No. 2 Georgia travels to No. 18 Auburn in a SEC cross-over matchup at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on CBS, and this is the latest chapter in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, which dates back to 1892.
Georgia (5-0) continues to dominate with a defense that ranks first in the FBS in total yards (177.8) and points per game (4.6). Quarterback JT Daniels has missed two games with an oblique injury, and if he can’t go Stetson Bennett will be pressed into action again.
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Auburn (4-1) also has quarterback intrigue. Bo Nix and T.J. Finley could both see time in a game the Tigers need to stay in the SEC West and College Football Playoff picture. Auburn is on a two-game winning streak, but those victories were uneven performances against Georgia State and LSU.
With that in mind, here is everything bettors need to know for the matchup between the Bulldogs and Tigers:
Georgia vs. Auburn odds
- Spread: Georgia -16.5
- Over/under: 47.5
- Moneyline: Georgia -950, Auburn +590
Three trends to know
— Georgia has outscored its last two opponents 99-0. The Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS this season. Georgia is 14-6 ATS as a road favorite under Smart since 2016.
— The Bulldogs have won the last four meetings in the series by an average of 18.3 points per game. Auburn’s last victory against Georgia was a 40-17 blowout at Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2017, which the Bulldogs avenged in the SEC championship game.
— Auburn is 3-2 ATS this season and is an underdog for the third time this season. The Tigers are 25-4 S/U at home since 2017. The Bulldogs won the last meeting at Jordan-Hare Stadium 21-14.
Three things to watch
— Who are the QBs? Bennett is an experienced backup who can fill in for Daniels. Bennett has completed 70.7 percent of his passes this season, but his career split (59.4%, 5 TDs, 6 INTs) is a concern. Nix and Finley have combined to hit 56.8% of their passes this season. Nix has averaged 45 passing attempts in his last two starts against Georgia, but that’s come with just one TD and one interception.
— Auburn’s running game. Jarquez Hunter and Tank Bigsby have to keep the Tigers on schedule against a Georgia defense that allows just 2.4 yards per rushing attempt. The Bulldogs average six tackles for loss per game, and Adam Anderson (4.5 TFL) and Nakobe Dean (4.0 TFL) have been disruptive all season. The Tigers cannot abandon the run, even if it isn’t hitting early.
— Georgia’s receivers. Auburn has been good against the running game too by allowing just 2.5 yards per carry. Georgia’s young group of receivers was not asked to do much against Arkansas last week. Tight end Brock Bowers has been the leading receiver, but the trio of Jermaine Burton, Adonai Mitchell and Ladd McConkey have formed a committee of sorts. Auburn cornerbacks Roger McCreary and Smoke Monday have combined for three interceptions.
Stat that matters
Georgia has allowed just 10.2 first downs per game. Army led the FBS at 13.7 last season. That ability to dominate a game with defense is rare in college football now, but the Bulldogs have that. That puts the pressure on Auburn’s first-year coach Bryan Harsin to be a little more aggressive early in the game.
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Georgia vs. Auburn prediction
Even more remarkable is that Georgia has allowed six points through the first three quarters. The other 17 points were scored in the fourth quarter, which has been mop-up duty for the most part. This defense is dominant, and Nix will try the short passing game early to open up a few running lanes for Bigsby and Hunter. Georgia, however, will control the tempo with its running game. Zamir White and James Cook aren’t flashy, but both will score in the first half. The Bulldogs will cruise from there in the second half.
Final score: Georgia 31, Auburn 12