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Louisville Cardinals vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Betting Picks and Predictions

06 October 2020

NCAAF Picks Austyn Varney
Date:Friday, October 9th
Time:7:00 PM ET
Venue:Bobby Dodd Stadium
Network:ESPN
Spread:Louisville -5.5
O/U:65

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. Neither team has gotten off to a very promising start, but both teams have the talent to bounce back and finish strong. The Cardinals are 5.5-point favorites and we’re expecting a high-scoring game with a 65 over/under. Let’s dive into how this one will play out and who will cover the spread.

When the Louisville Cardinals Have The Ball

After beating Western Kentucky to open the season, Louisville has dropped back-to-back games against the University of Miami and Pittsburgh. Their 23-20 loss to Pittsburgh was a brutal one as the Panthers held Louisville to just three second-half points. The defense was solid, but the offense couldn’t move the ball consistently all game.

QB Malik Cunningham threw three interceptions and managed just 107 yards through the air. It was the worst day of his career. As a team, Louisville was outgained 376-223 and lost the turnover battle. The Panthers defense controlled this game and Louisville hasn’t looked worst in years. It doesn’t get any easier from here, either, as they go to Georgia Tech before heading to Notre Dame.

If Louisville wants to dig themselves out of this early grave, Malik Cunningham needs to step up in a big way. He was one of the best passers in the conference a season ago and has excellent chemistry with his pass-catchers. WR Tutu Atwell will be the most dynamic athlete on the field and has already accounted for 229 yards and three touchdowns in the middle of a brutal start to the season.

The offense is centered around RB Javian Hawkins, who is a crucial tone-setter in this offense. He’s run for 313 yards and 5.3 YPC to start the season, but will need to do more if Louisville wants to play their ideal game. They look to control the pace of the game and keep the ball out of the opposing players hands.

When The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Have The Ball

The Yellow Jackets opened the season with a bang, upsetting the Florida State Seminoles 16-13 in an ugly defensive joust. QB Jeff Sims emerged and gave this GT a new look. They were then predictably beat 49-21 by the UCF Knights in a game that was never close. Through two weeks, everything was solid. Many believed they would start the season 0-2 and that didn’t happen.

That’s when the Yellow Jackets hosted the Syracuse Orange as 7.5-point favorites and ended up being blown out 37-20. Yikes. The Orange haven’t been very good otherwise and it makes you wonder just how good Georgia Tech is. Especially with their lone win coming against an FSU team that struggled with Jacksonville State. The Yellow Jackets have a ton to prove as they are still mostly an unknown through three weeks.

Against Syracuse, QB Jeff Sims looked brutal as he threw four interceptions with just 174 passing yards. It couldn’t have been much worse as he constantly threw the ball to the wrong team. He looked decent in the first two weeks and will look to rebound against an aggressive, boom-or-bust Cardinals D. Wide receivers Malachi Carter and Jalen Camp are extremely talented and both already have 10+ catches through three games. Look for Sims to rely on the pair as he hopes to regain confidence.

Jahmyr Gibbs and Jamious Griffin share the backfield and have been similarly effective to start the season. QB Sims has run for more yards than both of them with 187 yards and two scores. They don’t run the triple-option anymore but still focus on misdirection in the run game. Against Louisville, Georgia Tech has to take care of the ball. Both of these offenses have a tendency to turn the ball over and neither defense is good enough to make up for it.

When the Yellow Jackets are playing well, they hold onto the ball forever and play aggressive defense. The Cardinals have shown they will turn the ball over and you can expect GT to send a ton of blitzes early to force mistakes out of Cunningham. It just comes down to whether that works or not as Louisville has the talent to overcome anything if prepared correctly.

Spread Prediction

Expect the team that wins the turnover battle to win this game. Through three weeks, few teams have been more up-and-down between than these two. They each started the season with a big win before losing two straight easy ones. With that said, it’s clear how much more talented Louisville is on both sides of the ball.

The Yellow Jackets only win came against an FSU team that has proven to be quite terrible. The Cardinals put up a solid fight against Pittsburgh and nearly came back vs. Miami. This is one of my favorite bets on the entire weekend as I expect the Cardinals to take care of business with ease.

Malik Cunningham will be the far better QB and he has the better weapons to work with. This number would be closer to 14 if it wasn’t for the blah records on both sides. Give me Louisville to win this game by two touchdowns or more.

The Pick: Louisville +5.5

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

Total Prediction

I love the under bet in this game as Georgia Tech will have trouble moving the ball with any consistency. Since halftime in Miami, the Louisville Cardinals defense has looked solid and they’re going to put pressure on turnover-machine Jeff Sims. That doesn’t mean this number won’t get close, but I expect Louisville to establish the run as much as possible as they’ve struggled to do so through three weeks.

This number is higher than most expected shootouts and I don’t respect either passing game enough. When Louisville runs the ball and has a lead, they don’t play very fast. Georgia Tech is also a run-heavy team and will have more success there than they will against a talented secondary. Expect the clock to run for most of this game and for the over to just miss as Louisville comfortably wins.

The Pick: Under 65

Final Score Prediction: Louisville 38, Georgia Tech 20

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

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