Welcome to your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes every Monday through Friday. What are Georgia’s odds of winning the national title? Better than you might think.
Track: Stagger Lee | Artist: Grateful Dead | Album: Live at the Winterland Ballroom, 12/31/78
Odds and ends
Here’s an interesting tweet from Bleacher Report college football reporter Barrett Sallee from over the weekend.
Current national title odds courtesy of Bovada pic.twitter.com/HJDsolbGjx
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) May 13, 2017
That is not a typo, folks. Georgia, tied with LSU, has the eighth-best national title odds in the country, according to bookmaker Bovada, at +2000. (That means a $100 bet on Georgia would win $2,000 if the Dawgs claim the title.) That puts UGA above every team on its schedule, as well as reigning champion Clemson and a slew of other power programs. OddsShark also has Georgia at +2000, the ninth-best national title chance. At this time, UGA’s odds range from +1800 to +4000 at different books.
As exciting as these high odds may seem, it can be a bit deceiving. Just because Georgia has a better chance than most teams doesn’t necessarily mean it has a good chance. In the speculation before every season, there typically are only four or five teams that are slated as potential champs, and I don’t think anyone would put Georgia in that category. Just look at some of the teams at the top of the list. At Bovada — which are the odds we’ll use for the rest of this post — Alabama’s odds are almost seven times more probable than Georgia’s, while Ohio State’s are three times more likely and USC’s are four times better. And there is a pretty big jump from seventh-best odds (Penn State +1200) to eighth (UGA and LSU +2000).
So, what are we supposed to discern from this? The biggest takeaway is that Vegas has Georgia as a big favorite in the East. I’m no gambling expert, but I’ll try to break this down the best I can.
Every team’s odds has some affect on the odds of the others in its conference. One reason Clemson is below Georgia is that division rival Florida State is so highly favored to go to the playoffs from the ACC. So, if Vegas is confident FSU will go, it inherently means there’s less of a chance Clemson can go. Even if Clemson is the better team, Georgia has the easier path to a title.
High odds are somewhat predicated on who has the easiest conceivable path to the playoff, and Vegas is saying Georgia has the easiest path in the East. With the Bulldogs’ weak schedule, there’s a chance they could emerge from the regular season with two or fewer losses. Then, just a win against Bama would be needed to hop into the playoff (theoretically), and from there it’s two wins to a title. Compare that to Clemson, which is pretty much out of the running with a loss to FSU, or Auburn, which would have to run the gauntlet of the SEC West and beat Alabama.
On top of that, Georgia’s odds are twice as good as Florida’s (+4000) and more than three times better than Tennessee’s (+6600), which seems to indicate Vegas thinks Georgia has a way better shot of coming out of the East than the aforementioned two.
This, of course, guarantees nothing and could be way off. But it is another reason for confidence heading into 2017, and another reason why anything less than winning the East would be a huge disappointment.
Check out this post by Patrick Garbin of UGA Sports if you want to get deeper into the weeds about Georgia’s title odds, including a look at how the odds have changed since they were first released in January.
UGA has the most talent in the East
Another reason for disappointment if Georgia doesn’t win the East: Its roster is the most talented in the division. That’s according to David Wunderlich of FanRag.
To evaluate the level of talent at the SEC East’s three traditional powers — Georgia, Florida and Tennessee — Wunderlich found “the average numerical value from the 247Sports composite for the players on the teams’ rosters.” He looked at eight positions — QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, DL, LB, DB — and discovered that, based on these metrics, Georgia has far and away the most talented team in the East. (And if you don’t think recruiting ratings matter, think again.)
Georgia is the favorite in the SEC East this season, and the talent advantages the Bulldogs have are the major reason. UGA is tops in seven of the eight major position groups and second in the remaining one.
Florida and Tennessee are fairly close in talent. A scoring system that hands out three points for first place in a position grouping, two for second and one for third would give the Vols a score of 13 and the Gators a score of 12. They’re about even, though both are far behind Georgia’s 23 points.
Georgia’s biggest advantage comes at QB, by virtue of Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm both being highly touted, as well as the only scholarship QBs on the roster. The only position Georgia trailed in was wide receiver, where it took second to Florida. So, if the Bulldogs once again fall short in their quest for the SEC East title, a lack of talent won’t be the reason.
Tennis coaches suspended amidst tourney run
Well, almost business as usual.
In a strange turn of events during the most important stretch of the tennis season, a UGA men’s assistant coach, Bo Hodge, and women’s assistant, Drake Bernstein, have been suspended indefinitely. Men’s coach Manny Diaz and athletic director Greg McGarity refused to comment on the matter, according to Chip Towers of DawgNation. As always, stay tuned to DawgNation for the latest on these suspensions and what’s at the root of them.
Another top-10 series win for Georgia baseball
It seems as if Georgia baseball is finally starting to turn things around. In the last week, the Diamond Dogs have taken two of three against No. 4 Kentucky, completed a season sweep of Georgia Tech and, this past weekend, won two games against No. 6 Mississippi State to win that series.
— Georgia Baseball (@BaseballUGA) May 14, 2017
There’s still work to be done, though, as only 12 of 14 teams qualify for the SEC Tournament on May 23-28 in Hoover, Ala. The Dawgs have one series left, at South Carolina this coming weekend, and a win against the Gamecocks should be enough to get them into the SEC field.
- UGA football fans want to believe SEC East predictions but remain wary (Bill King, DawgNation)
- Georgia offer leads to bizarre breakup between coveted QB prospect and Big Ten power (Jake Rill, DawgNation)
- Signees Tray Bishop and Nate McBride win state track titles (Jeff Sentell, DawgNation)
- UGA has $18 million set for Sanford Stadium project (Seth Emerson, DawgNation)
- 6-foot-7 Oklahoma OT Owen Condon is a major priority for Georgia (Jeff Sentell, DawgNation)
- SEC headed to central replay review system in basketball (Seth Emerson, DawgNation)
- Options exist for Maurice Smith’s replacement at star position (Jason Butt, The Telegraph)
- No UGA trip planned for Central Gwinnett quarterback (Brandon Sudge, The Telegraph)
- UGA softball lands NCAA tournament at-large bid, heads to Tallahassee Regional (Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner-Herald)
I can’t blame him. That squirrel was captivating television.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 14, 2017