As we get into this Georgia-Arkansas betting prediction column, I do think it’s worth mentioning right at the jump: We have Lane Kiffin heading back to Tuscaloosa with a Heisman frontrunner to take his shot at knocking off No. 1 Alabama, and it’s probably not the biggest game in the SEC this weekend.
That honor falls to Georgia and Arkansas. Arkansas is coming off of a pair of truly impressive performances, as they blew out Texas at home and then followed that up with a neutral site win over Texas A&M last weekend. Georgia, however, is sitting at 4-0 and No. 2 in the country. Based on the way that they poleaxed South Carolina and Vanderbilt the last two weeks, there are plenty of people that believe the Bulldogs are actually the best team in college football.
I’m not quite there yet. But depending on the way that this plays out, I might get there by the end of this game.
Longtime college sports writer Rob Dauster, the co-founder of The Field of 68 and The Field of 12 Network is here to break down the tantalizing matchup and provide his Arkansas-Georgia prediction for Week 4 of the college football season.
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GEORGIA-ARKANSAS BETTING LINES:
#8 ARKANSAS (4-0) at #2 GEORGIA (4-0)
GAME: 12:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)
MONEYLINE: Georgia (-1115), Arkansas (+650)
SPREAD: Georgia (-17.5)
GEORGIA-ARKANSAS PUBLIC TRENDS
Georgia ML: 74% money, 67% bets
Georgia Spread: 36% money, 19% bets
Over: 38% money, 38% bets
If you want to know how the betting markets feel about Georgia heading into this weekend, all you need to know is this: They are a 2.5 touchdown favorite against a top ten team that is coming off of a dominant win over another top ten team. That’s respect.
But I think it might be too much respect.
Look, I know what Georgia has done the last three weeks. Since they went without scoring an offensive touchdown against Clemson in the opener, they’ve scored 158 points and put up more than 1500 yards in the last three games. It hasn’t been against terrible competition, either. South Carolina has a defense that is respectable. UAB might be the best team in Conference USA. And Vanderbilt … well, they play in the SEC, don’t they? Either way, that’s impressive.
At the same time, Arkansas has a pretty damn good defense as well. For example, they held Texas, who has gone for more than 600 yards the last two games, to just 256 yards. They shut down Texas A&M. The Hogs may not be Clemson on that side of the ball, but they’re certainly going to provide more resistance than that team down in Nashville that gave up 35 in the first 13 minutes.
Georgia, however, has the best defense in college football. The craziest stat that I’ve seen this season is that the Bulldogs, through four games, have allowed just four drives into the Red Zone. That is insane. Plus, the Bulldogs are getting Tykee Smith healthy, and he should be able to keep Treylon Burks at least somewhat contained.
Personally, I think the best bet here is the under. Arkansas needs to be able to run the ball to be effective, and I don’t know how they do that against Georgia. If they’re not running the ball, will they be able to get that explosive passing game going, especially if Burks is being blanketed? And if Arkansas is the best defense that Georgia has faced since the opener, are they going to look more like the team that managed three points with their offense?
And since I do like the under, I think that the value lies on the Razorbacks. 17.5 points is a lot of points in a game that I think will be played in the teens or 20s. A dominant, 24-7 Georgia win would be very good for Arkansas backers, and I think that’s what we get.