Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#4801 Auburn vs.
#4802 Georgia
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Ben the Pen

Auburn faces Georgia on Wednesday in a battle of struggling SEC programs. Auburn has lost four straight games to start out 0-4 in the SEC, while Georgia has lost three straight to start out at 0-3.

These teams faced each other twice last season with Auburn winning by 20 at home, but losing by 10 on the road.

Tough start for Pearl

Auburn isn't going to the NCAA Tournament the season due to a self-imposed postseason ban. Maybe that was a good choice considering the fact that the Tigers are off to their worst start the 2016-17 season. The good news is that help is coming in the form of guard Justin Powell, who missed the previous two games due to a concussion suffered on Jan. 2 against Texas A&M. In 10 games this season, the 6-5 Powell is averaging 11.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists.

Powell is good enough to play the point, but with freshman guard Sharife Cooper back in the lineup, he could move to the wing. Cooper played his first game last Saturday against Alabama (was ineligible the first 11) and scored 26 points and dished out nine assists in their 94-90 loss. He shot 8-of-19 from the field, but just 1-of-7 from beyond the arc and turned the ball over five times.

Defense has been an issue for the Tigers, who are allowing 73.7 points per game on 43.4% shooting (30.1% 3pt). Part of that is pace as the Tigers rank 106th in adjusted tempo according to KenPom. They average 75.7 points per game on 44.6% shooting (34% 3pt). After Cooper, Allen Flanigan leads Auburn with 14 points and 3.0 assists on 50% shooting from the field and 40% (26-65) from 3-point range.

Dawgs are not barking

Speaking of defense, Georgia is not playing any in the SEC. They had started out winning their first seven games before hitting reality in the SEC. They had played their first eight games at home, which might make sense in the COVID-19 era, but doesn't when you have to go out on the road. When you are beating up on teams like Florida A&M, Montana, Samford and Northeastern, it doesn't really get you ready for SEC play and it has shown.

Georgia has lost all three SEC games and has allowed an average of 92 points per game in that span. In their last game, the Bulldogs fell at Arkansas 99-69. They shot 43% from the field and were outscored 56-32 in the second half, after being down by just six at the half. Toumani Camara and Andrew Garcia scored 15 points apiece.

"We were right there in the first half," said head coach Tom Crean following the game on . "We were playing good ball in the first half. They punched us in the mouth early in the second half and we didn't respond to it. We had nobody respond to it. No one took the bull by the horns, so to speak, to rally the team. We just did not get back defensively as well. We started trying to take things into our own hands offensively. We've got to make some adjustments. We need to some things differently."

Georgia averages 80.2 points per game on 46.5% shooting (30.5% 3pt). They allow 72.9 points per game on 42.4% shooting (32.7% 3pt). They also outrebound teams by 8.3 per game though a lot of that has to do with the early schedule. In the Arkansas game, they were outrebounded by seven and also allowed the Razorbacks to shoot 52% from the field and 12-of-21 from long range. Camara leads the team with 14.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.

Best Bets for this Game

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Full-Game Side Bet

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The Tigers are ready to go on a run. They get Powell back on Wednesday and with the talented freshman Cooper, they have a chance to be one of the best backcourts in the SEC for the rest of this season. They play a Georgia team that has really struggled in SEC competition, as they were going through a very soft schedule at home. Maybe Tom Crean did that due to the circumstances, but they could have played some teams from Atlanta or in the state, instead of long road trips. They are still home, but the Tigers are hungry for a win.

Prediction: Auburn +1.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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These teams can flat-out score, but they don't really stop anybody. Some of that has to do with pace. Georgia ranks 10th in the nation with 79.4 possessions per game. They love to run and points will be scored by both sides. Last year's games went under, but Auburn actually played defense last season and they had better personnel.

Prediction: Over 153.5
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Written By Ben Hayes , "Ben the Pen"

Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for nearly 30 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13! Ben has had great success in handicapping college football, the NFL, college basketball, the NBA and MLB for 25+ years.