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Sugar Bowl Betting Preview – Texas vs. Georgia

Longhorns vs. Bulldogs Odds

Coming into the Sugar Bowl, the Georgia Bulldogs are getting a ton of respect from the oddsmakers. Georgia is the second-biggest favorite this bowl season, and the Bulldogs are nearly two-touchdown favorites over the Texas Longhorns on New Year’s Day. The Bulldogs just missed out on the College Football Playoff, while Texas made it to a New Year’s Six bowl for the first time in the CFP era despite having three losses. Coincidentally enough, the biggest spread this bowl season is another New Year’s Six game between an SEC team and a Big 12 team (Alabama vs. Oklahoma).

Texas Longhorns vs. Georgia Bulldogs

Date and Time: Tuesday, January 1, 2019, 8:45 p.m. ET

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana

Opening Sugar Bowl Odds at Georgia -13.5, O/U 58

Texas Longhorns vs. Georgia Bulldogs TV Coverage: ESPN

It took a while for Georgia to get going this season, but once the Bulldogs got things on track, they came on like a freight train. The Bulldogs were crushed on the road against LSU in the middle of the season, and that loss seemed to focus them. They won their next five games by three scores each, hammering arch rivals Florida, Auburn, and Georgia Tech, as well as a very good Kentucky team. Unfortunately, Alabama ripped their hearts out once again, and Georgia watched a 28-14 lead evaporate in the second half. It will be interesting to see how they respond in the Sugar Bowl as a result.

The Longhorns have not looked dominant all year. They were beaten by Maryland in their season opener, and they only beat lightweights like Tulsa, Kansas State, Kansas, and Baylor by one score. However, wins over Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Iowa State were enough to get them to the Sugar Bowl instead of a lesser option.

Injury Report

TE Malcolm Epps was recently ruled out for Texas due to a collarbone injury, while WR Al’Vonte Woodward and LB Marqez Bimage are listed as questionable for the Sugar Bowl. The Longhorns are mostly healthy though, which is a good sign because they will need a lot of help to beat Georgia.

Kirby Smart has played some Bill Belichick style games with the injury report this season, naming some players questionable for seemingly half the season. Linebackers Robert Beal Jr. and David Marshall are both questionable against Texas, as well as defensive linemen DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle and Justin Young. Defensive back Deandre Baker and tackle Kendall Baker are questionable too.

Georgia Bulldogs Player to Watch

Jake Fromm has an interesting decision to make after this game is over. Fromm has been Georgia’s quarterback for much of the last two seasons, and he has received some NFL Draft buzz. Some have projected him to be the second-best quarterback available if he were to come out, so this could be his last game in red and white. Fromm has had two solid seasons for Georgia, and although he isn’t asked to do much, he has made some big throws during his time in Athens. He doesn’t make mistakes with the ball either, earning him the trust of Smart.

Texas Longhorns Player to Watch

Texas’ receivers need to have good games if the Longhorns are going to pull off the upset. Georgia doesn’t have too many problems stopping the run, and the Bulldogs might not have their best cornerback with Baker questionable. Lil’Jordan Humphrey is the player most likely to have a big game for Texas, as his size gives him the edge on a lot of cornerbacks. Humphrey became just the second Longhorns receiver this decade to go for over 1,000 yards in a season, and he would have the second-best season for a receiver in school history with 80 receiving yards here.

NCAA Football Betting Odds

Longhorns at Bulldogs Prediction

Motivation is a huge factor during bowl season. While I think some Bulldogs will come out and play like they have all season, I believe others are looking ahead to the NFL Draft. Meanwhile, I think Tom Herman will have his boys fired up, so I’m calling on Texas to cover the number.

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