SEC Championship Game: Alabama vs. Georgia Pick ATS
No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (12-0 SU, 8-4 ATS) vs. No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs (11-1 SU, 7-5 ATS)
NCAA Football Week 14
Date/Time: Saturday December 1st, 2018. 4:00PM (EST)
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium Atlanta, G.A.
Point Spread:ALA -13.5/UGA +13.5
Over/Under Total: 63.5
The stage is set for a rematch of the 2017 National Championship Game this weekend when the no. 5 Georgia Bulldogs meet the no. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the SEC Championship Game. This week’s SEC Title match-up features the same two teams from last year’s National Championship Game at the same exact venue in Atlanta; only this time it is for a conference championship with an opportunity to seal another bid to the College Football Playoffs. Last year, it was Alabama that captured glory fighting their way back from a 13-0 deficit in a game that sparked Tua Tagovailoa’s career. Can Alabama find magic again in Atlanta or will Georgia play the spoiler role in the rematch?
Georgia two touchdown underdogs against Alabama
At first glance, I thought this line was a little bit lopsided with Georgia listed as mere two touchdown underdogs. Technically the line currently stands at 13.5 but it could easily be 14 by game time. If you consider the fact Georgia gave Alabama one of their best challenges of the season last year and the fact they match-up as well as anyone against the Crimson Tide from a talent standpoint; the 13.5 points seems pretty steep. In fact, it is just the 3rd time since 2015 that Georgia has entered a game as an underdog. On the other side of the equation, you have to consider Alabama’s body of work despite the match-up or talent comparisons. The Crimson Tide have put together one of the most dominant seasons in college football history by winning every game by a minimum of 22 points. Last week in the iconic Iron Bowl, the Crimson Tide led by just 3 points against rival Auburn at the half before exploding for 35 2nd half points. The explosive Alabama offense has been one of the best scoring units in college football this season averaging 49 points per game. Therefore, perhaps Alabama is worthy of the heavy favorite position ahead of this week’s SEC Championship Game.
Alabama vs. Georgia match-up breakdown
From a pure numbers standpoint, Alabama and Georgia are very similar on paper. Alabama has averaged 49 points per game (2nd in the FBS) to Georgia’s 40 point average (13th in the FBS). On defense, Alabama has relinquished just 13.8 points per game (3rd in the FBS) and Georgia has yielded just 17.2 points per game (10th in the FBS). In terms of defenses, both groups produce playmakers that are very physical along the trenches with premiere SEC caliber speed in their back 7.
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Offensively, Georgia mainly looks to run the ball behind the talented duo of D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfeld who are both on their way to 1,000 yard campaigns. Georgia also has the luxury of quarterback Jake Fromm who is having an excellent season with 24 touchdowns and 5 picks. For Alabama, they have a lot of similarities with a physical running game behind Damien and Najee Harris. However, Alabama’s advantage comes from quarterback Tua Tagovailoa who has emerged as the best player in America since last year’s win over Georgia in Atlanta. Tagovailoa has tossed 36 touchdowns with just 2 interceptions and has given the Crimson Tide firepower on the offensive side of the football.
Still, this game is all about match-ups. While Alabama looks invincible on the offensive side of the football, Georgia still has a great defense that will compete. Let’s also not overlook the fact that Head Coach Kirby Smart is the former Alabama Defensive Coordinator who is very familiar with Nick Saban’s offenses. While Alabama obviously has the advantage on offense due to Tagovailoa’s potential, I am not sure if the advantage is overwhelming. The Bulldogs defense is stout against the run and will win their share of short yardage situations. It simply comes down to their ability to get a pass rush on Tagovailoa and stay disciplined in the secondary. I feel like Georgia will win some of the match-ups on defense which may surprise some people but it should not because they are a really good defensive team. If the Bulldogs can establish their dynamic run game as well, they have every chance to compete in this game. However, the run game is a must because they will have to limit Alabama’s chances with the football. The more opportunities Tagovailoa has with the football, the less odds Georgia has towards staying in this football game.
Alabama vs. Georgia betting trends
Alabama has been a very solid team for bettors this season at 8-4 ATS and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Crimson Tide have also hit the “over” mark in 9 of their last 13 games. Meanwhile, Georgia has also been a solid profit maker this season at 7-5 ATS including 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games. The Bulldogs are only 1-4 SU against Alabama in the last 5 games but they are 4-2-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings as well. The “over” has also hit in 6 of the last 7 games between the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I have been Alabama’s biggest fan this season but this is a scary match-up. Georgia will not back down in this challenge and they actually match-up surprisingly well. Take Georgia +13.5. For more weekend football action, check out our Week 13 NFL Predictions.