Tennessee vs Georgia Prediction: Against the Spread Best Bet, Week 10

This season I’ll be breaking down a few of college football’s biggest games each week and giving out at least one bet I like from each matchup. 

Let’s take a look at this week’s College Game Day matchup between Georgia and Tennessee. 

Tennessee vs Georgia Spread, current line:

Tennessee vs Georgia Best Bet Prediction:

I like two bets in this matchup 一 take the points and bet Tennessee against the spread, and also take the over on Tennessee’s team total at 29.5 points. 

» Bet it now: Tennessee +8  

When Tennessee is on Offense

Tennessee plays at the seventh-fastest pace in the country (21.3 seconds per play). 

In addition to playing fast, Tennessee gets the ball out quickly in the passing game. Hendon Hooker uses a traditional dropback of three or more steps at the nation’s lowest rate (9.5%). 

The Vols’ quick passing game likely negates Georgia’s ability to generate pressure. 

Georgia ranks seventh in opponent-adjusted pressure rate, but take a look at its pressure rates generated by dropback type, per Sports Info Solutions:

  • vs. traditional dropbacks: 52.4% (ranked 2nd in FBS)
  • vs. non-traditional dropbacks: 13.1% (ranked 112th)

Based on opponent-adjusted pressure rate allowed, Tennessee protects its quarterbacks better than any team in the country, so we should not expect the Georgia defense to consistently put pressure on Hooker. 

It’s also worth noting Georgia has only played one other team ranking in the top 25 of non-traditional dropback rate. That was Kent State, which was surprisingly effective, averaging 8.5 yards per pass attempt 一 the highest rate Georgia has allowed this season. 

In the run game, Georgia’s defense may hold an advantage based on these opponent-adjusted numbers from Sports Info Solutions:

  • Tennessee ranks 38th in yards before contact
  • Georgia ranks second in yards before contact allowed

However, Tennessee’s offense spreads defenses out and allows its ball carries to run into a light box on 68% of attempts (22nd highest rate in FBS), per Sports Info Solutions. 

The only other team Georgia has faced that forces defenses into light boxes at a higher rate is Kent State. Some key numbers for Kent State running backs in that game:

  • 4.1 yards per attempt (3rd highest allowed by Georgia)
  • 2.0 yards before contact per attempt (2nd highest allowed)
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When Georgia is on Offense

Georgia is traditionally known for its run game, but this has become a pass-centric offense. According to Campus2Canton, Georgia throws the ball at a 54% clip in neutral game situations, the 14th highest rate among Power Five schools. 

Stetson Bennett should expect to face a high blitz rate against Tennessee, which blitzes at the nation’s eighth-highest rate (39.9%). The Vols have also upped their blitz rate in big games, most notably blitzing at a 50% rate against Alabama, per Sports Info Solutions. 

The blitz could affect Georgia’s ability to generate explosive plays, as Bennett has been less aggressive against the blitz. 

Here’s a look at Bennett’s numbers with and without the blitz, via Sports Info Solutions:

Avg Depth of ThrowYds/AttComp%Pressure Rate
vs Blitz6.66.363%33%
No Blitz8.99.769%13%

In the run game, expect Tennessee’s defense to have a slight edge due to these opponent-adjusted numbers from Sports Info Solutions:

  • Georgia ranks 30th in yards before contact
  • Tennessee ranks third in yards before contact allowed

Georgia has faced one other team ranked in the top 10 in opponent-adjusted yards before contact: Missouri. 

Georgia trailed for almost the entirety of the game against Missouri, in part because of these run-game numbers for the Bulldogs’ running backs:

  • Hit at or behind the line of scrimmage on 52% of carries
  • Stuffed for zero or negative yards on 24% of carries

Both of those numbers were season highs for Georgia, by a wide margin. 

Tennessee typically does not stack the box against the run, partially because it hasn’t been necessary. The Vols are allowing 3.9 rushing yards per attempt with a light box, the 10th lowest rate in the nation, per Sports Info Solutions. 

Final Thoughts on Tennessee vs Georgia Best Bets

The similarities between Kent State and Tennessee’s offense are hard to ignore, and Tennessee has the talent to exploit those weaknesses in the Georgia defense to a much higher degree. 

Tennessee’s offense should do its usual damage, so the over on the Vols’ team total (29.5 points) looks like a strong bet, in addition to taking the points against the spread.

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