Georgia's loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game spoiled the team's shot at a third straight National Championship, but there is still one more piece of business in what is still a dominant year for the Bulldogs, and that's a bowl win.
The Bulldogs are in the Orange Bowl against Florida State, who became the first undefeated Power Five champion not to make the College Football Playoff after star quarterback suffered a season ending leg injury. FSU's offense fell off a cliff without Travis, and the team is expected to be in big trouble against the Bulldogs defense, one of the biggest underdogs in the bowl season.
The Orange Bowl will be a great test of motivational handicapping, what stands out in this one? Let's break it all down below!
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Georgia vs. Florida State Odds, Spread and Total
Florida State vs. Georgia Betting Trends
- Georgia is 5-8 against the spread (ATS) this season
- Florida State is 8-5 ATS this season
- Florida State covered and went under in both games since Jordan Travis' injury
- Georgia's Kirby Smart is 8-3 ATS in bowl games
Georgia vs. Florida State How to Watch
- Date: Saturday, Dec. 30
- Game Time: 4:00 PM EST
- Venue: Hard Rock Stadium
- How to Watch (TV): ESPN
- Georgia Record: 12-1
- Florida State Record: 13-0
Georgia vs. Florida State Key Players to Watch
Carson Beck: Georgia was stellar on offense this season, getting better as the season went on as Beck emerged as one of the most dangerous passers in the country. The Bulldogs offense was sixth EPA/Pass and fourth in passing success rate. Beck completed 72% of his passes for 3,689 yards with 22 passing touchdowns.
Tate Rodemaker: Rodemaker suffered a concussion in his first start against Florida, missing the ACC Championship game, but should be good to go with more than a month to recover. However, he is going to have a skeleton crew at the skill positions which we'll get to below and is a limited passer against a vaunted Bulldogs defense.
Georgia vs. Florida State Prediction and Pick
There are opt outs galore in this game, let me list them:
Georgia: Star pass rusher Jamon Dumas-Johnson (3.5 sacks), special teams ace Mekhi Mews with several others undeclared about their intentions of playing. Some that are up in the air: tight end Brock Bowers, wide receiver Ladd McConkey, offensive lineman Amarius Mims, guard Tate Ratledge, center Sedrick Van Pran and safety Javon Bullard.
Florida State: Running back Trey Benson has opted out as well as No. 2 wide receiver Johnny Wilson and No. 1 wide out Keon Coleman has not declared his intentions. Future first round pass rusher Jared Verse is also an opt out candidate. Linebacker DJ Lundy has opted out.
There will be plenty of more news in the lead up to this game, so make sure to stay plugged in, but it's tough to trust Florida State against even the backups of Georgia's defense.
The Bulldogs defense allowed less than two points per drive and less than five yards per play, top 16 in both metrics. In two games without Travis, Florida State averaged less than four yards per play and I struggle to see the team showing up in this game with the slew of opt outs on offense already.
Meanwhile, with Beck expected to suit up, I believe this will be a clean game from the Bulldogs offense. It's unclear if his top pass catchers will be on the field but I'm going to trust the talent on hand from the Bulldogs to show up and execute a sound game plan.
The Georgia offensive line was top 10 in both run and pass blocking grade, per Pro Football Focus. The team dealt with injuries all season at that position and still managed to churn out an elite grade, so I'm confident the team can hold off the Florida State pass rush.
Even if Georgia has little motivation, the talent on the roster will win out and hand FSU a likely blowout loss. I have to lay the points in this situation.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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