Man, this is confident.
Georgia is one of only seven college football programs with a 2018 regular-season win total of at least 10 at the South Point sports book, which posted numbers Monday on 129 teams.
Clemson leads the way with 11, followed by the Bulldogs, Alabama, Ohio State and Washington at 10½. Oklahoma and Boise State are at 10.
Despite the great expectations for Georgia, handicapper Brian Edwards expects South Carolina to easily cover the spread as a 14-point home underdog to the Bulldogs in Week 2. He also loves the Gamecocks to go over their win total of 7.
When the South Point posted lines on its college football games of the year Friday, it opened Georgia as an 11-point favorite in the Sept. 8 matchup at South Carolina.
“I thought Georgia would be 7, but my line is 4½. When I saw it at 11, I would be all over that if I was in line at the South Point in Vegas,” said Edwards, who is based in Florida. “Then it moved to 14. Are you kidding me? I think South Carolina has got a great chance to win that game. I’m calling for an upset.”
He goes on to say that the ‘Cocks only have one guaranteed loss on their schedule, at Clemson, and could be looking at a 10-2 regular season record.
For context, here’s a reminder of what some of the advanced stats gurus are projecting:
- Projected 2018 S&P+ rankings (as of Feb. 9): Georgia 22.1 (6th); South Carolina 7.2 (35th)
- ESPN’s FPI: Georgia 23.1 (3rd); South Carolina 9.6 (28th)
FPI also projects that Georgia has a 79.1% chance of winning in Columbia, which is slightly more favorable than the odds the Dawgs face against Missouri.
None of this is to say that South Carolina can’t win that game — hell, even FPI says there’s a one-in-five chance of that happening — but I simply don’t get Edwards’ level of confidence there. The only things he cites in support are Jake Bentley being back, a big wide receiver and the usual “Muschamp is always going to have a solid defense and a great plan every Saturday”. It’s funny, but those are all things Kirby Smart can match, in spades.
From where I sit months before the start of the season, Muschamp had better hope that going hurry up is going to pump some real life into an offense that managed only 24.5 points per game in conference play last season (not to mention only managed 43 rushing yards in Athens last year) and that his team wins the turnover margin battle.
Maybe all that happens, but maybe is a long way from “are you kidding me?”.