No. 1 Georgia takes on No. 11 LSU in the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday.
Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET, and it will be televised on CBS.
Georgia (12-0) is looking to win back-to-back SEC championships for the first time since a three-peat during the Herschel Walker heyday from 1980-82. The Bulldogs completed their second straight unbeaten regular season under Kirby Smart in the SEC East, and this is their fifth trip to the SEC championship in the last six years.
LSU (9-3) is the surprise visitor on the other sideline. First-year coach Brian Kelly led the Tigers to an unexpected SEC West division championship. The Tigers were knocked out of the CFP hunt after a 38-23 loss to Texas A&M, but a conference championship would be a strong building block for the program. The Tigers are 5-1 in the SEC championship game.
This marks the fifth time Georgia and LSU have played in the SEC championship game. The Tigers are 3-1 in those meetings, too. Here is everything you need to know to bet on the matchup between Georgia and LSU.
Georgia vs. LSU odds
- Spread: Georgia -17.5
- Over/under: 51.5
- Moneyline: Georgia -865, LSU +615 (BetMGM)
Georgia hit the under four times this season, and all four were when that was set at 56.5 points or lower. LSU hit the over six times this season, including five of the last six games. Will that number tick up a little bit before kickoff?
Three trends to know
— Georgia is 6-6 ATS this season, but they are 3-0 ATS when favored by 20 points or less. That's why that massive point spread is not a complete surprise. The Bulldogs are 15-7 S/U and 15-7 ATS in neutral-site games under Smart.
— Kelly has been good in the underdog role up to this point. LSU is 3-1 S/U and 3-1 ATS as an underdog this season, with the lone loss coming to Tennessee in a 40-13 blowout on Oct. 8. The Tigers also have a pick ‘em victory against Ole Miss.
— Georgia and LSU have only met 10 times since 2003. The Tigers have won four of the last five meetings S/U, and that includes the 37-10 blowout in the 2019 SEC championship game.
Three things to watch
— Will LSU run defense hold up? What's the common thread in the Tigers' two SEC losses? Tennessee and Texas A&M both rushed for more than 200 yards. They had 99 rushing attempts and averaged 5.4 yards per carry in those games. If Georgia has that kind of success on the ground, then this game will not take long. The Bulldogs have rushed for more than 200 yards in six games, and the trio of Kenny McIntosh (654 yards, 8 TDs), Daijuan Edwards (606 yards, 7 TDs) and Kendall Milton (418 yards, 6 TDs) will be active.
— Stopping Jayden Daniels. The LSU quarterback has been efficient in the passing game (15 TDs, 2 INTs) and he ranks second among FBS quarterbacks in rushing yards with 884 yards. He is a dual-threat challenge for Georgia's defense, but in order for the Tigers to have a chance, Daniels will need to be a game-changer in both areas. He had 300 passing yards in the loss to Tennessee, but the Vols limited him to 38 yards rushing. This could be a showcase game for Georgia linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson, who leads the Bulldogs with eight tackles for loss.
— Georgia's tight ends. How will LSU defend Georgia's tight end tandem of Brock Bowers (645 yards, 5 TDs) and Darnell Washington (403 yards, TD)? That is a matchup problem for the Tigers, especially when you consider they combine to average 14.7 yards per catch. Look for Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett to test the seams and the deep middle with these tight ends and top receiver Ladd McConkey (606 yards, 4 TDs). It's not a flashy passing attack, but it has been effective all season.
Stat that matters
Stetson Bennett has not been sacked in Georgia's last five games. The Bulldogs quarterback has taken just seven sacks all season. LSU has a pair of talented pass rushers in Harold Perkins (6.5 sacks) and BJ Ojulari (5.5 sacks), and they will have to get him on the ground in the limited opportunities they get, especially on third down.
Georgia vs. LSU prediction
LSU was the better team when these teams met in the SEC championship game in 2019, and it showed. This time it's a role reversal. The Bulldogs will jump out to a double-digit lead behind that strong running game, and Bennett will mix in a few high-percentage throws to the tight ends. Daniels will hit a few splash plays against Georgia's defense, but LSU needs the running backs to be effective to have a chance. The Bulldogs allow just 3.0 yards per carry with the nation's second-best run defense.
Georgia will win its second straight SEC championship and barrel into the College Football Playoff with the top seed. LSU might have a shot at the back-door cover, but we're trusting the fact Georgia has allowed just 13 points per game in November. This team is focused.
Final score: Georgia 38, LSU 17