Tennessee is having one of its best seasons in many fans’ lifetimes. Meanwhile, Georgia looks as dominant as they were last year despite losing practically the entire defense. This matchup will determine who goes to the SEC Championship and takes over the top spot in the national rankings.
This is going to be one of the best games of the year. Hendon Hooker will be looking to have another Heisman moment, and Georgia wants to strengthen its grip as the best team in college football.
Can the Vols shock the world again and win this game? Can Georgia do something to stop one of the best offenses in college football? This matchup will be interesting, and here is what you need to know before betting on this game at the best sportsbooks.
Tennessee Volunteers vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Saturday, November 5, 2022 – 03:30 PM EDT at Sanford Stadium
“Voters Remember November”
While Hendon Hooker had an elite performance against Alabama, he still hasn’t solidified his stake as the Heisman frontrunner. There is a saying in college football. Voters remember November. When it comes to the Heisman Trophy, you have to win it in the month of November.
You can lose the award with poor performances in September and October, but a true Heisman moment has to come in the month of November. We can look at Joe Burrow’s win over the Tide in 2019. We can look at how Derrick Henry performed against Leonard Fournette’s Tigers in 2015. The Camback in the Iron Bowl counts.
All of these moments happened in November, and it makes sense. Games matter more as the regular season comes to an end, so it makes sense that you get crowned the best player in college football when moments matter more.
So, will this be Hooker’s Heisman moment? A win would certainly be more than enough for him to become the frontrunner. Tennessee would have to keep winning, but betting on Hooker to win the Heisman becomes a lot less valuable after this game if he wins. His odds will drop significantly.
Georgia’s Stifling Defense
Georgia had the best defense in college football last year, and it was not particularly close. The Bulldogs lost the top overall pick in the NFL Draft. They also lost Nakobe Dean, Quay Walker, Jordan Davis, Channing Tindall, Devonte Wyatt, and Lewis Cine.
Somehow, this Bulldogs’ defense has not skipped a beat. Turnovers are not as common, but the Bulldogs remain fundamentally sound. Despite losing so many starters, this group can limit opponents to just 10 points a game.
The real battle will be between Georgia’s defense and Tennessee’s potent offense. However, Georgia’s defense doesn’t win by forcing turnovers or sacks. They only have 9 turnovers and 10 sacks over 8 games, which is incredibly low when you consider how successful they’ve been.
So, what are the keys to a victory for either team?
Keys in This Game
What Tennessee Needs to Do
For Tennessee, the defense has to step up. You can’t expect the offense to carry you like they have in most games this year. That is unsustainable against this stout of a defense.
Georgia’s offense is efficient, but it lacks true explosion. You can win by bottling them up and avoiding massive plays. However, Stetson Bennett is capable of making you pay if you have a lapse in coverage.
What Georgia Needs to Do
For Georgia, you need to force mistakes. Tennessee almost lost to Alabama due to some late errors, but Alabama made more mistakes in that game.
With the home crowd, Georgia needs to have more game-shifting plays swing their favor.
Georgia remains the favorite at the NCAAF odds despite Tennessee’s meteoric rise this season. While a Georgia win is still in the cards, getting a spread over a touchdown is huge for a team with so much momentum.
Tennessee can easily keep this to a one-score game. In fact, they can win outright. With the way Hendon Hooker looks, don’t be surprised if the Vols come out of Athens with a win. At the very least, give me Tennessee to cover the spread.
In terms of the points, getting something in the mid-60s is a bit high for me. I like the Under to hit. This could take a while before either team gets into a rhythm, so give me the Under in a one-score game.
NCAAF Pick: Tennessee +8.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
NCAAF Pick: Under 66.5 (-110) at BetMGM