Georgia is an 8.5-point favorite in tomorrow’s game vs. Kentucky, and, as expected, most national media members are picking the Bulldogs to beat the Cats. Here’s a roundup of predictions to sharpen that chip on your shoulder:
Let’s get straight to the point: The winner of this game clinches the SEC East title. Both teams are riding high off big wins in Week 9 — albeit in different manners. Jake Fromm got back to form in an efficient win over Florida. Kentucky’s top-ranked scoring defense (13.0 points per game) held the high-flying Missouri offense to just 14 points; more impressively, Kentucky did not surrender a single first down in the second half of its 15-14 win, forcing eight straight three-and-outs and a measly 34 yards. The Wildcats will need a similar opponent if it wants to keep in striking distance of Georgia … but we think the Bulldogs have a little too much firepower for Kentucky to handle. Georgia 28, Kentucky 13
Eric Single picks Kentucky: One of Saturday’s de facto SEC division title games featuring substantial home underdogs is going sideways, and I am done picking against Alabama. This is the year’s all-in game in Lexington, when the entire school will be locked into football alone for one last weekend before basketball season starts, which is enough reason to expect a charged-up atmosphere. Mark Stoops needs to do whatever he can to get star running back Benny Snell going the way LSU established a rhythm on the ground to put the Bulldogs on their heels.
So Georgia and Kentucky are playing with the SEC East on the line, just as we all predicted would be the case back in August. Honestly, I don’t know how Kentucky keeps doing what its doing, but darn it if those wily Wildcats don’t figure out a way to keep scraping out wins.
And that’s why I can’t bet on it here. I know Kentucky is at home, and I know it has a terrific defense, but it can’t score. Scoring points is a pivotal part of winning football games in 2018, and I don’t think a one-dimensional Kentucky offense will be able to do much against this Georgia team. Georgia has one of the most efficient offenses in the country, and even if Kentucky slows it down, it’s not going to be able to stop it altogether. Georgia 28, Kentucky 14
It will be a wild and raucous atmosphere in Lexington for the biggest home game in a generation — and perhaps all time. The Wildcats defense is solid, but it’s hard to ignore how comfortable Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm looked against a very good Florida defense a week ago. Even though the Bulldogs defense hasn’t been great when compared to what it has been in year’s past, Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson won’t stand out as somebody they have to stop through the air during game preparation. As a result, the Bulldogs will load up against the run, slow down Benny Snell and force Wilson to make enough mistakes to take the SEC East crown and pull away late to get the cover. Pick: Georgia (-9)
In the SEC East semifinals, amped-up Kentucky will run the ball with Benny Snell Jr., slow down Georgia’s rushing attack and hold a lead into the fourth quarter. But at some point, the Dawgs will assert their will and take control. I think. I may come to regret picking against the Wildcats’ Team of Destiny. Georgia 21, Kentucky 17
I think the Dawgs will not trip up after an impressive romp against Florida, although this is on the road and Georgia has struggled against the run (11th in the SEC in yards per carry allowed). I’m playing a hunch here that Jake Fromm’s big-game experience carries Georgia over Benny Snell Jr. and Co. Georgia 24, Kentucky 17
Time to go shock the world.