Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Georgia Bulldogs Picks and Game Preview - 10/02/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: Noon ET, October 2, 2021
Venue: Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA
Where to watch: ESPN

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Georgia -18.5; O/U 48; Georgia -1125, Arkansas +700
BetMGM: Georgia -18.5; O/U 48.5; Georgia -1000, Arkansas +650
Caesars: Georgia -18.5; O/U 48; Georgia -1100, Arkansas +700

Season record
No. 8 Arkansas: 4-0 (1-0 SEC)
No. 2 Georgia: 4-0 (2-0 SEC)

Ben Burns had a solid 3-2-1 week in what was an eventful and upset-filled weekend of college football. Ben is back for his Thursday thoughts on Virginia and Miami, but don’t make a move on it until you check in with him. Catch Ben’s and other plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.

Arkansas - Georgia preview and analysis


Recent form
Arkansas: won 20-10 vs. Texas A&M on Sept. 25
Georgia: won 62-0 at Vanderbilt on Sept. 25

OK, look. I get the Georgia Bulldogs are likely going to be a top-4 team at the end of the season.

That defense is no joke. It held four opponents to a combined 23 points and coming off defeating Vanderbilt by a walloping 62-0 at Vandy. They're a good club, there's no denying that.

But 18.5-point favorites against the Arkansas Razorbacks? That's a tad disrespectful toward an Arkansas team that has been nearly as impressive as the Bulldogs.

Nevertheless, this matchup Saturday between No. 6 Arkansas and No. 2 Georgia is well-earned and should be a much better contest than what the spread is indicating for us.

Arkansas is coming off a 10-point win over a banged-up Texas A&M Aggies squad that was down its starting quarterback. But the Arkansas defense held its own in a neutral-site game, even though it was in AT&T Stadium ... in Texas. The Razorbacks held A&M to 272 total yards in what was a near even split in time of possession.

The real MVP though was quarterback KJ Jefferson, who threw for 212 yards on seven completions and had two touchdowns. The star dual-threat QB also pitched in for 50 yards on eight carries. Meanwhile, Zach Calzada only totaled 151 yards on 36 attempts and threw an interception.

Arkansas has upsets over both Texas powerhouse programs and has earned the right to be in this position. It's the first time Arkansas is 4-0 since 2003. That team went on to finish 9-4 and 25th in the country, so there's still time for some dropoff.

Common sense dictates that Arkansas will come back down to Earth, but it shouldn't be in a three-score manner like the books are predicting. For the most part, Georgia will be well-rested after taking a 35-0 lead after the first quarter against the Vanderbilt Commodores. Quarterback JT Daniels, who will more than likely start, played only that first quarter by throwing for 121 yards and two touchdowns.

Georgia finished with a dominant edge in yards. We're talking 532-77 edge in yards. We just can't expect that to happen against an Arkansas team that is not one of the worst in the country like Skip Bayless' alma mater. Makes sense.

Prediction


To expect Arkansas to lose so convincingly would not make sense. The Razorbacks should be able to keep this one close long enough to cover and make this an exciting game. Georgia by 8, but Arkansas covers.

Betting trends


Arkansas is 2-0 this season ATS as an underdog. 

Georgia is 5-7 against the spread as a home favorite in its last 12.

Players to watch


Arkansas: Trelon Smith continues to be a steady back in this Arkansas offense. He had 82 yards on 17 carries against a stout Texas A&M defense.

Georgia: Look for the Bulldogs to target receiver Jermaine Burton if Arkansas finds a way to neutralize tight end Brock Bowers. Burton had four receptions for 46 yards in the easy workday for the offense.

Statistical leaders


Arkansas:
Passing: KJ Jefferson -- 844 yards, 6 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Trelon Smith -- 298 yards, 3 TD
Receiving: Treylon Burks -- 373 yards, 2 TD
Defense: Tre Williams -- 4 sacks

Georgia:
Passing: JT Daniels -- 567 yards, 5 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Zamir White -- 207 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Brock Bowers -- 272 yards, 4 TD
Defense: Adam Anderson -- 3 sacks

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert football picks today. And if you enjoyed this Arkansas - Georgia prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NCAA projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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