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CFP Championship Pick: #4 Alabama Crimson Tide and #3 Georgia Bulldogs

Explosive Offenses and Tough Defenses Collide Tonight

You could call tonight’s College Football Playoff Championship game the SEC Bowl, as the #4 Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1) and the #3 Georgia Bulldogs (13-1) meet tonight, Monday, Jan. 8 at 8:00 p.m. E.T. in the chilly Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Our Alabama plays Georgia 2018 CFB Championship pick has the Crimson Tide favored by anywhere from 3.5 to 4 points and the over/under at either 45.5 or 46.0. Alabama finished second to Auburn in the SEC West when the Tigers beat them on the final game of the season 26-14. The Georgia Bulldogs won the SEC East and then beat Auburn in the conference title game 28-7. Alabama earned the right to play for the national title tonight by beating #1 Clemson 24-6 in last week’s semifinal game. Georgia is playing tonight due to their 54-48 OT victory over the #1 Oklahoma Sooners last week.

Alabama Overview

The Tide is scoring on average 37.9 PPG with their running game being their major offensive thrust. Their defense is holding teams to an average of 11.5 PPG and a total of 258 YPG. Although primarily a rushing quarterback, Jalen Hurts has done well this season passing, completing 61.4% of his tosses for 17 TDs. He thrown just one pick. Hurts, who is averaging 5.5 yards per rush, has run the ball 148 times for 808 yards and eight scores. The team’s main running back, Damien Harris, has 129 carries for 983 yards and 11 TDs. Junior WR Calvin Ridley has made 59 catches for a total of 935 yards and four TDs. Freshman Henry Ruggs III has only nine pass catches but five have gone for scores.

On defense, DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (55 TCKLs, 1 INT, 7 PD, 7 TFL) is expected to play despite nursing a bruised kidney. He’s an important part of this D. DB Ronnie Harrison (70 TCKLs, 3 INTs, 4 PD) has made 2.5 sacks and 3.5 TFL, while LB Rashaan Evans (66 TCKLs, 6.0 SCKs, 11.5 TFL, 3 PD) is a tough and dependable defender. DL Raekwon Davis leads the team in sacks with 7.5 and is third in tackles with 64 and second in TFL with 9.0. This is an excellent defensive group, and they played well in the semifinal game.

Crimson Tide Summary

  • Offense rush attack is top-notch
  • QB Hurts has been disciplined
  • Defense punishing versus run

Georgia Overview

The Bulldogs have been good for an average of 36.3 PPG, while they are keeping opponents at an average of 13.2 PPG. Their D is holding opponents to a total of 271 YPG. Although Georgia, like the Tide, likes to run the ball a lot, they do pass more than their opponent. Georgia QB Jake Fromm, unlike Hurts, is not known as a runner. Fromm, who has completed 63.7% of his passes, has tossed 23 TDs while putting up five picks. Senior Javon Wims and junior Terry Godwin, both wideouts, have 44 and 34 catches respectively. Wims, who has 704 receiving yards, has scored seven times, while Godwin, with 591 yards, has crossed the goal line six times. The Bulldogs also offer two premium running backs in Nick Chubb (205 ATT, 1,320 YDS, 6.4 AVG, 15 TDs) and Sony Michel (142 ATT, 1,149 YDs, 8.0 AVG, 16 TDs.). This is a much more diverse offense than ‘Bama’s.

LB Roquan Smith (124 TCKLs, 5.5 SCKs, 11.5 TFL) is an exceptional talent, while LB D’Andre Walker (35 TCKLs, 5.5 SCKs, 13.5 TFL) brings top-notch run-stopping chops to this game. DB J.R. Reed (76 TCKLs, 2 INTs, 5.0 TFL, 5 PD) is a diverse talent, and DB/S Dominick Sanders (37 TCKs, 4 INTs, 5 PD, 3.5 TFL) is the team’s top pass defender. This defense can do a number on opponent air and ground attacks.

Bulldogs Summary

  • Productive passing game
  • Deep ground attack
  • Talented D

Three CFP Championship Takeaways

Here are our three takeaways for our Alabama plays Georgia 2018 CFB Championship pick-

  1. Passing edge to Georgia
  2. Slight D edge to Tide
  3. ]Coaching edge to Alabama

Our Alabama Plays Georgia 2018 CFB Championship Pick

Alabama coach Nick Saban is going for his sixth championship title in seven tries. His one loss occurred last year to Clemson, and he has been focused on getting to this game ever since the Crimson Tide lost last year. He gives Alabama a major advantage. But we cannot overlook the talent on Georgia and the fine coaching of Kirby Scott, who is a Saban protégé. Note that these two teams did not meet in the regular season. Our first pick is the over/under. We are going with the over at 45.5. Finally, our Alabama plays Georgia 2018 CFB Championship pick is the Tide at -3.5. That’s our last college football pick for 2017-18.

Summary Crimson Tide and Bulldogs Picks- Alabama at -3.5 and over 45.5

pmroczka

Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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