The 2020 Allstate Sugar Bowl matches SEC runner-up Georgia against the Big 12 Conference runner-up in Baylor. The biggest question heading this game: How will both teams deal with the disappointment of losing out on the playoffs? Both teams are extremely talented but this is not the game they wanted to play in at the end of the season.
Baylor lost a hard-fought battle to Oklahoma in overtime in the Big 12 Championship game and Georgia got stomped by LSU in the SEC title game. However, the ‘Dawgs should have a big crowd behind them with this game being played in New Orleans.
While we haven’t used many “leans” in our college football betting articles this season, I will use leans here when it’s appropriate. A lean is the direction I’m thinking the game will go but I’m not fully committed to backing it with a play. When I’m putting my own money down, that is what I call a “pick.”
Georgia vs. Baylor moneyline
The Bulldogs entered 2019 with a lot of hype and attention given that they returned a stellar offensive line combined with QB Jake Fromm and RB D’Andre Swift. Georgia was favored in every game they played this year except the SEC Championship game against LSU. Sportsbooks and handicappers kept looking at all the NFL-level talent on the Georgia roster and expected them to roll over opponents, but the team never fully lived up to those expectations.
Baylor, on the other hand, has been the little engine that could this season. Matt Rhule has done such a great job with this Bears’ squad that NFL franchise are starting to kick the tires on his availability this offseason. Baylor went off as an underdog four times this year and went 3-1 ATS. They won outright in two of those games.
QB Charlie Brewer is one of the names being talked about for the Heisman next year and a win over an SEC power would springboard that conversation into high gear. Georgia better be ready to play because Coach Rhule has shown the ability to get his players prepared for big games.
The line on this game is coming down and I think that’s the correct move. Georgia has wins over Auburn, Notre Dame, and Florida this season but the loss to South Carolina ruined its season. QB Jake Fromm is only completing 56.4 percent of his passes against teams ranked the Top 25 and Baylor’s defense only gives up around 215 yards passing per game. You can run on Baylor, however, and I think that is where this game is going to be decided. With a healthy D’Andre Swift, something they didn’t have against LSU, I think the ‘Dawgs move the ball on the ground enough to get the win.
Georgia vs. Baylor point spread
Baylor is seeing a lot of action at sportsbooks around the country as the Bears have earned the respect of the betting public this season. The Bears have gone 9-4 ATS and covered their last five games, including in the Big 12 title game where they lost in overtime as nine-point underdogs to Oklahoma. In the regular-season meeting with OU, Baylor was an 11-point home underdog and led 28-3 before losing the game by three. Those were the only two losses on the season for the Bears.
Georgia comes into this game sporting a defense that is tied for second-best in points given up per game (12.5), 3rd in rushing yards per game (75.7), and 4th in total yards per game (274.2). However, Georgia is only 7-6 ATS this season and covered just once over their last 3 games down the stretch mostly because their offense isn’t consistent. They were 7-point underdogs to LSU but lost by 27 in the SEC Championship. The Bulldogs were favored in every game except against LSU and every game but one had a line of 6 points or higher.
Baylor’s ability to show up in big games under Matt Rhule has to be respected here. While the game is being played in SEC territory, New Orleans isn’t a tough place to get to from Waco, Texas. This is a massive opportunity for the Bears program and they will be returning a ton of talent next season. While I do think Georgia finds a way to win, I would take the points in this game.
Georgia vs. Baylor over/under (total)
Any time you see a total between 38 and 42 in a bowl game, you have to be very wary of taking the under. It’s just too easy for teams to score in the low 20s and knock out your wager. However, this is a number that I would play early because it’s going to come down. As of Saturday, Dec. 28, the total sits at 41 and that’s because of the Georgia defense.
This game will be decided at the line of scrimmage and while Baylor’s offense has been very good this year, it’s unlikely that they score much in this game. Luckily for the Bears, Georgia’s offense has been a disappointment and Baylor has a few star defensive players that could create big problems for Jake Fromm.
I just don’t see many points being scored in this game. As long as it’s over 40, I will take the under.