The No. 8 Georgia Bulldogs (6-1) are a 6.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook against the No. 6 Florida Gators (7-1) in a Week 10 college football matchup that will all but eliminate the loser from playoff contention.
While an SEC team may well be able to sneak into the top four by season’s end with one loss, two losses will be a much harder sell, and the loser will also fall a game behind in the race for the SEC East title.
Early Battles Forge Bulldog Identity
For Georgia, the fact that they have a loss at this point in the season comes as a bit of a surprise. Sure, there was a potential test against Notre Dame in September which led to a close victory. But few expected South Carolina to upset the Bulldogs earlier this month.
According to Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, however, those tough games have helped to give this Bulldogs team an identity.
We have been in some tough battles,” Smart told media members on a teleconference. “Notre Dame, South Carolina, Kentucky, all those games went down to the wire, we have shown resiliency and no quit…what you want to see from your team, they have shown it.”
According to Florida head coach Dan Mullen, Saturday’s game in Jacksonville – the traditional site for the Florida vs. Georgia matchup – is an absolutely critical matchup, as the two teams both know they can only control their future with a win.
“I think at this point in the season, it’s for first place in the SEC East,” Mullen told reporters. “All you can really control is winning the East. If you do that, you get an opportunity to go to Atlanta and play one game there. Beyond that, everybody is voting for you.”
Week 10 Features Few Key Matchups
Outside of the SEC, there aren’t a whole lot of matchups with major playoff implications in Week 10. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a couple key games for gamblers and fans alike to keep an eye on.
The biggest may be the battle between No. 15 SMU (8-0) and No. 24 Memphis (7-1). Like any school outside of the power conferences, SMU will not only have to go undefeated to have a chance at making the playoffs, but they’ll also need many other teams to fall to the wayside in the next few weeks.
Even the first goal might be difficult, as the Mustangs are a six-point underdog as they visit the Tigers. Memphis has won the last five games between the two programs, a streak that will have to go by the wayside if SMU wants to reach at least a New Year’s Day bowl.
“I think it’s good for our fans, certainly good for the conference. I think the American conference is a lot better than people think,” SMU coach Sonny Dykes told reporters about the primetime matchup on national television. “I think you don’t get to play in these kinds of games unless you’ve had some level of success, so that’s nice. But at the end of the day, we talk to our players about this all the time, it’s what happens between the lines that matter.”
Of the remaining top 10 teams, No. 7 Oregon (7-1) likely faces the toughest test, as they travel to USC (5-3). The Ducks are just a 4.5-point favorite in a game that they will need to win in order to stay in the playoff race, as they attempt to run the table and win a Pac-12 championship game – a run that could give them a real chance of moving into the top four at the end of the year.