Georgia-Arkansas Odds

Fayetteville, AKGeorgia pulled out a narrow win in a shootout with an SEC rival last weekend, avoiding its first 0-2 start in 13 years.

Though the weaknesses in the Bulldogs' defense were exposed for much of the game, the unit stepped up when it counted to build its confidence heading into a matchup with Arkansas.

Bet College Football Week 3

The 23rd-ranked Bulldogs look to build on their first victory and answer another defensive challenge Saturday night when they visit the Razorbacks, who are coming off their best offensive showing under second-year coach Bobby Petrino.

Oddsmakers from online sports book BetOnline have made Arkansas -1 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 57% of bets for this game have been placed on Georgia +1 (View College Football bet percentages).

Georgia (1-1, 1-0) suffered a disheartening loss in its season opener, 24-10 at then-No. 9 Oklahoma State. The Bulldogs rebounded last Saturday, surviving to beat South Carolina 41-37 after Rennie Curran deflected a fourth-down pass near the end zone with 22 seconds remaining.

"This does a lot for our team's character," Curran said. "No matter how much adversity we face, if we can stick together and keep a positive attitude, then we can get through anything."

Georgia's defense gave up 427 yards but stiffened in the red zone after allowing two first-quarter touchdowns. That was despite an exhausting day in which the Gamecocks ran 30 more plays than the Bulldogs.

"That's what you live for as a defensive player, to make that stop and be victorious on your home turf," said cornerback Brandon Boykin, who set a school record with a 100-yard kickoff return for Georgia's first touchdown. "We really came together. When adversity struck, we didn't fall apart."

The Bulldogs might need a similar effort against the Razorbacks, who set a team mark with 447 passing yards in a 48-10 victory over Missouri State on Sept. 5.

Ryan Mallett, who sat out last season after transferring from Michigan, completed 17 of 22 passes for 309 yards and a touchdown, and backup Tyler Wilson threw for 138 yards and two TDs. The Razorbacks' 591 yards marked their highest total since they had 651 in a win over South Carolina on Nov. 3, 2007.

Though the effort came against an opponent Arkansas expected to beat, it was a promising start to Petrino's second year. Coming off a 5-7 finish, the Razorbacks expect to make significant strides in 2009.

"We are a more mature team than we were a year ago and it showed in the game," said Petrino, whose team was idle last weekend.

The competition will get much stiffer in conference play, but Mallett doesn't expect much to change in his first SEC game.

"I approach every game the same way," he said. "You don't want to change your approach based on the opponent. If you do, that's how you get out of sync. Since my freshman year, I've grown up a lot. I don't get as wired-up as I used to as easily. I'm just going to approach it the same way I did against Missouri State."

While the Razorbacks appear to have complete confidence in Mallett, the Bulldogs might have had some questions about quarterback Joe Cox before their last game. Reports surfaced he was bothered by a shoulder injury and might not play.

Cox took all but one snap last weekend, though he conceded he has a long-standing issue with his shoulder - one that will lead Georgia's coaches to hold him out of passing drills on Wednesdays for the rest of the season.

"It's something that been with me for about a year now," said Cox, who was 17 of 24 for 201 yards with two touchdowns and one crucial interception. "It hasn't gotten any worse. It doesn't bother me to the point where I can't function. I still feel like I can throw the ball fine. It's just something I've been dealing with for a while."

Georgia won its last five games against Arkansas to take an 8-3 advantage in the series. Then ranked No. 4, the Bulldogs narrowly avoided an upset in the teams' last meeting Oct. 22, 2005, outlasting Arkansas 23-20 at home.

The Bulldogs are 3-0 in Fayetteville, where the Razorbacks have lost eight of their last 10 against ranked SEC opponents.

Bet College Football Week 3

Posted: 9/15/09 2:39PM ET

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