Champ Week is here. No time to celebrate our successful Week 13 college football picks here at the home office – okay, we’ll brag about Michigan vs. Ohio State for a moment – but the FBS regular season is over, and there are things even more important than The Game on our plate.
Take Saturday’s SEC Championship Game, for example. The undefeated No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (12-0 SU, 6-6 ATS), winners of the East Division and obvious favorites for this game at Georgia betting sites, will face the LSU Tigers (9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS), who will represent the West thanks to their Week 10 upset over Alabama.
That result speaks volumes for our intended NCAAF picks. We’re not saying the Tigers will win the SEC title, although they might; we’re just saying they’re worth a shot against the spread as 17.5-point underdogs on the NCAAF odds board at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review), up from +15 at the open.
Naturally, we also like the Under on that 51.5-point total at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review). You’ve been here before, you know the drill: The underdog and the Under make a tasty combo. Let’s do this.
LSU Tigers vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Saturday, December 3, 2022 – 04:00 PM EST at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Will the Roof Be Open at Mercedes-Benz Stadium?
They do have a retractable roof, don’t they? In theory, they can keep the roof open in Atlanta even if it’s raining just a little – which it should be at kick-off, according to Saturday’s forecast. But even though the rain is supposed to ease off around 04:00 PM EST, temperatures are also supposed to dip into the high 50s.
Then you have the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still a thing. They haven’t announced their plans yet on the official stadium website; the Under will obviously be a better bet if they keep it open. Either way, we’re only recommending a “recreational” wager for this total.
It was pretty close to being worth the standard 1-unit bet, though. As you may have read before in this space, Georgia (Under 7-4-1) has the best defense in college, as per the F+ charts at Football Outsiders. They’re also first overall at a mere 11.3 points allowed per game.
LSU, meanwhile, has split the totals at 6-6 this year, but they’re also a solid No. 12 in defensive F+, compared to No. 20 on offense (Georgia check in at No. 11). And when these same two teams met at the 2019 title game, it was the Tigers winning 37-10 (Under 57) as 7.5-point favorites at the NCAAF odds, also at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. I do believe the roof was closed that day.
Can LSU Win With Jayden Daniels?
Okay, maybe the Tigers aren’t the same team they were when they won the National Championship after taking down Georgia. It’s Brian Kelly under the headset instead of Ed Orgeron, and it’s Jayden Daniels under center instead of Joe Burrow.
We can’t quite call it a wash. LSU almost certainly won’t be going to the College Football Playoff this year, but they’re still one of the best teams in college, and that’s despite entering the 2022-23 campaign unranked on the AP preseason charts.
Kelly’s coaching resume speaks for itself. On the other hand, Daniels was maybe the third choice for quarterback behind Myles Brennan and Garrett Nussmeier after transferring over from Arizona State. It was a close call for Kelly after all three performed well in camp, but Daniels got the gig.
Kelly has chosen… wisely. He might not win the Heisman Trophy as Burrow did, but Daniels has only thrown two picks this entire season, while tossing 15 touchdown passes and rushing for another 11. He’s arguably the biggest reason LSU has at least a smidge of betting value here.
Didn’t Daniels Hurt His Ankle Last Week?
He did indeed. Daniels was seen in a walking boot after the Tigers lost 38-23 to Texas A&M (+10 at home), a game that required Nussmeier to come in for some relief work. However, Sunday’s exam revealed that Daniels didn’t suffer the dreaded high-ankle sprain. We should know more Tuesday about his availability.
As we said earlier, there wasn’t much separation between Daniels and Nussmeier when it came to Kelly’s choice for this year’s starter. It’s hardly ideal that Daniels may end up playing at less than 100% this Saturday, but as with the total, we were going to recommend a fun-sized bet for the underdogs against the spread.
Size your wagers accordingly after you get the news on Daniels’s status, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.
NCAAF Pick: Under 51.5 (-110) at BetOnline
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.