No. 8 Cincinnati and No. 9 Georgia meet in the first bowl game of 2021 in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl on Jan. 1.
The game is at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Georgia (7-2) is in the New Year’s Day for the fifth consecutive season. The Bulldogs are close to home, and JT Daniels will look to solidify his hold on the quarterback position heading into 2021. Georgia has played in New Year’s Day Six bowls after losses in the SEC championship game in 2018 and 2019. What will be their motivation this season?
Cincinnati (9-0) is the third Group of 5 school to play in the Peach Bowl in the last seven seasons. Houston (2015) and UCF (2017) each completed unbeaten seasons in this bowl. Will Luke Fickell and the Bearcats follow that trend?
Here’s everything to know about betting on Florida vs. Oklahoma, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for the 2020 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
MORE: How Peach Bowl planning made Georgia vs. Cincinnati possible
Georgia vs. Cincinnati odds
- Spread: Georgia -6.5
- Over/under: 50.5
- Moneyline: Georgia -245, Cincinnati +195
The Bulldogs opened as an 8-point favorite, but the line has dropped a point. Georgia has five players who opted out of the game, including team captains Ben Cleveland, Mony Rice and Eric Stokes.
Georgia vs. Cincinnati all-time series
The Bulldogs and Bearcats have only previous meeting. No. 7 Georgia beat No. 20 Cincinnati 31-17 on Oct. 30, 1976.
Three trends to know
— The Bulldogs were 4-5 ATS this season, and they were favored in every game except the matchup against Alabama. Georgia covered in its last two games against South Carolina (-22) and Missouri (-14).
— The Bearcats were 5-4 ATS in 2020. Cincinnati is 10-7 ATS as an underdog under Fickell.
— Georgia was 6-3 with the OVER this season, and the Bearcats were 5-4 in the same situation. That might be a good play despite the tough defense on both sides.
Three things to watch
— Who runs first? Both defenses excel at stopping the run. Georgia allowed just 2.3 yards per rush this season, and Cincinnati allowed just 3.2 yards per rush. Both teams are run-first offenses, too. This will answer the question whether the Bearcats can compete on the lines on both sides. The trio of quarterback Desmond Ridder (692 yards, 12 TDs), Gerrid Doaks (673 yards, 7 TDs) and Jerome Ford (405 yards, 7 TDs) must have success early against the Bulldogs.
— J.T. Daniels’ efficiency. Daniels completed 66.7 percent of his passes in three starts against Mississippi State, South Carolina and Missouri, and the Bulldogs averaged 41.7 points per game in that stretch. That opened up the running game with Zamir White, Kenny McIntosh and Daijun Edwards.
— George Pickens vs. Ahmad Gardner. This is a fun matchup. Pickens, who had a breakout performance in the Sugar Bowl against Baylor last season, had 14 catches for 238 yards and three TDs in Georgia’s last three games. Gardner, a cornerback, leads a Bearcats’ secondary that also features safety James Wiggins. Cincinnati allowed just six passing TDs with 15 interceptions this season.
Stat that matters
Third-down percentage. Both teams were almost identical in this statistic during the regular season. Georgia converted 49 percent of its third-down opportunities on offense and held opponents to 37 percent. Cincinnati converted 48.3 percent of its third downs and allowed 36.7 percent to its opponents. That’s a reflection of the solid execution on both sides for the Bulldogs and Bearcats. Which team can disrupt that?
Georgia vs. Cincinnati prediction
Cincinnati will compete, and the running game will test Georgia’s patience in the first half. Ridder will have to make the most of those third-down opportunities in the passing game. The Bulldogs will get their running game started with White, who scores on a long run to give Georgia a half-time lead. Daniels will keep the offense on schedule, and the Bulldogs will hold a Bearcats’ rally in the fourth quarter.
Final score: Georgia 31, Cincinnati 23