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Georgia Listed as 7-Point Favorite Over Baylor in Opening Sugar Bowl Odds

Georgia Bulldogs Quarterback Jake Fromm
Jake Fromm and the Georgia Bulldogs look to close the season with a win in the Sugar Bowl after coming up short in the SEC Championship. Photo by Tammy Anthony Baker / Wiki Commons [CC License].
  • Georgia and Baylor will meet in the Allstate Sugar Bowl January 1st
  • The Bulldogs lost 37-10 to LSU in the SEC championship game
  • Read below for our early analysis and line movement prediction

Jake Fromm and #5 Georgia (11-2) opened as heavy favorites against #7 Baylor (11-2) in the Sugar Bowl.

Allstate Sugar Bowl Odds

Team Spread at Betonline
#7 Baylor +7 (-120)
#5 Georgia -7 (+100)

*Odds taken Dec. 8th

If you like Baylor to win this football game you may want to jump on them while the opportunity is there to get a full touchdown before the line moves. Here’s a breakdown of why the spread could be closer come kick off.

Georgia Hit Hard by Injuries

Georgia was likely to lose the SEC championship anyways, but there is no denying the run of injuries they have is unlucky. Star running back D’Andre Swift was limited due to a nagging shoulder injury. When asked if he’d skip the bowl game with the NFL in his sights he was non-committal. The Bulldogs are now without wide receivers Lawrence Cager (fractured ankle), Dominick Blaylock (torn ACL) and Kearis Jackson (ankle).

As bad as those injuries are it doesn’t end there. Walter Grant, Jordan Davis and Michael Barnett are also injured. Inevitably a team with NFL talent like Georgia that is headed to a bowl game not included in the college football playoff will result in players sitting out for rest as well. Consider the roster the Bulldogs will field for the game and it’s tough to see them covering seven points.

Efficiency Rankings Project Close Game

Injury issues aside, even a healthy Georgia team isn’t a clear favorite over Baylor. The Bulldogs have the 23rd most efficient team on offense and fourth best on defense. The Bears rank 31st and seventh in those categories, showing it’s a slim margin between the two teams.

Bears Losses Look Better on the Resume

Baylor lost two games this season and both were to the Oklahoma Sooners, who are headed to the college football playoff. Those two losses came by a combined 10 points, showing they weren’t overmatched. Alternatively, Georgia’s two losses were much uglier. They were beat by 27 points in the SEC championship game against LSU and they also lost a head scratcher to South Carolina earlier in the year.

The Bulldogs won games against Notre Dame, Florida and Auburn, which need to be noted, but their ability to lose against opponents both good and bad needs to be considered.

Expect Bets on Baylor to Move Line Before Kickoff

Baylor almost beat Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship despite finishing the game with their third string quarterback. Charlie Brewer was ruled out with a head injury but is expected to play in the bowl game. Gerry Bohanon was extremely inefficient and Jacob Zeno ended up finishing the game.

Assuming Brewer plays, I’d call Baylor the healthier, more motivated team in this one and when it comes to bowl games, those are two things you always want on your side. Expect public money to trend in their direction once the game previews and injury updates start to pile up. If you want to bet on Georgia, the move is to wait until closer to kickoff.

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