Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:15 AM EST.
7:30 PM EST. As a 13-point choice against Appalachian State last week, the Bulldogs won (and covered) 31-10. When talking about misleading scores in the first week of the season, look no further than this one. Georgia had 148 yards through the air while App State had 147 yards. The Bulldogs had 221 yards on the ground to the Mountaineers 136 but average yards per rush was much closer. The big discrepancy was in penalties yards, as App State was nailed for 120 yards in penalties while Georgia was nailed for a mere 46 yards. Trust us when we tell you that it was not an even playing field, as Georgia got every call, phantom or not. The Bulldogs had just 18 first downs the entire game, their backup QB, who will start today, looked dreadful and they’ll now go into South Bend as the 15th ranked team in the country taking back some points.
Notre Dame closed as a 19-point favorite last week against Temple and scored early and often to put the Owls far in the distance in a 49-16 victory. The Irish racked up 606 yards and seemed to do it with such ease. The market, however, liked what they saw with Georgia’s running game and defense and has reacted accordingly.
Our outlook on Kirby Smart's Georgia program is and has been one of general optimism, but the Dawgs look to be a year or two of quarterback development, offensive line recruiting and general depth-building away from becoming a legitimate top 10 team. For all the setbacks Notre Dame has had in Brian Kelly's eight years in South Bend, and despite two new coordinators in 2017, this is a more mature organization that is closer to the finished product envisioned when the head coach took over than Georgia is in Year 2 under Smart. The 41-year old's Year 1 nonconference resume includes hard-fought wins over North Carolina and TCU along with a narrow loss to Georgia Tech, none of which were in the opponent's stadium and none of which involved facing the kind of talent that Notre Dame has collected. Even if you think Georgia's roster is ahead of schedule, or don't believe that Notre Dame will be that resurgent this year, you should be asking whether you're sure that the 30,000-foot view agrees that this Georgia program is quite ready to take to the road and win an intersectional game of this magnitude. From our standpoint, they are not.
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#380 NOTRE DAME -4½ -110 (Risking 2.2 units - To Win: 2.00)