that #1 CFP spot.

Tennessee’s success on Saturday relies on how well Heisman front-runner Hendon Hooker performs. He torched Alabama for 385 yards and five TDs, but this is a much better Bulldogs defense that ranks in the top five in total yards, rushing yards, and points allowed. Hooker has 21 TDs to just one INT this season.

Georgia Defense the X-Factor?

Both Tennessee and Georgia have explosive offenses; in fact, they are #1 and #2 in the country in yards gained, with the Vols leading the way with 553 per game. That includes 353.4 pass ypg, which is second in the country, but Georgia can roll through the air too at 328.1 ypg, which ranks eighth in the nation.

Where these two undefeated teams have a big discrepancy is on the defensive side of the football. The Volunteers were able to survive in the win over Alabama despite giving up 455 yards passing to Bryce Young and another 103 yards and three TDs on the ground to RB Jahmyr Gibbs.

Tennessee is good vs. the run (93.0 ypg), but that might just be because they are so bad vs. the pass, as their 298.6 pass yards allowed to FBS opponents is the 10th most in the country.

Georgia QB Stetson Bennett IV is 13th in the country with 2,349 passing yard, and he’s going to have a field day against this defense – but can Tennessee match in a shootout against this defense?

Tennessee at Georgia Pick and Prediction

The playoff committee actually probably didn’t do Tennessee any favors in making them #1 in the initial rankings released this week. Now the Vols get a fired-up Bulldogs team who gets to have a chip on their shoulder as they are considered ‘only’ the third-best squad in the nation, with Ohio State sitting at #2.

8.5 points, though? Tennessee was a +9.5 underdog when they beat Alabama at home, and they were -2.5 when they went to Baton Rouge and stomped LSU 40-17.

Georgia has a good defense, but they’ve also given up 20+ points three times this season and to Kent State, Missouri, and Florida. Not saying the Vols get the upset, but they have the horses to hang here.

Pick: Tennessee +8.5

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