Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: LSU vs. Georgia (12/3/2022) - Taking Vegas

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Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: LSU vs. Georgia (12/3/2022)

By Michael Savio
November 28, 2022
Photo by: CBS Sports

LSU Tigers vs Georgia Bulldogs (12/3 @ 4:00 PM EST)

Spread: Georgia -17.5
Money Line: LSU +615 / Georgia -850
Total: 50.5

Overview and Betting Info

The SEC Championship Game will take center stage Saturday afternoon as the LSU Tigers (9-3) take on the Georgia Bulldogs (12-0). This is their first meeting since 2019, and LSU has won four of the last five. This is the fourth time since 2003 that they will meet for the SEC Championship, with LSU winning three of them.

LSU is 7-5 against the spread this season and has covered four of their last six. They have gone over the total 6 times this season, including in five of their previous seven.

Georgia is 6-6 versus the spread but has failed to cover their last two games. They have gone over the total four times this year and alternated between overs and under in their previous seven games.

LSU Tigers

The Tiger’s offense is averaging 433 yards and 32 points per game, thanks to the play of quarterback Jayden Daniels. The ASU transfer has been a dual threat who has 2,566 passing yards, 824 rushing yards, and a total of 26 touchdowns. Though he is wearing a boot this week, LSU still hopes he will be good to suit up on Saturday. He is helped by top receiver Malik Nabers, who leads the team with 726 yards. The wideout is coming off back-to-back games with seven receptions. Keep an eye out for Jaray Jenkins and Brian Thomas Jr., who see limited passes but have combined for nine touchdowns on the year.

Jayden Daniels leads the team in rushing, but he’s surrounded by a talented backfield. Former walk-on Josh Williams leads all running backs with 481 yards and six touchdowns, stepping into the starter role after Armoni Goodwin was injured. Williams has missed the last couple of weeks but is expected to play on Saturday. He will join Noah Cain (124 yards and 3 TD in last 2 games) and John Emery Jr (4 TD over the previous 2 games), who has filled in during his absence.

The LSU defense is fifth in the SEC, allowing 347 yards and 21 points per game. The unit has been solid all season but disappeared last week against the lowly Aggies, who scored 38 points. They were absolutely torched on the ground by Devon Achane, who went for 215 yards and two touchdowns. We had not seen it from the defense all season, so there is reason to hope, but Georgia’s offense will provide a much tougher test this weekend. If the Tigers want to win, they’ll need to find a way to generate some turnovers and keep the ball in Jayden Daniel’s hands.

Georgia Bulldogs

The reigning National Champions have an offense that is third in the SEC with 488 yards and 28 points per game. They are led by quarterback Stetson Bennett who has 3,151 yards and 16 touchdowns. He is surrounded by a deep receiving corps led by tight end Brock Bowers and receiver Ladd McConkey. Bowers leads the team with 645 yards and five touchdowns, but he has failed to surpass 41 yards over his last four games, likely due to the return of Darnell Washington. Both tight ends are talented pass-catchers and form one of the best duos in the country. Georgia has a lot of receivers they use, but McConkey (606 yards, 4 TD) is by far Bennet’s favorite of the group. LSU will need to find a way to stop all three on Saturday.

The Bulldogs have a fantastic running attack with Kenny McIntosh and Daijun Edwards leading the way. McIntosh leads the team with 654 yards and eight touchdowns and has been an effective receiver with 437 yards and one touchdown through the air. Edwards is close behind with 604 yards and seven touchdowns. While he played well last week, Edwards struggled to move the ball over his final three SEC games, averaging just 2.97 yards per carry during that stretch. They’ll be up against a defense that allowed 274 rushing yards to the Aggies last week.

As well as the offense has played, the defense is the big reason the Bulldogs currently sit atop the CFP rankings. They are first in the SEC with 270 yards and 11 points per game. The unit has allowed an FBS-best 13 touchdowns through their 12 games this season. Their schedule has been easy, facing just two teams that were ranked at the time. They are incredibly deep, and while linebackers Jamon Dumas-Johnson and Nolan Smith lead with three sacks, 15 Bulldogs have registered at least 0.5 sacks. The secondary has also had success, led by breakout freshman Malaki Starks (2 Int, 7 PD). Corners Kelee Ringo and Christopher Smith also have two interceptions. It’s hard to see where their weaknesses lie, but they’ll face a test against a talented LSU offense.

Free Pick: LSU +17.5

We have no illusions that the Tigers will win this game, but we believe it will be closer than this high spread indicates. A couple of trends we are seeing make us think this will stay closed. The first is Stetson Bennett’s turnover streak, with five interceptions over his last five games. The second is the decline of play from Daijun Edwards. As good as McIntosh is, Edwards is a big part of this offense, and they will need him to work against a talented LSU defensive line. Aside from these trends, the teams have different priorities this week. LSU is coming off a shocking loss that dashed their playoff hopes, making the SEC title their one chance to cap what’s been an incredible season. On the other side, Georgia is already secured in the playoffs and could choose to go conservative or rest players if they go up big. We’re taking 17.5 points to roll with the Tigers this week.

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