Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 7:30pm EST
The 11th ranked Georgia Bulldogs did not play last week as their game against Missouri was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak at Missouri. So, with a week off, they should be ready to roll against the 2-4 Mississippi State Bulldogs. These two teams haven't met since 2017 when the Bulldogs blew them out 31-3. It should be a mismatch again this year. But both teams are dealing with injuries so in this strange college football season, one can never be too sure of what will happen.
(Late line movements and injury reports were updated on Friday afternoon.)
The line has stayed pretty flat for this SEC crossover tilt during the week at most sportsbooks. Georgia opened as a 24-point favorite but that has barely moved during the week. As of Friday afternoon, the line can be found as Georgia -24.5 at the majority of sportsbooks. A slight majority, 64 percent, of the bets ATS are backing the Bulldogs giving the points in this contest.
The total for this contest has moved down slightly during the week. After opening at 45.5 points, the total currently sits at 44.5 points at most sportsbooks. There is a solid majority, 59 percent, of the bets on the total that think this one will stay under the total.
Game-time Weather: Temperature at kickoff is expected to be in the high-50s for this contest under mostly clear skies. The temperature will fall into the mid-50s during the game with a few clouds rolling in though there is no precipitation in the forecast. Winds are expected to blow from the east-northeast around four miles an hour with the gusts cranking up around six miles per hour.
Mississippi State hit with COVID-19Life in the SEC is never easy for the also rans of the conference. There are usually so many top quality teams in the conference that the lesser programs like Mississippi State have to take wins where they can get them. This will not be one of those places where they can get them, playing a tough Georgia team on the road. The Bulldogs are 2-4 on the year and sit in last place in the SEC West.
Last week, Mississippi State's game against Auburn was cancelled for -- you guess it, another COVID-19 outbreak. The roster was devastated by COVID-19 cases and the team didn't have enough players to field a team. It's not clear whether this game will actually happen, depending on how many quarantined players test positive. To make matters worse, their quarterback, KJ Costello, suffered a head injury in the Bulldogs last game against Vanderbilt, a 24-17 win, and is questionable for this game.
Mississippi State Injury Report:
OUT: RB Kylin Hill, S Marcus Murphy, DT Nathan Pickering
Questionable: QB K.J. Costello
Georgia battling injuriesLike Mississippi State, Georgia also had its game cancelled, but it wasn't due to an outbreak on their team, it was because of one their opponent, Missouri, had. So, the 11th ranked Bulldogs remain at 4-2, one game behind Florida in the SEC East. The last time they played they were crushed by No. 6 ranked Florida 44-28 and the game was not as close as the final score indicates.
Georgia is listed as a huge favorite to beat Mississippi State according to oddsmakers. https://t.co/9npNMVeFE5— DawgPost (@Dawg_Post) November 15, 2020
While the Bulldogs haven't been dealing with COVID-19, at least in the last couple of weeks, they are hampered by several injuries. Most notably, quarterback Stetson Bennett is questionable with a shoulder injury suffered in the Florida loss. Also, two wide receivers, George Pickens and Tommy Bush are questionable with injuries. There are also several key players banged up on defense as well as the offensive line. Maybe the unscheduled week off will give Georgia an opportunity to get healthier.
Georgia Injury Report:
OUT: QB Stetson Bennett, WR Dominick Blaylock, WR Tommy Bush, DB Richard Lecounte, RB Kendall Milton, QB Jamie Newman, WR Marcus Rosemy
Questionable: DB Lewis Cine, OL Owen Condon, DL Jordan Davis, LB Walter Grant, DL Julian Rochester
Stats & Trends
- Bulldogs are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Bulldogs are 0-7 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Bulldogs are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 conference games.
- Bulldogs are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Bulldogs are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games on grass.
- Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
Take Georgia here giving up the points. In this battle of the Bulldogs, the 11th ranked Georgia Bulldogs are heavy favorites but given the circumstances, I love their chances to cover. Mississippi State is not that good a team to begin with but dealing with COVID-19, they will not be at full strength. While it's not clear how many players will miss the Georgia game, if any, the fact that they have been in quarantine and haven't practiced won't help against a team like Georgia. Add to that the fact that quarterback KJ Costello may not play. Georgia has its share of injuries, including its quarterback, but they won't need to be full strength and may be best served resting some banged up players another week. The Georgia Bulldogs just have way too much firepower and just too much defense for Mississippi State to handle.