Georgia Stumbles Saturday, But College Football Title Odds Barely Tumble for Bulldogs
Posted on: October 13, 2019, 06:24h.
Last updated on: October 14, 2019, 10:23h.
The first major upset of the college football season took place on Saturday, when South Carolina went down to Georgia and beat the Bulldogs between the hedges at Sanford Stadium. However, the 20-17 double-overtime loss may not be as catastrophic as it would appear for the SEC power.
Yes, the unranked Gamecocks were 21-point underdogs to the (then) third-ranked team in the country. However, the Bulldogs (5-1, 2-1 SEC East) still control their own destiny. The now No. 10 team in the Associated Press poll has games in the first two weeks of November against Florida, the current No. 9 team in the AP poll, and No. 22 Missouri.
Both of those teams are currently ahead of the Dogs in the East. If they win both of those, they’ll likely represent the SEC East in the conference championship game in December.
There’s also a game on Nov. 16 at No. 11 Auburn that now becomes a must-win for the Dogs if they harbor any national title hopes. If they indeed run that gauntlet, they’ll in all likelihood be 11-1, with a chance to face either Alabama or LSU – either of whom will likely be undefeated and possibly the No. 1 team in the country – in Atlanta for the SEC title.
“This is when you find out about yourself,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said after Saturday’s loss. “You look in the mirror and say, ‘What can I do better?’ As coaches and leaders of the team, we’ve got to do what helps our guys. … We’ll learn from it. If you let it linger, South Carolina beats you twice. Everything we want to achieve is still in front of us. We’ll work to get better.”
Down, But Not Out
Because Georgia still has a realistic, albeit tough, path to the playoffs, oddsmakers did not lengthen the team’s odds to win the college football national title by much.
At FanDuel, the Bulldogs started the weekend at +800, the fourth choice on its board. On Sunday, they were +1200, the board’s fifth choice. Those odds are still shorter than Oklahoma (+1600), Wisconsin (+2500), and Penn State (+6000), all of whom are undefeated.
Earlier this season, Caesars Sportsbook listed the Bulldogs at +550, the third-shortest odds on its board. After Saturday’s loss, Georgia now fetches +1500, shorter odds than all but six teams.
In the end, this loss won’t matter if Georgia runs the table,” Rex Beyers, a Caesars senior sports trader, tweeted Saturday. “Beat Florida, win SEC title game to get to 12-1, make playoffs.”
Georgia’s odds at other sportsbooks are +1200 at DraftKings, FOXBet, and PlaySugarHouse/BetRivers. At BetAmerica and ResortsCasino.com, the Bulldogs are +1800.
Clemson, Alabama Remain Heavy Favorites
Clemson and Alabama remain the two favorites for the college football title. FanDuel lists Clemson, the defending national champs, at +175, with the Crimson Tide next at +230. At FOXBet, the Tigers are +195, while Alabama is +230.
Both teams are undefeated, and while the polls have ‘Bama ranked higher, Clemson has by far the easier path to the playoffs, thanks to a less-than-challenging ACC schedule. No other ACC teams are ranked in the AP poll this week.
LSU, which vaulted to No. 2 in the AP poll over Clemson this week thanks to its win over Florida Saturday, is +1000 at FanDuel. However, they’re +625 at BetAmerica and +700 at FOXBet and DraftKings.
Alabama will host LSU on Nov. 2.
The third choice at most books is undefeated Ohio State. The Buckeyes are +500 at BetAmerica and Resorts; +600 at DraftKings, PlaySugarHouse, and FOXBet; and +700 at FanDuel.