In one of three bowl games on New Year’s Day 2013 that pit the SEC against the Big Ten, the Georgia Bulldogs (11-2) take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-3) in the Capital One Bowl. Few teams in any bowl game from any conference figure to be as disappointed as the Bulldogs, who fell two yards short vs. Alabama of being in the BCS Championship Game and now find themselves in a non-BCS bowl
Nebraska meanwhile is trying to erase the memory of an embarrassing 70-31 loss to a five-loss Wisconsin team in the Big Ten Championship Game. The line on the Capital One Bowl is Georgia -10 with the total is set at 60½.
GEORGIA – NEBRASKA CAPITAL ONE BOWL BETTING LINE:
OPEN: GEORGIA -9.5 | CURRENT: GEORGIA -10 | O/U: 60.5
1. Why Nebraska will cover the spread: The key to Nebraska covering this game is the running game on both sides of the ball. On offense, the Cornhuskers had the eighth best rushing offense in the country, averaging 254.5 yards per game on 5.4 yards per carry. Granted they did not do that vs. SEC defenses, but Georgia just allowed 350 rushing yards to Alabama, dropping the Bulldogs to 80th in the country in rushing defense allowing 178.2 yards per game for the season.
On defense, the Huskers have to improve after incredulously surrendering 529 rushing yards to Wisconsin! Believe it or not, that was just the third time all year that Nebraska was outrushed in a game, and the Huskers lost all three of those games, losing at Ohio State and at UCLA previously. The Cornhuskers are 10-0 when outrushing the opposition.
2. Why Georgia will cover the spread: Aside from bringing enough energy to the game given its disappointment, Georgia will cover this spread if it can achieve balance on offense. Georgia ranked 26th in the country in total offense as Aaron Murray became the first quarterback in SEC history to have three straight 3000-yard passing seasons and running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall led a rushing offense that averaged 184.8 yards per game on 4.9 yards per carry.
The Dawgs may need to establish the run first though, which would not be that hard if Nebraska plays run defense the way it did vs. the Badgers, as the Cornhuskers led the entire country in passing defense allowing a paltry 148.2 yards per game on a miniscule 5.3 yards per attempt.
3. Total Talk: Georgia does not have a sterling recent history in the more minor bowl games since beating an outclassed Hawaii team in a BCS bowl in 2008. The Bulldogs lost to Michigan State last season and to Central Florida two years ago, so it seems fair to question there desire here after coming so close to facing Notre Dame.
Look for Nebraska to be the more motivated team, but for Georgia to post a non-covering win just on talent alone. We do look for a lackadaisical effort by the Bulldogs to help keep this game ‘under’.
4. Betting Trends for Georgia/Nebraska: Georgia is 1-4 ATS in its last five non-conference games while Nebraska is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games after allowing more than 40 points in its previous game.
Georgia 31 – Nebraska 24
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