Appalachian State at Georgia
Saturday, 3:15 pm PT
CRIS Opener: Georgia -13.5 O/U 47
CRIS Current: Georgia -14.5 O/U 45.5
A lot of respect being thrown Appalachian State's way with Saturday's pointspread a full touchdown less than last year's Week 1 game at Tennessee. Of course, the Mountaineers nearly pulled the upset as the Vols were lucky to get away with a 20-13 overtime win.
While I don't necessarily have Appalachian State on my list of "bet against" teams to start the season, Georgia certainly qualifies as "bet on." The Bulldogs return starting quarterback Jacob Eason who is primed to be one of the better signal callers in the SEC. Aiding in that progression is a plethora of skill position talent. Last season, Georgia averaged a modest 24.5 ppg. I project them to increase their scoring average by 4-5 points.
But more important is UGA's defense which has a chance to be an elite-level unit with as many as 10 returning starters including their entire defensive line. And the opportunity is there for them to put the clamps on Appalachian State's offense. Over the last three seasons, against power conference foes Tennessee, Miami, Clemson and Michigan, the Mountaineers averaged 11.8 ppg and never surpassed two touchdowns.
Appalachian State has a handful of SEC-caliber players but Georgia is loaded this year on both sides of the ball and with an above average defense and the potential to be much improved offensively, this price is one worth laying.