Georgia Bulldogs at Auburn Tigers 10/9/21 Betting Pick
The Georgia Bulldogs put an absolute thumping on no. 8 Arkansas last week in a 37-0 blowout between the hedges. Personally, I was surprised to see the Bulldogs' offense generate so much success as I believed the Bulldogs' offensive inconsistency may be their Achilles Heel in 2021. Instead, the Bulldogs posted a 2nd straight shutout and created plenty of scoring opportunities on the heels of another outstanding defensive performance. By now, it is abundantly clear that Georgia and Alabama are the top two teams in the nation and perhaps by a wide margin. The 2nd ranked Bulldogs will look to continue their success on Saturday with a road trip to Jordan-Hare Stadium for a date with the no. 18 Auburn Tigers.
Auburn pulled out a tough 24-19 victory over LSU in Baton Rouge last week. Quarterback Bo Nix threw for 255 yards with a touchdown and added another 74 yards with a touchdown on the ground. Meanwhile, Auburn's defense did just enough to hold LSU to just 19 points despite a 325-yard passing effort by quarterback Max Johnson. The good news for Auburn is that the pass defense will get a much better match-up this week against a Georgia team that focuses heavily on running the football. The bad news is that the Bulldogs are among the best rushing teams in the SEC and have tremendous size in the trenches where these games are often won and lost. While Auburn does have a strong run defense allowing just 84 yards per game, can we trust the Tigers as 14.5 point underdogs?
QB JT Daniels doubtful against Auburn
One of the main storylines heading into Georgia's trip to Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday revolves around the availability of starting quarterback JT Daniels. Daniels won the starting job at the beginning of the year over senior Stetson Bennett. However, Daniels was held out of last week's win against Arkansas with a lat injury. Early week reports have his availability in doubt again ahead of this week's showdown at Auburn. Head Coach Kirby Smart said the team was preparing to start Bennett as Daniels' status remains uncertain. From a handicapping standpoint, the difference between Daniels and Bennett is noticeable but not to a huge degree. Both quarterbacks are game managers with limitations, and while I would definitely agree Daniels is the more reliable option, I don't expect Bennett to create any huge difference behind center in terms of game script or match-up options.
Georgia Bulldogs vs. Auburn Tigers Betting Analysis
In reality, I think the storyline around Daniels' availability has taken away some of the attention around the real quarterback issue going into Saturday's match-up, which surrounds Auburn QB Bo Nix. Despite the win at LSU last week, Nix was far from reliable, hitting just 23 of 44 passes on the afternoon. Nix found ways to make things happen with his legs which ended up being critical to Auburn's victory. However, bettors should not forget that Nix was benched in the 2nd half just two weeks ago against Georgia State. Nix has barely eclipsed the 50% passing mark on the season and now will go against the nation's best defense that has pitched two straight shutouts. Needless to say, this could be an extremely dangerous match-up for the erratic Nix.
In reality, I don't think either offense is going to force the issue this week. Both defenses are stout in this match-up, and I would not be surprised to see both teams play the field position game. Bettors should expect a slower-paced game which typically helps the big underdog in most similar situations. However, I really don't have a lot of confidence in Auburn's offense at all. If they fall behind, or when that happens, they are going to have to attempt to throw the ball, and that is where I believe we will see the Bulldogs force some turnovers. In the end, I believe it will be the same story we have seen over the last several weeks, with Georgia cruising to another easy win. It may not look pretty, but the Bulldogs defense is going to win this battle which will create the scoring opportunities needed to cover.
I believe that the Dawgs' defense stands out here and that has me laying the points.