Georgia is an extremely well-balanced squad that is averaging 45.5 points per game and 491 total yards at 8.3 yards per play offensively, while limiting opponents to just 13.5 points per game and 273 total yards at 4.2 yards per play defensively. New offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, the son of long-time NFL head coach Marty Schottenheimer, has the Bulldogs’ offense running on all cylinders behind one of college football’s best offensive lines (4 returning starters with 78 career starts).
One area in which the media has been ignoring is the production by Georgia running back Nick Chubb, who some have proclaimed to be the Bulldogs best rusher since Herschel Walker. After garnering 131 rushing yards and two touchdowns against Southern last week, Chubb has now rushed for at least 100 yards in twelve consecutive games, which is one shy of Walker’s school record. Chubb is averaging 149.8 rushing yards per game at 8.4 yards per carry this season, and he owes that success, in part, to Georgia’s elite offensive line.
Overall, Georgia has been 1.7 yards per rush play, 2.4 yards per pass play and 1.8 yards per play better than average offensively in 2015, which is certainly good enough to move the chains against one of college football’s best stop units. Alabama is limiting opponents to 17.5 points per game and 267 total yards at 3.9 yards per play, which is an incredible 2.2 yards per play better than average defensively. Based on the numbers alone, it’s a fairly even matchup from the line of scrimmage when Georgia has the ball, although the Crimson Tide do possess a nominal advantage.
Georgia also fields a very good defense that ranks in the top 30 of my power rankings in every relevant category (both currently and prior to the season starting). The Bulldogs are in their second year of defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt’s schemes and boast one of the best linebacking corp. in the country.
After allowing 29.0 points per game in 2013, Pruitt arrived in Athens and developed a defensive unit that improved to 20.7 points per game last season. Entering Saturday’s contest, the Bulldogs have been 0.6 yards per rush attempt, 0.6 yards per pass attempt and 0.6 yards per play better than average defensively, and I only expect the unit to get better each week.
Alabama will likely keep the ball on the ground where they have a decent advantage because Georgia should have success shutting down the Tide’s pass attack that is 0.5 yards per play better than average. Alabama is averaging 202 rushing yards per game at 5.3 yards per carry against teams that would combine to allow just 3.8 yards per rush play to mediocre offensive squads. Being 1.5 yards per rush play better than average is good enough to have success against a Georgia front seven that has been 0.6 yards per play better than average against the run.
From a technical standpoint, Georgia is a profitable 5-2 ATS in its last seven games versus teams with a winning record and 4-0 ATS in its last four games after failing to cover the spread, whereas the Crimson Tide are just 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games, 2-5 ATS off a win, 2-5 ATS versus teams with a winning record and 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a blowout win by twenty or more points. Take Georgia as Oskeim Sports’ free college football best bet and invest with confidence.
Oskeim Sports Free College Football Pick: Georgia (-2)