On Saturday (11/18/23), Tennessee hosts Georgia in an SEC matchup with significant implications. In this article, find the latest betting odds for the game and a full matchup preview. In addition, find our best bet which is Georgia -10.
Georgia Bulldogs Vs. Tennessee Volunteers Prediction
Before this season began, I had questions about Georgia’s offense as the reigns passed from quarterback Stetson Bennett and offensive coordinator Todd Monken to Carson Beck and Mike Bobo. However, this version of the Bulldogs offense is arguably better than anything we saw under Bennett and Monken during the two championship runs.
Carson Beck has been excellent, and he’s coming off a season-high 12.2 yards per attempt against Ole Miss. Beck ranks third in the Power Five with an 81.1% adjusted completion rate per PFF. The Bulldogs support him with a terrifying skill position group now that it’s reached full health with Brock Bowers, Ladd McConkey, and Dominic Lovett terrorizing opposing defensive backs.
Tennessee could be down two key starters in the secondary as this week top cornerback Kamal Hadden is out for the year and safety Tamarion McDonald left the game last week during the first drive. The Volunteers have been slipping on the defensive end, and they’re down to 83rd in pass defense success rate allowed.
On the other side of the ball, I don’t see a consistent path to points for Tennessee here. Joe Milton has struggled to replicate Hendon Hooker’s success in Josh Heupel’s system, and it doesn’t help that the Vols are now missing wide receivers Bru McCoy and Dont’e Thornton for the rest of the year.
Tennessee heavily relies on the run, but last week’s showing was concerning as they generated just 83 yards on 23 carries (3.6 YPC) and ranked in the seventh percentile for EPA/rush. Jaylen Wright finished with just seven carries for 22 yards, and he’ll need a much more productive outing here to help Tennessee keep the score close.
Georgia is trending up as the season winds to a close and we prepare for postseason play, and Kirby Smart won’t let his team take a ranked game on the road lightly. Tennessee already would have been at a major disadvantage on both sides of the ball, but their injuries to key players have them in a precarious position. Georgia should win in a rout.
Georgia Vs. Tennessee Prediction: Notre Dame -7
Georgia Vs. Tennessee Best Odds
Georgia currently sits as a 10-point road favorite in this game, and that’s a key number so keep that in mind when placing a wager on either side here. The over/under sits at 58.5 points, leading to an implied score of around 34-24 in favor of the road Bulldogs. 59 is a key number for totals, and this has dipped just below that point.
Georgia Vs. Tennessee Key Matchups
When Georgia and Tennessee face off on Saturday, there will be some fascinating matchups to take stock of. Whether you’re invested in the futures market, betting on a side in this game, or looking to do some early NFL draft scouting, let’s break down some of the key matchups in this SEC battle.
Georgia’s Offensive Line Vs. Tennessee’s Pass Rush
If there’s any path to success for Tennessee in this game, it starts with knocking Carson Beck off schedule and putting him under pressure. The Georgia offensive line ranks second in pass-blocking per PFF, however, and the return of future NFL first round left tackle Amarius Mims last week should only help. Mims allowed no pressures on 20 pass-blocking snaps last week, and I expect his workload to be ramped up.
Tennessee’s ability to generate pressure has been a driving force behind its defensive success, and they rank 9th in PFF’s pass rush grades. James Pearce Jr. and Tyler Baron are a monster edge rushing duo, and they have combined for 74 pressures and 14 sacks per PFF. Pearce Jr., a true sophomore, ranks third in the Power Five with a 22.4% pass rush win rate and looks the part of a future NFL starter.
This is a weekly thing at this point. James Pearce Jr. continues to show why he’ll be a first rounder in the 2025 NFL Draft. And make no mistake about it, he’s not just a pass rusher… 🍊 pic.twitter.com/wsWw8sBgqW
— Benjy 🍊 (@benjyvol) October 15, 2023
Tennessee’s Run Game Vs. Georgia’s Run Defense
I broke it down somewhat up top, but Tennessee needs its run game to have a big afternoon to have any hope of keeping things close against Georgia. The Vols were held to just 55 rushing yards against Georgia last year, putting way too much pressure on Hooker to deliver. Tennessee has a path to success there, though, and Smart acknowledged as much, saying Tennessee has “the best stable of backs we’ve seen this year.”
Georgia hasn’t been elite against the run this season as they rank 94th in rushing EPA/play allowed. Of course, most opponents are forced to abandon the run anyways once Georgia builds a multi score lead, but the Bulldogs simply don’t have the same elite level of talent in the front seven as we’re used to. Still, defensive tackle Nazir Stackhouse has the ability to wreck a Tennessee run play on any given snap.
🚨 BIG MAN INTERCEPTION 🚨
Nazir Stackhouse’s return got called back but the Georgia crowd was ELECTRIC ⚡pic.twitter.com/vzXtvmH9xt
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) November 4, 2023