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Sugar Bowl preview – Texas Longhorns vs. Georgia Bulldogs

Texas vs. Georgia – 8:45 PM EST, Tuesday, January 1, at Mercedes-Benz Superdome New Orleans, LA

Betting Line: Georgia -12.5
Over/Under: 58 points at 888 Sportsbook

This is a game of what could have been for both teams. Texas beat Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry game during the season, but lost to them in the Big 12 title game. For Georgia, they lost to top-ranked and loaded Alabama in the SEC title game giving the Crimson Tide their closes game of the season and the loss kept the Bulldogs out of the BCS semifinals.

The Bulldogs are solid on both sides of the ball led by QB Jake Fromm leading a UGA offense that averaged a legit 39.2 points per game. They also had the nation’s 13th ranked defense led by a slew of stars including Thorpe Award winner Deandre Baker. The Bulldogs are the bigger favorite in this game because they were better on both sideds of the ball not only averaging over 39 points per game, but also only giving up on average of 18 points per game. On the other side of the coin Texas averaged 31.2 points per game and gave up an average of 26.2 points per game.

These two teams have not met since the 1984 season.

AMERICAN FOOTBALL BETTING GUIDES, TEAMS AND MARKETS

This season Texas is 9-4 SU with an ATS record of 5-7-1`and an O/U record of 6-7 and Georgia is 11-2 SU with an ATS record of 8-5 and an O/U record of 6-5-2.

Sam Ehlinger leads the Texas offense and for the season he passed for 3,123 yards with 25 touchdowns and only five interceptions. He has a great wide receiver duo in Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Collin Johnson, who combined for 2.054 yards on the season and 16 touchdowns. The Longhorns did not have a great run game on the season, but Tre Watson and Keaontay Ingram each rushed for over 680 yards.

The Bulldogs are stacked in the secondary and only gave up an average of 180.5 passing yards per game. Overall, Georgia’s defense ranked 16th against the pass and 29th against the run. Can the Longhorns run on the Bulldogs? Can Ehlinger get the ball to his top targets facing the best secondary he has faced this season? Both big questions.

Georgia lit it up this season before their crushing defeat in the SEC title game losing to Alabama 35-28. They gave up 14 points in the fourth quarter while not scoring any and while they had more overall yards than the Tide (354 to 403) and forced two turnovers while not forcing any they could not hold Alabama down in the fourth quarter.

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Fromm had a solid season under center, but the strength of the Bulldogs is in their run game. D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield rushed for 1,037 yards and 956 rushing yards, respectively, and each averaged over 6.4 yards per carry.

While the Bulldogs like to run they may want Fromm to air it out more in this bowl game. Texas ranked a respectable 34th in the nation defending the run, but against the pass they only ranked 114th out of 129 FBS teams. In their loss to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game the Longhorns gave up 508 yards with 379 of those yards coming in the air. However, in that game they were facing Oklahoma’s Heisman winning quarterback in Kyler Murray.

Texas Longhorns betting trends

  • 5-2 ATS in their last seven neutral site games
  • 13-6-2 ATS in their last 21 games facing a team with a winning record
  • 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine games after a loss
  • Under record of 4-1 in their last five bowl games

Georgia Bulldogs betting trends

  • 5-1 ATS in their last six games
  • 4-1 ATS in their last five bowl games/li>
  • 7-3 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games
  • 4-0 ATS in their last four games after a loss
  • Over record of 4-1-2 in their last seven games

Texas vs. Georgia Prediction

The spread reflects Georgia being the better team, as they not only had fewer losses (2-4) than Texas, but played in a tougher SEC conference. Still, will the Bulldogs be fired up for this game? It is BCS playoffs or bust for them so this game may be a little bit of a disappointment. Conversely, Texas is playing in their first New Year’s Six bowl game since the format came about in 2014.

Still, the Bulldogs will have their way on the ground and they will play great defense. Add those things up and you get a Georgia win in this Sugar Bowl and they will also cover the double-digit spread.

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