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Georgia Bulldogs vs. Auburn Tigers Point Spread - Pick

Georgia Bulldogs (11-1 SU, 8-4 ATS) vs. Auburn Tigers (10-2 SU, 6-4-2 ATS)
SEC Championship Game
Date/Time: Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: CBS

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: UGA +2/AUB -2
Over/Under Total: 49

The Georgia Bulldogs take on the Auburn Tigers in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta on Saturday. Regardless of what the CFP rankings are on Tuesday, it's hard to imagine a scenario where the winner of this game is kept out of the CFP. It's a win-and-get-in game. This is a rematch from a November 11 contest, won by the Tigers, 40-17. Auburn beat their second top-ranked team on Saturday with a 26-14 win over previously-unbeaten Alabama. Georgia won on Saturday in routine fashion, with a wide win over Georgia Tech, 38-7. Again, the Bulldogs applied what they have been doing all season—a strong run-game and growing young QB, along with a defense that has mostly been a stifling one this season. But now they will have to apply it at the highest level, facing a team that was the only one to beat them all season.

The first game between these two teams was at Auburn and a fairly routine win for the Tigers. The Bulldogs got off to a 7-0 start and steadily began falling more and more behind. The full cabaret of Georgia backs were all held to very little, along with a very inefficient day passing. Auburn, meanwhile, had a good day on both sides of the ball. QB Jarrett Stidham threw three TD passes, with a big game from Kerryon Johnson carrying the action. The same formula was used by Auburn in the big win on Saturday over Alabama. Even though Auburn has lost two games, to Clemson and LSU, their wins are too much to ignore and they are a win away from having a chance to win it all this season.

Auburn's win over Alabama did not come without a cost. We saw Kerryon Johnson (probable) looking hurt after another shoulder injury in the 4th quarter, following an impassioned performance. His backup Cam Martin was hurt and had to leave the game on his first carry. They are already without Kamryn Pettway, so they might be compromised on offense and be forced to go pretty deep into their rotation if Johnson has to leave the game again. Still, it was hard to not marvel at the handiwork of Stidham, who was gutty and composed on Saturday, as he was in the win over Georgia a few weeks ago. Ryan Davis was big receiving on the day with 139 yards. Watching the game, however, it was hard to imagine this being the same offense without Johnson, who threw a TD pass on a trick play, while rushing for two more and setting the tone, performing at a very high level against a top 'Bama defense.

It was impressive seeing the Tigers' defense smother the vital Alabama offense. Alabama made some plays, but late, they weren't able to get much cooking against an Auburn defense that got better as the game carried on. At linebacker, they were big, as they have been all season with Deshaun Davis, Jeff Holland, and Darrell Williams. Derrick Brown and Dontavius Russell were rugged up-front. They are a hard-nosed group that plays better the more-urgent the situation is. This is the same group that held Georgia to 46 yards on 32 attempts in their first game. They look for something similar this week.

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Georgia is 11-1, on the heels of one of their best seasons in a long time. A 40-17 loss to Auburn sent them tumbling from the number-one spot a few weeks ago. But they are now in a position to leave a remaining good impression, which a win in this game would surely provide. On offense, they are led by a freshman in Jake Fromm, who smoothly runs this offense. His passing numbers might not be huge, but he is efficient. The Bulldogs rely heavily on a run-game, a multi-pronged attack that is among the best in the nation. On Saturday, all their go-to backs got production, while Fromm had a nice game, hitting his receivers for some big connections. On defense, they have allowed just over 14 points a game on average, while showing good balance against the pass and run, along with some nice playmaking ability.

Again, Fromm might not have great stats, but he has some things that make up for it—a certain unflappability and presence that resonates around him. A beefy and capable line help spring a potent run game. The top two dogs are Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. But with the contributions of D'Andre Swift, Elijah Holyfield, Brian Herrien, and Fromm, it gives the ground-game even more teeth. Javon Wims leads all receivers, with other contributions coming from Mecole Hardman and Terry Godwin. Fromm was 12-for-16 on Saturday in the win over Georgia Tech, with two touchdowns. He has 19 TD throws and just five picks on the season. They have averaged over 35 points a game this season. But after generating such little production on the ground against Auburn in their first game, will they be able to find the right answers? Will a line that was sometime dominated be able to elevate its form for this game?

The Georgia defense has only faltered once this season, in their road loss to this Auburn team on November 11. Other than that, they have given the offense enough room to take over games. They are really solid across all areas. It's a committee of players who all contribute to the team cause. They have difference-making linebackers with Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy. The secondary makes plays with guys Deandre Baker, JR Reed, and Aaron Davis. DT Trenton Thompson is a run-stopper up-front, with Tyler Clark also getting it done on the D-line.

It's hard to forget how easy this was for Auburn the first time around. And the kinds of issues that Georgia had in that first game don't go away easily. A few things, however, could work to throw a different light on this game. One is that this is in-state for the Bulldogs, who caught a break as far as locale goes. In addition, Georgia had a breezy game leading into this compared to the full-throttle effort Auburn put forth, which came at a cost personnel-wise. I just see Auburn on a big roll and able to pull this out somehow. I'm taking the Tigers.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Auburn Tigers minus 2 points. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the Georgia vs. Auburn game at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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