Louisville Cardinals vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Betting Picks

October 8, 2020

Date:Saturday, October 10th
Time:7:00 PM ET
Venue:Bobby Dodd Stadium
Network:ESPN
Spread:Louisville -5
O/U:65.5

The 1-2 Louisville Cardinals will go on the road Friday night to face off with the 1-2 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at 7:00 PM ET in Bobby Dodd Stadium. You can catch the ACC matchup on ESPN or ESPN3. Both of these teams are skidding and another loss will send them into a complete freefall. The Cardinals come in as six-point underdogs and we’re looking at a 65.5 over/under. Let’s dive into who will win this game and how it’ll go down. It’s a wonderful start to an interesting College Football weekend. 

When the Louisville Cardinals Have The Ball

The Cardinals opened the season with a victory over Western Kentucky before losing to Miami and Pittsburgh in back-to-back weeks. They held even odds against the Hurricanes and were favored over Pitt. The schedule doesn’t get any easier as they face off with Georgia Tech before heading to Notre Dame and Virginia Tech in upcoming weeks. If the Cardinals don’t win this game, there is a good chance they start the season 1-7. 

Let’s get to what Louisville does well. When the offense is doing what they’re supposed to, they run the ball a ton and pass when necessary. That’s just hard to do when you’re trailing against good rush defenses like Miami and Pitt. Javian Hawkins has rushed for 313 yards and three scores and he’s the workhorse of this attack. Expect 20+ carries out of him in this contest and a big game if they want a W. Georgia Tech has been gashed on the ground in both of their losses. 

Redshirt Junior Malik Cunningham came into the season with a ton of hype and he’s been mediocre through three games, throwing for 757 yards, seven touchdowns, and five interceptions. The upside is obviously there, but completing just 9 of 21 passes for just 107 yards and three interceptions is beyond unsettling. He will have to right the ship against Georgia Tech if they want to cover this spread. 

It’s weapons galore on the outside. Tutu Atwell and Dez Fitzpatrick are two of the best receivers in the conference and Cunningham does a great job of forcing the ball to the pair. They’ve combined for 427 yards and four scores thus far. Braden Smith has added a third option and has put up six catches for 173 yards as a down the field threat. Georgia Tech is middle of the road against the pass and Cunningham will have to be on his game against this secondary.

When The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Have The Ball

On the Georgia Tech side of the ball, it comes down to QB Jeff Sims. He was impressive against FSU in game one and it bought him a long leash. However, it has to be getting shorter as Sims has thrown for 695 yards, three touchdowns, and eight interceptions. He has to be somewhat accurate if Georgia Tech wants to move the ball with any consistency.

He is dynamic with his feet, leading the Yellow Jackets on the ground with 187 yards and two scores. The rest of the backfield is spread out with Jahmyr Gibbs and Jamious Griffin leading the charge. They’re each over 140 yards in three games and both have found paydirt. Sophomore Dontae Smith has been buried a bit in the depth chart, but he’s beyond explosive and they can’t keep him limited forever when he’s averaging eight-plus yards per carry.

When Sims drops back, he’s still dangerous. He’s extremely balanced and of the least picky QB’s in the country. It’s rare to see as most young guns rely on their one or two targets. Jalen Camp and Malachi Carter lead the pack as the only two over 100 yards, but seven other pass-catchers are over 30 yards and three catches. You never know where Sims is going with the ball, though it’s often to the wrong team. 

If Georgia Tech wants to win this game, it comes down to defense. The Louisville Cardinals attack is ferocious and they won’t let up on the ground if Georgia Tech doesn’t force them to. The Yellow Jackets haven’t shown the capability to do it yet, but they’ll have to if they want to slow down the Cardinals and win this game as a home underdog. They can’t over-commit either, as Cunningham can go for 300+ with ease. 

Spread Prediction

The Pick: Louisville -6

The Louisville Cardinals are going to control this game from start to finish and I’m all over them at this number. If this stays under a touchdown up to kickoff, it’s one of my top bets on the entire weekend. The Cardinals are the better team on both sides of the ball and this is a must-win game if they want to stay alive in the ACC. Expect them to come out firing on both sides of the ball. I predict Javian Hawkins to have a huge game as he helps to control the pace.

The Yellow Jackets have been dangerous offensively, but they turn the ball over too much and this Louisville offense is one that will capitalize when given the opportunity. If Georgia Tech wants any shots Sims has to play as he did in week one. I don’t see it happening and I’m all over the Cardinals at this price. It’s a beautiful bankroll boost on Friday night before a jam-packed Saturday slate. 

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Total Prediction

This is a very tough number and I can see both sides getting hit. It all comes down to which Jeff Sims shows up for Georgia Tech. If he can move the ball without turning it over, this will turn into a shootout. If Louisville gets out to an early lead, they will feed Hawkins and throw when they have to. I lean the ladder and will take the under, but much prefer taking Louisville with the six points. 

The Pick: Under 65.5 Final Score Prediction: Louisville 38, Georgia Tech 24
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