As you may have heard by now, it isn’t every day that the top two teams in college football face each other – especially during the regular season.
The media hype is off the charts for Saturday’s SEC tilt between the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (8-0 SU, 4-4 ATS) and the No. 2 Tennessee Volunteers (8-0 SU, 7-1 ATS). It’s the first 1-2 matchup outside of the National Championship since 2011.
I hope I’m not spoiling the excitement by recommending yet another underdog-under parlay. It’s just the right thing to do, with Tennessee getting 8.5 points on the NCAAF odds board at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review), and the total pegged at 66. Let’s do this.
Tennessee Volunteers vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Saturday, November 5, 2022 – 03:30 PM EDT at Sanford Stadium
Didn’t You Fade Tennessee Last Week?
Yes, and that didn’t quite work out for our college football picks. The Volunteers were too chalky as 13-point home faves versus the Kentucky Wildcats. As it turned out, the line moved to -10 before kick-off, and we would have sided with the Vols at that price. Anyway, final score: Kentucky 6 - Tennessee 44.
We did cash in the under, though, which held steady at 63.5 points. Kentucky’s anemic offense did its part, but even though they failed to contain Tennessee (Over 5-3) at the other end, this game didn’t come close to reaching that total.
Put the Bulldogs (Under 5-2-1) in Kentucky’s place, and points should be even harder to come by this Saturday. Georgia went into Week 9 with the nation’s best defense, according to the F+ Ratings at Football Outsiders. They do not concede yardage anywhere on the gridiron without a fight.
Didn’t Georgia Cash the Over Last Week?
Wow, tough crowd. Yes, the Bulldogs let the Florida Gators mount a second-half comeback last week, one that fell short in a 42-20 final. We had Under 57 in our Week 9 NCAAF picks. The “official” close was 56.5 points, but that half-point didn’t end up mattering.
The Gators (+23 away) still did enough to beat the spread, so once again, the underdogs and the under canceled each other out. And much like we think the under will get an added boost with Georgia replacing Kentucky, the underdog Volunteers might have even more betting value than Florida did.
We can’t ignore that Tennessee offense and the total, though. Said offense was No. 2 on last week’s F+ charts, behind only the Ohio State Buckeyes in terms of efficiency. Although we thought the Under was the tastier side of this parlay against Kentucky, it looks like the underdog has more legs this week against Georgia.
What Do the Sharps Say?
They definitely agree on the Volunteers – most of them, anyway. The BMR consensus reports at press time show 84% of early bettors on Tennessee, driving the Vols down from +9 at the open. That half-point came off the board while I was writing this, too. It’s a cruel and unjust world.
As for the total, it hasn’t been on the college football odds board as long as the spread, but the Over is still showing 100% consensus in that limited survey, causing a slight increase in the total from 65.5 points. All the more reason to place more confidence (and a larger bet) on Tennessee rather than go for the parlay, should you prefer that route.
It also doesn’t look like our under bet will get much help from the weather. Saturday’s forecast calls for overcast skies over Sanford Stadium and game-time temperatures in the mid-70s, with light breezes up to 10 mph from end zone to end zone.
The Final Verdict
We still like both sides of the underdog-under combo, though. To give you an example of what the models are projecting, Jeff Sagarin at The USA Today likes Georgia to win this game by 4-8 points, depending on which of his formulae you look at. And Sagarin has the ‘Dawgs and Vols combining for 51.65 points.
That combined score is definitely on the lower end of the range, mind you. Something closer to 65 points appears to be more likely, which doesn’t leave us much room for anything larger than a recreational bet on the total.
Sagarin’s spread projection is definitely closer to the other data points we’re looking at. The standard one-unit bet should be perfectly cromulent here, so bet accordingly, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.
NCAAF Pick: Tennessee +8.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports
NCAAF Pick: Under 66 (-108) at Heritage Sports
*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.