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The first college football rankings are in ahead of Week 10, and the Tennessee Volunteers sit atop the ranks as the No. 1 team. However, the AP Top 25 still has Georgia as the No.1 team in the country.
Guess who plays this week? That’s right—Tennessee and Georgia.
With this major headline, let’s look at the best bets to make this week.
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It’s time. The Game of the Year is here. The Volunteers travel to take on the Bulldogs in Athens.
At home, Georgia is giving eight points, and while you’d like more with the Volunteers on the road, we’ll still take eight as the Volunteers have a real chance to win this game outright.
The Volunteers' offense has entered a territory where the opposing defense doesn’t matter all that much. Quarterback Hendon Hooker has been like a man possessed, throwing for over 2,300 yards, 21 touchdowns, and just one interception.
Against the Alabama Crimson Tide, another notable defense, Hooker had 385 yards and five touchdowns.
While Georgia is known as one of the best defenses in college football, allowing just 262.6 yards of offense and seven touchdowns, they’ll face their mightiest challenge this year.
The matchup to look for here is Volunteers slot receiver Jalin Hyatt against Bulldogs slot cornerback Javon Bullard.
However, Bullard and the Bulldogs have yet to play a team like the Volunteers. Bullard is coming off his best game of the season against the Florida Gators, allowing just two catches for 16 yards and having a pass breakup.
Hyatt has been electric this season, catching 45 passes for 907 yards and 14 touchdowns.
The Volunteers also have a solid run game, with Hooker attempting a few runs. Jabari Small has eight touchdowns while averaging 4.3 yards per attempt.
The Georgia offense will take on a Volunteers defense that ranks 82nd in the country in total yards allowed per game at 392.9 and has allowed 20+ touchdowns.
Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett has played well this season. Still, he has just nine passing touchdowns, but he also has over 2,300 passing yards. Their main receiving threat is tight end Brock Bowers and running back Kenny McIntosh averaging 4.7 yards per game and six touchdowns.
This is, more or less, a battle of offense and defense. The Bulldogs can score on this Volunteers' defense, and the Volunteers' offense will give the Bulldogs a massive challenge.
This game should come down to the wire.
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Yes, we’re doubling up on this game. Hey, it’s the Game of the Year; let’s make it much more enjoyable.
With this Georgia defense, 66 seems lofty, but as mentioned above, both teams should be able to score.
The Volunteers took on the Kentucky Wildcats last week. They rank 20th in the country in yards allowed per game, and the Volunteers scored 44 points. We should note, though, that this was a home game for Tennessee.
The Volunteers have shown they can score points almost regardless of defense, and the Bulldogs have yet to face an offense like this.
While Bennett isn’t throwing for 50 touchdowns or anything of the sort, the Volunteers' defense is squishy enough that Bennett, keeping the flow of the game in mind, should have one of his better statistical performances.
We’re not saying the score will be similar to that of Alabama and Tennessee, but this one will be high scoring as the two national top teams square off.
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Both are coming off the bye week, and Maryland is on the road to take on Wisconsin. With the bye week coming and going, Maryland will likely have Taulia Tagovailoa back in the lineup after dealing with a knee injury.
With Jim Leonhard as the interim head coach for the Badgers, they’re now 2-1 following a great win over Purdue, 35-24.
The Terrapins head into this one averaging close to five yards per carry and over 171 yards per game. The Wisconsin defense has traditionally been solid but has been up and down lately, allowing 34 in overtime against Michigan State and 24 against the Boilermakers.
The Badgers offense has scored 35 against Purdue at home, but in their home game before that, against Illinois, they scored just 10.
The Terrapins' defense isn’t going to strike fear into the Badgers necessarily. Still, a big part of their success will rest on quarterback Graham Mertz who, as always, is the point of contention for the Badgers.
With their rushing success and Tagovailoa back in the lineup, we’ll take Maryland and the points.
After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.More info on Richard Janvrin
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