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Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Florida Gators Odds - Prediction

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No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (12-0 SU, 8-3 ATS) vs. No. 15 Florida Gators (8-3 SU, 5-6 ATS)
College Football SEC Championship Game
Date/Time: Saturday December 3rd, 2016. 4:00PM (EST)
Where: Georgia Dome Atlanta, G.A.
TV: CBS
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: ALA -24/FLA +24
Over/Under Total: 40

Perhaps the most prestigious conference champion in college football will be crowned this weekend when the no. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide meet the no. 15 Florida Gators inside the Georgia Dome for the SEC Championship. Of course the SEC has not been as competitive this season as compared to previous years. Alabama has been the clear frontrunner in the conference and the entire FBS for that matter all season whereas Florida is the next closest top tier opponent with 3 losses on the season. As a result, the Crimson Tide will be rather huge 24 point favorites when the two teams collide inside the Georgia Dome on Saturday.

The 2016 SEC Championship Game will feature two of the best defenses in college football. Alabama has taken over as the number 1 ranked defense in the country surpassing Michigan in recent weeks. However, I have said all year that Alabama’s defense is the best in the country. They currently rank number 1 in total defense, 1st in scoring defense, and have produced the most defensive touchdowns as any team in America. However, Florida is not too far off those inspiring defensive stats. The Gators rank 6th in total defense, 5th in scoring, and are tied with Alabama with 21 turnovers forced on the season. Therefore, there is a reason this is the lowest total (40) of all the championship games that will be played this weekend.

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The big difference that makes up the 24 point spread in this game is the play of the offense. Florida has struggled significantly moving the football averaging just 14.75 points over their last 4 games. The quarterback play has been pretty bad all year. Some may point out the fact that backup quarterback Austin Appleby is to blame for the lack of offense in recent weeks since former starter Luke Del Rio was lost for the year. However, Florida quarterbacks have combined to complete just 58% passing on the season with 14 touchdowns and 10 picks. Appleby has accounted for 6 touchdowns and just 2 picks to put things into perspective.

The Gators have never been the strongest of passing teams in recent years as they have typically relied on defense with a strong running game to control their outcomes. However, Florida has not even run the ball well this season averaging just 141 yards per game on the ground which ranks 104th in the FBS. Sophomore running back Jordan Scarlett leads the Gators’ offense with 778 yards on the ground with 6 scores. However, he has been contained to just 112 yards combined in the Gators’ 3 losses this season. When Florida has not been able to run the ball, they have simply not moved the football and that is the main concern this Saturday against an Alabama defense that is by far the best run defense in America yielding just 2.2 yards per attempt.

On the other side of the ball, Alabama has had a lot more success with their offense. The Crimson Tide offense is loaded with play makers starting with freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts. Hurts has completed 65% passing this year resulting in 2,454 passing yards with 21 scores and 9 picks. Hurts also ranks 2nd on the team in rushing with 840 yards and another 12 touchdowns on the ground. As seen on several occasions this year, this offense gets going with their quarterback so if Florida is going to have a chance in thwarting this offense they will have to shut down Hurts while forcing a few turnovers. Alabama has all the weapons around Hurts with running back Damien Harris along with receivers ArDarius Stewart and Calvin Ridley. However, Hurts remains the key to this Alabama offense and the key to this outcome on Saturday.

Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Alabama has been one of the best money makers in the country this season going 8-3 ATS. I think their defense will be extremely dominant on Saturday similar to the way they matched up against LSU. The problem is if Florida responds and plays up to their potential; the 24 point spread becomes harder to reach. Therefore, I like the under 40 as the best play here. Good luck!

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NCAA Football Week 4 Betting Previews

Here are some additional game previews from this week's college football card.

Free Picks

Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!

Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.

Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.

Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.

College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.

Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.

Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.

2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2018 National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8th.

2017 Heisman Trophy Predictions - USC QB Sam Darnold is a heavy pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award, but Jay isn't buying it. In fact, he's passing up the top (3) favored players in favor of a QB who he's confident will be NCAA football's best player in 2017.

2017-2018 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the Alabama Crimson Tide running away with the National Championship this season and who can blame them? Roll Tide is LOADED! It never happens that easy though. The USC Trojans (+825), Florida St. Seminoles (+850) and Ohio St. Buckckeyes (+875) all have a legit shot. Oddsmakers have Oklahoma (+1300) on the bubble and everybody looking from the outside in at 20/1 or higher. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!

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Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - USC QB Sam Darnold starts the season off as a heavy favorite at +350 odds. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield is second on the list at +700 but can he keep his nose clean? Louisville QB Lamar Jackson should dominate this season but will Louisville be taken seriously? Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman is worth a pop at 60/1 if he gets the carries. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. But will they throw the ball enough with a QB who likes to run? Missing from this year's list of odds is a defensive player.

Odds to Win the 2017 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to win the National Championship this year at 5/2 followed by Ohio St. at 13/5, USC at 7/1 and FSU at 17/2. Things drop off a bit with the Oklahoma Sooners coming in at 12/1, Auburn Tigers at 14/1 and Michigan Wolverines at 16/1. Check out your favorite school's odds here!

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