Two of the best teams in the nation throw down at the Superdome in New Orleans on January 1. The 2019 Sugar Bowl betting encounter features Big 12 runner-up #15 Texas against SEC runner-up #5 Georgia.
Although Texas finished 9-4, the Longhorns had a terrific regular season. They avenged their 2017 loss to USC, and beat most of their Big 12 rivals, including Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry. Unfortunately, the Longhorns couldn’t beat the Sooners for a second time in the Big 12 Championship. However, playing in the Sugar Bowl’s a fantastic way to end the season, especially since nobody expected this program to make it to an elite bowl game back in September.
Georgia heads to the Sugar Bowl after losing the SEC Championship to rival Alabama in what can only be described as a heartbreaker. The Bulldogs were one of the top teams in the nation for much of the season. They dominated most of their SEC opponents, and suffered a lone loss to LSU throughout the year. Giving up a huge lead to Jalen Hurts and Alabama in the SEC Championship sealed their fate outside of the College Football Playoffs.
Which runner-up squad gets it done in January first’s primetime bowl game?
2019 SUGAR BOWL BETTING
#15 Texas Longhorns vs #5 Georgia Bulldogs
Tuesday, January 1st – Mercedes-Benz Superdome – 8:45pm ET
Odds: Georgia -12.5 (58)
Longhorns Ready to Become National Power
In only his second season as Texas’ head coach, Todd Herman led the Longhorns to the Big 12 Championship. Even though Oklahoma beat Texas 39-27, Herman’s team played well enough to garner a bid to the 2019 Sugar Bowl.
Texas is fully aware that keeping it close against the 5th best team in the nation, coming off a gut wrenching loss, is going to be tough sledding. Georgia’s one of those SEC powerhouse football squads, a team that can dominate on both sides of the football while barely breaking a sweat.
Herman’s goal from the beginning has been to get Texas into a game against a team like Georgia. That should give the Longhorns a slight emotional edge. While Georgia expected a trip to the CFP and a rematch with Alabama, Texas expected a bid to a much lesser game. Even though they’re a hefty dog in 2019 Sugar Bowl betting, they’re not going to enter the fray with a “happy to be their” attitude.
The Longhorns know that if they can pull off the upset over the Bulldogs, they’ll have arrived. Coach Herman won’t let them forget that leading up to kickoff on Tuesday night. A win puts Texas into the national spotlight. If Herman’s players hit the field believing they can pull off the massive win, they might just do it.
Georgia Wants to Prove Selection Committee Wrong
Georgia coach Kirby Smart campaigned for his 2-loss team to grab the final spot in the College Football Playoff. All the campaigning didn’t work, which is why even though the Bulldogs have a legitimate complaint, Georgia takes the trip to New Orleans from Athens for the 2019 Sugar Bowl instead of heading to Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
On one hand, facing an obviously less talented Texas team could ensure Georgia plays with little to no fire. On the other hand, Smart has drilled it into his players’ heads that the only way to show up the Selection Committee is to dominate a team like Texas by 30 to 40 points.
A massive win like that by Georgia in what’s supposed to be a competitive bowl game would have the Selection Committee scratching their heads wondering if they made the right decision. It would also cause the committee to pause if at any time in the future they decide to keep Georgia out of the playoff.
2018 Sugar Bowl Betting Trends
Not many college football handicappers believe in the Texas Longhorns. The line opened Georgia -11. It’s up to Georgia -12.5 with many handicappers still piling onto the Bulldogs.
On paper, Texas has no shot at keeping this close. Georgia failed only twice this season. Both times, they faced tough SEC teams, LSU early in the season and Alabama in the SEC Championship.
The trends also give Georgia the edge. The Bulldogs are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 at a neutral site, 5-0 ATS in their last 5 bowl games, and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games. Texas is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 at a neutral site, but only 1-4 in their last 5 after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous.
The Longhorns are a good football team. Georgia has a point to make about being left out of the CFP. The better, more motivated, squad gets the call to win and cover. That’s the Bulldogs.
2019 Sugar Bowl Betting Free Pick: Georgia -12.5