Offense versus defense. SEC versus old Big 12. It’s the kind of matchup we’ve been anxious to watch ever since Texas A&M and Missouri announced they were switching leagues last fall.
Georgia is ranked No. 7 in the country and is a slight road favorite at unranked Missouri, which will look to make a strong opening statement in its new conference.
What follows is a breakdown of the game, with news, notes, quotes and anecdotes to help you make your bets.
Keep in mind: The “edge” is merely a suggestion, and not something we necessarily recommend playing.
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NO. 7 GEORGIA AT MISSOURI, 7:45 P.M. ET
OPENING POINT SPREAD: Georgia -3.5 | CURRENT: Georgia -2 | OVER/UNDER: 55 | TV: ESPN2
SUMMARY: It’s Missouri’s first-ever conference game as a member of the SEC, and the Tigers start things off right: A home game against a Top 10 team. The sharper money appears to be coming in on Mizzou, given that the line has dropped a point or two at most sportsbooks even though roughly 70 percent of bettors are on the road favorite. Missouri strolled through its opener with a 62-10 victory over Southeastern Louisiana, while Georgia sleptwalk to a 45-23 win against Buffalo.
STORYLINES: Much is being made about the suspensions on defense for Georgia, one of the best teams in the country on that side of the ball. All-America safety Bacarri Rambo, cornerback Sanders Commings and linebackers Chase Vasser and Alec Ogletree will all miss the game for disciplinary reasons, but how much of a difference will it make?
Defensive absences generally don’t have much of an impact on the point spread, and Georgia has some great depth and experience as 21 of the top 22 players from last year’s depth chart returned. Betting Mizzou simply because of the suspensions is probably an overreaction.
Missouri defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson will probably want to watch his back after saying Georgia plays “old-man football” earlier this week.
EDGE: During Mark Richt’s 11 seasons at Georgia, he’s 30-8 in SEC road games, so you know the amped-up crowd probably won’t have much of an influence. If Richt can keep his discipline-challenged roster focused for an entire 60 minutes, the Bulldogs should still have enough talent and depth to cover.