The final bowl game for 2018-19, the Allstate Sugar Bowl, kicks off at 8:45 pm ET. The game will be played at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. It features the #5 Georgia Bulldogs (11-2, 1st SEC – East) vs the #15 Texas Longhorns (9-4, 2nd in Big 12). Our Sugar Bowl free pick has the Georgia Bulldogs favored by either 11.0 to 12.5 and the over/under at 59.0 to 60.0.
The Longhorns got off to a rocky start when Maryland upset them 34-29 in the first week of the season. Texas then ran off six straight wins, three of which were against top-25 teams. Those ranked teams were #22 USC, #17 TCU, and #7 Oklahoma. Over their final five games, the Longhorns went 3-2. Those final five games included a 42-41 loss to #13 West Virginia and a 24-10 win over #24 Iowa State. On Dec. 1, Texas met #5 Oklahoma for the Big 12 Championship. The Sooner won that game 39-27.
Georgia started the season with six wins, including a 24-17 drubbing of South Carolina. Their first loss was to #13 LSU. The Bulldogs then finished off the regular season with four more wins. Of those four, two were to nationally-ranked teams. They beat #9 Kentucky 34-17 and #24 Auburn 27-10. UGA met #1 Alabama for the SEC title on Dec. 1. The Crimson Tide took that game 35-28.
Texas – Analysis
The Longhorns had a productive offense that averaged 31.3 PPG. However, they allowed opponents 26.2 PPG. Of their 416 YPG of offense, 265 of those yards were through the air. Texas allowed opponents 401 YPG, with 265 of those yards being through the air. Our Sugar Bowl free pick notes that their defense stats are not overwhelming when it comes to sacks (30), picks (11) and passes defended (44).
Sophomore QB Sam Ehlinger (64.3 COMP%, 25 TDs, 5 INTs) passed for 3,123 yards this season. His two primary receivers are Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Collin Johnson. Humphrey had 79 catches for 1,109 yards and nine touchdowns. Johnson took in 65 passes for 945 yards and seven scores. The rush attack will feature senior Tre Watson and freshman Keaontay Ingram. Together this season, the duo combined for 300 carries, 1,378 yards and six TDs. Although Ehlinger is not a massive rush threat, he can score. The Texas QB has run the ball into the end zone 13 times this season.
Georgia – Analysis
Our Sugar Bowl free pick notes that the Bulldogs have an advantage in this game die to the fact that they have an explosive offense and very stingy defense. Georgia averaged 39.2 PPG this season while giving up just 18.5. The Bulldogs has 227 passing yards and 252 rushing yards per game. On defense, they allowed just 180 yards in passing and 131 yards in rushing. The Dogs have 22 sacks, eight picks, and 46 PD. Although these are not great numbers, the UGA defense is resolute when teams are in the red zone.
This season, sophomore QB Jake Fromm (68.4 COMP%, 27 TDs, 5 INTs) cranked out 2,537 passing yards. The majority of his passes went to junior wideouts Riley Ridley and Mecole Hardman. Ridley caught 39 throws and scored nine times, while Ridley grabbed 33 and crossed the goal line six times. Sophomore RB D’Andre Swift amassed 1,037 yards and scored 10 times, while junior RB Elijah Holyfield rambled for 956 yards and seven scores.
Five Keys to the Game
- UGA PF/PA at plus-20, Texas at plus-five
- Longhorns passing game essential
- Georgia’s balanced attack can control game tempo
- If Texas can establish a running game, that will go a long way
- Georgia offense more productive than Texas O
Our Sugar Bowl Free Pick
Our Sugar Bowl free pick is taking the over at 59.0. We do think that these two offenses will shine tonight. The spread is big on this game. We are going to take the Georgia Bulldogs at -11.0. That’s it for our bowl picks. We’ve done all 40! One more game to go, the CFP Championship, which will be played on Monday, Jan 7 at 8:00 pm ET. Please be sure to check with Betting Brain for great free picks on this big college football games, as well as hockey, basketball and NFL picks.