SEC Championship Game predictions (and bets)
We have finally arrived at Championship Weekend which means it’s time for the final picks of the season.
If you missed this column the first few weeks of the season, SDS news desk editor Michael Bratton (@MichaelWBratton) and SDS Podcast co-host Chris Marler (@VerneFUNquist) make their weekly predictions for every game involving SEC teams.
Michael went 6-3 against the spread last weekend to bring his season total to 49-45-2 ATS. Chris also went 6-3 to bring his season total to 47-45-3 ATS.
Here is how the guys predict the 2019 SEC Championship Game:
LSU (-7) vs. Georgia * in Atlanta
Michael: This game just screams sucker bet to me for some reason. The public is always going to favor the team with the explosive and fun offense led by the likely Heisman Trophy winner but as cliche as it sounds, defense really does win championships. This is a classic showdown of the SEC’s best offense against the league’s best defense (statistically speaking) but will LSU be able to manage a hard-fought, low scoring game if the explosive plays don’t work in this game?
Auburn had success slowing down LSU’s offense and Georgia could have similar success if the Bulldogs can consistently matchup in coverage when the Tigers spread out the field. The biggest question for me heading into this matchup is the health of D’Andre Swift. If he’s anything close to 100 percent, Georgia can win this game. Jake Fromm has struggled at times this season but these are the type of games he seems to shine in the most.
Georgia is the team with more to play for in this game. The Bulldogs have to win this game for their national championship hopes to continue. Kirby Smart and his team have more big-game experience. The crowd will likely favor the Bulldogs considering this game is in Atlanta. All these things could play a difference come Saturday.
Having said all of that, I’ll take LSU to hang on for the win but they won’t cover on Saturday.
LSU 24 Georgia 20
Chris: Another year and another Top 5 matchup in Atlanta with the winner punching a ticket to the CFP. This should be a great matchup between what is, in my opinion, the best offense and defense in the country respectively. The key to this game seems pretty obvious: can UGA actually stop LSU’s offense AND can they actually start their own. UGA’s offense has struggled mightily during the second half of the season. However, they face an LSU defense that has allowed 37 points or more in 4 of 5 games away from Death Valley this season.
Regardless, the Dawgs have put up over 400 yards and 27+ points just once in their last 6 games, and Jake Fromm has completed less than 50% of his passes in 4 consecutive games. Yikes. The good news is that UGA is used to these games, as Jake Fromm has played in 5 SECCG or NY6/CFP Games in his career, and this will also be the 7th time in 11 years that Kirby has been on the sideline for the title game in Atlanta.
I love this UGA defense, and I love that Vegas isn’t buying into all the hype for another LSU blowout. And, I’ve spent hours trying to research and convince myself some miracle stat that will make me believe they can win. But, the bottom line is this: UGA is last in the SEC in INT’s (which they’ll need to force) and this offense has been less threatening than Ned Flanders in an MMA octagon. UGA won’t be able to keep up with this LSU offense and all their weapons that even against 4 Top 40 defenses have averaged 533 yards and over 40 points per game.
On the bright side UGA fans…Bama still lost.
LSU 38 Georgia 30