No. 5 Georgia (8-1) travels to No. 13 Auburn (7-2) in the marquee SEC game of the week at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday. The game will be televised at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.
The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry has SEC and College Football Playoff implications for the second straight season. Georgia can clinch a spot in the SEC championship game with a victory, and Auburn can knock the Bulldogs out of Playoff contention once and for all with a win.
Auburn, it's worth mentioning, can still get to a New Year’s Day 6 bowl; this is its third matchup against a top-10 team this season. It’s the first one at home, however, and could set the tone for the Iron Bowl on Nov. 30.
The Bulldogs and Tigers have a lot on the line here. With that in mind, here's everything you need for Saturday's matchup:
Georgia vs. Auburn odds
Spread: Georgia -2.5
Point total: 44
Moneyline: Auburn-110, Georgia-110
Georgia is a 2.5-point favorite, according to odds at Sportsbook Review, and 56 percent of the wagering has come in favor of the Bulldogs.
Auburn vs. Georgia all-time series
Georgia leads the all-time series 59-56-8 and has won the last two meetings. Auburn won the last meeting at Jordan-Hare Stadium, 40-17, in 2017.
Three trends to know
— The Tigers are 14-7 against Georgia when both teams are ranked in the AP Top 25, but the Bulldogs have won two of the last three regular-season meetings in that situation.
— The Tigers are 7-2 against the spread this season, including a 2-0 against-the-spread mark as an underdog. Those games were on the road.
—Georgia is 9-4 against the spread as a road favorite under fourth-year coach Kirby Smart. The Bulldogs have been favored in every game this season and are 5-3 against the spread.
Three things to watch
The running game
Auburn (219.3 ypg) and Georgia (215.9) are both excellent on the ground, and the team that wins the battle could run away with this game. On defense, however, the Bulldogs have been better at 74.6 yards per game (fourth in the FBS). That’s nasty, and if it travels that would put Auburn freshman quarterback Bo Nix behind the chains. There is more pressure on the Tigers to get a running game started.
A better Bo Nix
In the losses to LSU and Florida, Nix was 26 of 62 (41.2 percent) for an average of 146 yards per game with two touchdowns and four interceptions. If that happens again, then Georgia will cruise to victory. Nix’s numbers are better across the board at home, and he averages 5.0 yards per carry. Perhaps Auburn uses more designed quarterback runs early to loosen up the passing game.
What did Fromm learn?
The last trip to Jordan-Hare Stadium was a nightmare on all fronts for Jake Fromm, who was sacked four times and managed a 13 of 28 passing day for 184 yards and a touchdown. Georgia had 32 carries for 46 yards in a game dominated by the Tigers’ defensive front. Georgia has won the last two meetings since, but this was on the road.
Stat that matters
Auburn is 7-1 against the spread as a home underdog under Gus Malzhan. That should at least make Georgia fans nervous. The Tigers are going to pull out all the stops here, so expect Malzahn to break tendencies on both sides of the ball to try to mix up Georgia.
Auburn vs. Georgia prediction
Auburn takes the early lead, perhaps on a trick play, and the defense gives Fromm problems in the first half. The Tigers, however, cannot capitalize on that early momentum and it’s a one-score game at home. Georgia stays patient in the running game, and D’Andre Swift — who had 25 carries for 86 yards against Florida — comes up with a few big runs in the third quarter. Georgia holds on in the fourth quarter to keep those Playoff hopes alive.
Auburn vs. Georgia score
Georgia 30, Auburn 23