By Dan Kilbridge | | 6 mins
Alabama vs Georgia Free Picks & CFP National Championship Predictions
Most college football betting enthusiasts viewed last month’s SEC title game between Alabama and Georgia as the de facto National Championship. Turns out it was just an early preview for the real thing, with the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs set to meet in the national title game Monday at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium.
That upset victory gave Alabama a cushy College Football Playoff semifinal matchup and the Tide capitalized with a 27-6 win over Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, were able to get up off the mat and handle their business in a 34-11 blowout win over Michigan in the Orange Bowl.
Alabama and Georgia have been considered the top two teams for most of the season, and one game wasn’t enough to settle things for good. Now it’s time for a rematch on the biggest possible stage, with nonstop wagering action on both sides from start to finish. Let's take a look at our college football picks for the game.
Odds subject to change.
Alabama Vs Georgia Key Matchups
Alabama WRs vs. Georgia DBs: This was a huge key going into the first matchup and the Tide wideouts delivered big time, torching the Dawgs secondary all night. It also came at a cost that will impact this matchup. The Tide are now without star receiver John Metchie, who had six catches for 97 yards and a touchdown before suffering a season-ending injury in the SEC title game. Georgia needs to slow down the remaining Tide skill position players and avoid a track meet at all costs. If they can avoid the explosive plays early on, the Bulldogs will have a legit chance to return the favor and get a win.
Georgia RBs vs. Alabama Front Seven: The Bulldogs’ passing attack racked up 340 yards against the Tide in the SEC title game. It was their second-best passing performance of the season. And it did not matter. The Tide made the Bulldogs one-dimensional by holding them to 109 rushing yards on 30 attempts for an average of 3.6 yards per carry, their lowest output of the year. Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett can hit plays downfield when opposing defenses are guessing, but he’s not good enough to put the team on his back. Georgia needs balance to win, and the Tide need to shut down the run to ensure that doesn’t happen.
4 Key Stats For Alabama vs. Georgia
172.2: Passing yards per game allowed by Georgia.
421 Passing yards for Alabama in the SEC Championship.
7: Consecutive wins for Alabama over Georgia.
9.5: Points per game allowed by Georgia.
Alabama Vs Georgia Point Spread
Georgia is favored again for the rematch, but they aren’t giving as many points coming off the SEC title game loss.
Whereas the Bulldogs opened as a +6.5 favorite over the Tide in Atlanta, they’re now sitting tight at +3 for the rematch. So far the majority of spread tickets are on Alabama, but the majority of money is coming in on Georgia to cover.
We loved Alabama +6.5 the first time around and think +3 is still a good line given the dynamics at play. This isn’t an ideal matchup for Georgia no matter how you cut it. The Bulldogs want to push teams around, control time of possession and sit on a lead. You can’t sit on a lead against Alabama, ever. There is definitely a path for Georgia here, but everything needs to go right for the Bulldogs. That was the case in the SEC title game and we believe it still applies. We’re on Alabama to cover +3.
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Alabama Vs Georgia Moneyline
The Bulldogs check in around -145 one the moneyline, while the Tide are +125 underdogs. Those college football odds held steady in the days after the line was first posted.
Realistically, there are just two reasons Georgia bettors think this will be different than the first game. Most notably, the Tide are without wideout Jon Metchie III after he suffered a season-ending injury against the Bulldogs.
It’s a significant loss, for sure. Losing a No. 1 receiver is devastating for most teams in the country. Alabama is not most teams. They have five-stars ready to plug-and-place at the skill positions. That’s not to say they will perform at the same level, but they can come close. Freshman Ja’Corey Brooks saw his first significant action of the season in the CFP semifinal against Cincinnati and had four catches for 66 yards and a touchdown. Jameson Williams is also playing his best ball of the year and went off for 184 yards and two touchdowns against the Bulldogs the first time around.
The second theory is that Alabama was extremely motivated for the SEC title game and felt disrespected as a +6.5 underdog. That doesn’t mean they won’t be just as motivated as a +3 underdog in the Natty, a line which is actually more disrespectful given what transpired in Atlanta.
From matchup to coaching to recent history, all signs point to Alabama. That’s where our money is going with the Tide +125 on the moneyline.
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Alabama Vs Georgia Total
The total on betting apps is hovering in the low 50s for this one after Alabama and Georgia combined to score 65 in the first matchup. We do expect a slightly more low-scoring game but don’t have an official play on the total.
Those inclined to follow the money will note that while roughly 81% of tickets have come in on the Over, 57% of the money is actually on the Under.
We’d lean over again considering how we feel about the Tide, who will gladly turn this into a race. Georgia should have a bit more success on offense this time around but can’t afford to fall behind early. The Bulldogs will certainly try to grind it out on the ground with clock-eating drives, but that’s much easier said than done against the Tide.
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