Capital One Bowl Odds
The seventh-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (11-2) will meet the 16th-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-3) Tuesday, Jan. 1 at 1:00 PM ET in the Capital One Bowl, which takes place at Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, FL. ABC has the television coverage. Oddsmakers have listed Georgia as a 10.0-point favorite and have set the total at 59.5.
Why Georgia Covers
The Cornhuskers haven’t been able to be trusted outside Lincoln, Nebraska. They are just 1-5 against the spread in games played away from home this season and allowed averages of 38.0 points and 442.0 yards in these contests. They were completely embarrassed in two of these games.
Nebraska lost 63-38 at Ohio State Oct. 6 while giving up 501 yards of offense. It also fell 70-31 to Wisconsin on a neutral field Dec. 1 in the Big Ten Championship game, giving up 640 yards of offense in the contest. I think it’s safe to say Georgia deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence with these two teams, which means Nebraska could be in for another beating.
The Bulldogs were a much better investment when playing outside Athens, Georgia. In fact, they were 4-2 against the spread when playing away from home this season. They won outright over Florida as an underdog on a neutral field Oct. 27. They also covered the number on a neutral field against Alabama in the SEC title game. Georgia gave the defending national champs all they wanted and more.
Not only was Georgia the better investment away from home, it was also the better investment down the stretch. It has covered the number in five of its last six games while Nebraska failed to cover the spread in each of its last two. The Huskers are just 3-5-1 against the spread in their last nine games.
Why Nebraska Covers
It may be tough for Georgia to get up for this game. It had its sights set on the BCS national championship game and a loss in the SEC title contest knocked it clear out of the BCS bowl picture.
Nebraska had its sights set on the Rose Bowl, but it shouldn’t have any trouble getting up for this game. The Cornhuskers will want to erase the sour taste left by their Big Ten Championship game embarrassment so they can head into next season with some momentum.
Georgia is a good defensive team, but it has been vulnerable against the run. In fact, it ranks 81st in the nation against the run with 178.2 yards allowed per contest. This bodes well for Nebraska, which is one of the top rushing teams in the country. The Huskers rank eighth in the land with 254.5 rushing yards per game.
The Bulldogs have allowed each of their last three opponents to rush for more than 300 yards. Even Georgia Southern averaged 5.2 yards per carry while rushing for 302 yards against the Dawgs. Their inability to stop the run cost them a chance to play for a national championship as they allowed Alabama to run for 350 yards while averaging 6.9 yards per carry.
It is significant that Georgia enters this game off of loss considering it is just 1-4 against the spread in its last five games following defeat.
I have picked Georgia to win this game. You can check out the rest of my bowl predictions here. Be sure to check out these Cap One Bowl previews from Jack Jones, Vegas Top Cappers, Carolina Sports, and Brandon Lee to see more angles on this game.