Despite the lack of momentum around Georgia sports betting, the Peach State is still getting ready to play host to defending national champions Georgia, led by coach Kirby Smart, and the Oregon Ducks on Saturday, Sept. 3 for the annual Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game.
It's a heavyweight matchup that will have all college football fans keeping an eye on Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium over Labor Day Weekend.
Of particular interest will be the play of new Oregon QB Bo Nix, a three-year starter at Auburn who transferred to the Ducks over the offseason. Nix, a former five-star recruit known for his mobility, was a popular Tiger and was playing well last season with 11 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions before a a broken ankle ended his year (and Auburn career) last November.
Nix is an intriguing addition for the Ducks, ranked 11 in the AP poll to start the year (Georgia comes in at No. 3).
College Football National Championship Odds 2022
Nix Not Guaranteed Starting Job
But bettors shouldn't rush to assume Nix will be leading the full attack come the season opener against UGA. Despite his experience and ability to use his legs, Nix is still in a tight battle for the starting QB job under new coach Dan Lanning (and former Georgia defensive coordinator) -- with the season opener less than two weeks away.
Reports say he's in a battle with young signal callers Ty Thompson and Jay Butterfield. Thompson played in three games last season as a true freshman, though the staff is said to be high on Butterfield as well.
With the competition running into the late August, is there reason to believe the Ducks can knock off UGA in front of a largely pro-Dawgs crowd?
The fact that Nix hasn't won the job outright yet is somewhat alarming considering he's back with new Oregon offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham, who was Auburn’s offensive coordinator when Nix won SEC Freshman of the Year.
Bettors would think Dillingham would be eager to go into the season with an established, veteran quarterback that he has good history with. That said, maybe the competition is less of a knock on Nix and more of a sign of how ready either or both Thompson and Butterfield may be.
One stat remains telling though ahead of the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff: Nix was 0-3 against UGA in his time at Auburn.
At DraftKings Sportsbook, available in many states, Nix sits at +8000 to win the Heisman Trophy. Those odds are well behind favorites like Ohio State's CJ Stroud (+220) and Alabama's Bryce Young (+380).
Heisman Trophy Odds 2022
Bettors Face Long Wait for Georgia Sports Betting
With such a high-profile college football matchup kicking off the season in Georgia, (along with Clemson vs. Georgia Tech two days later at Mercedes-Benz Stadium), it's worth checking in on where legislation stands for betting in the Peach State.
Unfortunately, the immediate future is bleak.
In January 2021, Rep. Ron Stephens led the presentation of House Bill 86 in the Georgia House. That bill proposed allowing six licensed online wagering entities in the state, but no betting on college sports.
But that hit the wall, because some legislators didn’t want to support sports betting while other state legislators were trying to, according to the first set of legislators, limit voting rights in the state. That same month, the Georgia NAACP came out against sports betting and the state legislature went into recess.