The #1 Georgia Bulldogs (12-0, 8-0 SEC) clash with the #3 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1, 7-1 SEC) in the Southeastern Conference title match. The contest is the second title game between Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban and Georgia’s head coach Kirby Smart. Smart served as the defensive coordinator under Saban for eight seasons before taking the Georgia job.
Saturday’s kickoff is at 4 p.m. EST inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. Georgia is a 6.5-point favorite in the title bout, and the over-under total is at 49.5 points.
What to Know – Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia enter the SEC title game as the clear-cut top team in the country. In November, the Bulldogs outscored their opponents, 195-30. The Bulldogs are one of just two remaining unbeaten teams in the FBS.
The Bulldogs don’t do anything flashy on offense but are incredibly efficient, averaging 40.7 points per game behind 442.3 yards of offense. Georgia’s defense is arguably the best in the nation, surrendering only 6.9 points and 230.4 yards of offense per contest.
Stetson Bennett took over the quarterbacking duties when J.T. Daniels missed time with an injury. Bennett completed 65% for 1,985 yards with 21 touchdowns and only five interceptions.
Zamir White (691 yards, ten touchdowns) and James Cook (581 yards, seven touchdowns) paced Georgia’s backfield. Tight end Brock Bowers was Bennett’s favorite target, hauling in 37 receptions for 652 yards and ten touchdowns.
Georgia is 8-4 against the spread this season but have lost their last six against the Crimson Tide. The total has gone under in six of the last eight games for the Bulldogs.
What to Know – Alabama Crimson Tide
The pressure is on Alabama, who needs over the Bulldogs to lock in their spot in the CFP. Head coach Nick Saban has had a lot of success against his former coaches, and the Crimson Tide has the offense to test the Bulldogs’ tenacious defense.
Alabama’s offense was one of the best in the nation this year, scoring 42.3 points and producing 492.2 yards of offense per game. The Crimson Tide was solid, not elite, holding teams to 19.9 points and 294.3 yards of offense.
A strong showing Saturday for Bryce Young could lock up the Heisman trophy for the sophomore. Young threw for 3,901 yards with 40 touchdowns and only four interceptions. The talented underclassman completed 68.9% of his passes.
Leading rusher Brian Robinson Jr. is questionable for the title bout, so sophomore Trey Sanders should see the bulk of the carries if Robinson can’t go. Sanders rushed for 221 yards and two touchdowns in limited action this season.
Alabama had a pair of 1,000-yard receivers with Jameson Williams (1,261 yards, 13 touchdowns) and John Metchie III (1,045 yards, seven touchdowns). Williams missed most of the Iron Bowl last week after a targeting call but won’t miss any of Saturday’s contest.
The Crimson Tide are an even 6-6 ATS this year and 4-1 ATS when playing as the underdog. The total has gone over in eight of Alabama’s last nine games against Georgia.
The Pick is In
Georgia’s defense is one of the best units the nation has seen in some time. The Bulldogs’ defense is so good that it overshadows an offense that is quietly one of the most efficient in the SEC.
There are some question marks in the Alabama backfield, but Young will have his complete set of playmakers outside. Georgia hasn’t faced an elite offense as it’ll see on Saturday, so expect the Crimson Tide to be able to move the ball and get to the endzone. The Bulldogs will put up their fair share of points, too.
Betting Pick: Georgia/Alabama OVER 49.5