GEORGIA @ LSU | 10/13 | 3:30 PM EDT
With triumphes over Notre Dame, Auburn and Oklahoma last year’ and a heart-wrenching loss to Alabama in the Championship game’ the Bulldogs will get in the 2018 season confident and inspired. They won’t field the very same team, naturally, with star running backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb gone to the NFL, in addition to some essential protective pieces, most especially linebacker Roquan Smith. But sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm, the most significant reason for Georgia’s abrupt renaissance, will help cover up inexperience and develop another skilled offensive system. That includes RB D’Andre Swift, who can pound the ball behind a stacked line and elude defenders in the open field. There are more concerns about the defense, but Kirby Smart has actually rapidly changed this program, which is thinking bigger than ever.
Is it put-up-or-shut-up time for coach Ed Orgeron? While the rest of the West seems to be improving, the probe Baton Rouge is one of uncertainty. Orgeron’s contentious relationship with Matt Canada, the former offensive organizer who was release after just one season, talks to the state of the program. Still, it will always hire loads of NFL-caliber skill, especially on defense. This season, junior linebacker Devin White will release what protective planner Dave Aranda cooks up on the field. There are more questions about the offense, especially QB, the Tigers’ perpetual Achilles heel. Danny Etling is gone, which is barely a death sentence, but there’s no sense of a real starter. Combine all of this with among the toughest schedules in the nation, and it could be a down year for LSU.
This is a big game for both teams both in the SEC, and in terms of College Football Playoff resumes. While the game is being played in Death Valley, I believe this spread is giving too much credit to the homefield advantage the Tigers have. LSU has been good, but its offense has struggled to score points against good defenses, and this Georgia defense is the best one the Tigers have faced so far. I have Georgia as a 10-point favorite in this matchup, so there’s value on this line.
PICK *GEORGIA -7.5