Alabama vs Georgia Odds
The second-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1) and third-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (11-1) face off in the SEC championship game Saturday afternoon inside the Georgia Dome. Oddsmakers have listed Alabama as a 7.5-point favorite and have set the total at 50.5.
Why Alabama Covers
Alabama is no stranger to big games. We are talking about a program that is gunning for its second straight national title and its third in four years.
The Crimson Tide have been completely dominant on defense. Georgia has a good defense, but its numbers pale in comparison to the ones Alabama has posted. The Tide rank No. 1 in the country in scoring defense with 9.2 points allowed per game while the Bulldogs rank 16th with 17.7 points allowed per game. The Tide also rank No. 1 in total defense with 233.7 yards allowed per game while the Bulldogs rank 22nd with 337.8 yards allowed per contest.
Alabama has fed off of dominant defensive performances in recent seasons so it is significant that it held Auburn to only 163 yards in last week’s 49-0 victory. Consider that the Crimson Tide are 6-0 against the spread the last two seasons when playing away from home following a game in which they gave up 225 total yards or less. They have won in this situation by an average score of 39.7 to 6.8.
It is also significant that the Tide have failed to cover the spread in three of their last four games. Consider that they are 6-0 against the spread the last three seasons after failing to cover the number in three out of their last four contests. They have won in this situation by an average score of 37.5 to 7.3.
Alabama has not been fazed when playing on a neutral field. In fact, it is on a 6-0 against the spread run in neutral-site games while Georgia is on a 2-5 against the spread slide when playing on a neutral field.
It is also worth noting that Georgia has been a poor investment when catching points. The Dawgs are just 1-8 against the spread in the underdog role over the last three seasons. They have lost by an average score of 32.2 to 19.7 in these games.
Why Georgia Covers
Georgia has been on a mission to get back to the SEC title game after it was blown out 42-10 by LSU in last year’s conference championship contest. Remembering how bad that loss felt, I fully expect Georgia to show much better this time around.
The Dawgs have been on an absolute tear. They have won each of their last six games by an average of 23.5 points and have covered the spread in four of their last five.
Alabama has been overvalued recently when matched up against quality opponents. In fact, it is just 1-4 against the spread in its last five games versus teams that have a winning record.
The Crimson Tide’s only defeat came to the best offensive team they have seen this season. They lost 29-24 at home to Texas A&M in a game in which they gave up 418 yards of offense. A Georgia squad that ranks 17th in scoring with 38.0 points per game and 24th in total offense with 463.8 yards per game could pose problems for the Tide as well.
Georgia has had the upper hand in the series lately. It has won three of the last four meetings both straight up and against the spread.