The moment Georgia fans have been patiently waiting for since their embarrassing loss to the Gamecocks nearly two months ago has finally arrived, as they return to the SEC Championship for the third consecutive season. Several analysts wrote off the Bulldogs after Rodrigo Blankenship missed the field goal that would have sent UGA into a third OT with USC. However, Georgia has shown a tremendous amount of resiliency in two impressive wins away from home over Florida and Auburn, getting them to this game with an opportunity to clinch their spot in the College Football Playoff.
On the other side, LSU has already done enough to secure a CFP berth. With wins over Texas, Florida, Auburn, and Alabama, the Tigers have put together the most remarkable resumé in all of college football, despite what the rankings might say (the CFP committee recently placed Ohio State at #1 and LSU at #2 this past week). For that reason, this game still carries quite a bit of weight for the Tigers. Nobody wants to play Clemson in the semifinal game, and another win over a top-five opponent might be enough for LSU to leapfrog Ohio State and reclaim the #1 spot in the CFP rankings.
The initial line for this game opened at -5.5 in favor of the Tigers. Injuries to Lawrence Cager and D’Andre Swift certainly play a factor in that number, even though Kirby Smart said the latter should be ready to go for Saturday. Freshman wide receiver George Pickers will also be out for the first half after being ejected for fighting in Saturday’s 52-7 win over Georgia Tech. All those weapons are going to be sorely missed when up against LSU, who probably has the best offense in the country.
Because of that, the line has already been bet up to -7 in favor of the Tigers. It’s an intriguing matchup stylistically, pitting perhaps the best offense in the country against the best defense. But so far, Vegas seems to think LSU holds a clear edge, even with the game being played in Atlanta.