No. 3 Alabama faces No. 1 Georgia in the SEC championship game on Saturday.
Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The game will be televised on CBS.
Georgia (12-0) is trying to become the fourth consecutive SEC team to complete a perfect regular season. The Bulldogs have dominated both sides of the ball with an offense averaging 40.7 points per game. and a defense that yields 6.9 points per game. Georgia appears to be locked in for a second place in the college football playoffs with Kirby Smart.
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Alabama (11-1) is trying to win the SEC championship for the eighth time with Nick Saban, and will be looking to avoid a second loss that would likely put it out of the CFP competition. Quarterback Bryce Young has a chance to make a statement for Heisman against the best defense in the FBS, and Crimson Tide has won his last seven appearances in the SEC title game.
This game will have a national championship feel, because the winner will be the favorite to do just that. With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know to bet on the Crimson Tide vs. Bulldogs showdown.
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Alabama vs. Georgia odds
- Spread: Georgia -6.5
- Below: 49.5
- Money line: Georgia -260, Alabama +205
Three trends to know
– Alabama has won six straight meetings against Georgia, a streak dating back to 2008. Five of those six meetings were top-10 matches.
– The Crimson Tide is a loser for the first time since October 31, 2015, an incredible 92-game streak. The last time Alabama was an underdog was against Georgia, and Crimson Tide won 38-10.
– The Bulldogs are 8-4 ATS this year, and they are 4-0 ATS when the line is below 20 points this season.
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Three things to look at
– Bryce Young. Georgia’s pass defense allows only 4.9 yards per attempt, but they haven’t seen a quarterback like this in 2021. Young is averaging 9.3 yards per attempt, and has been brilliant with dynamic receiver dynamism in Jameson Williams (1,261 yards, 13 TD) and John Metchie III (1,045 yards, 7 TD). They will try a Georgia high school run by Clemson’s transfer Derion Kendrick and safety Lewis Cine.
– Georgia’s running game. Stetson Bennett has been productive on Georgia’s offense, but has had the help of a balanced running attack led by Zamir White (691 yards, 10 TD) and James Cook (581 yards, 7 TD). The tandem isn’t flashy, but they average 5.8 combined yards per carry and are part of a hard-working philosophy that will put Alabama’s running defense to the test.
– Defensive stallions. While this looks like an opportunity for Young to make a statement from Heisman, it could be a last-minute campaign for Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr., who has 14.5 sacks and 30.5 tackles to lose. On the other hand, Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis, a 330-pound force, has been the heart of the Bulldogs’ defense. He can get away with it against an Alabama offensive line that doesn’t measure up to Tide’s usual standard. There is a lot of NFL talent on both sides, especially on defense.
Statistics that matter
Bennett averages 10.9 yards per pass attempt, which ranks second on the FBS. That running support allows passes downfield to tight end Brock Bowers (652 yards, 10 TD), Ladd McConkey (395 yards, 4 TD) and Jermaine Burton (376 yards, 4 TD). The top three targets average more than 15 yards per catch, and if that happens against Alabama, then Crimson Tide is in trouble. Alabama allowed 20 touchdown passes this season.
Alabama vs. Georgia prediction
There is psychology at work here. Georgia hasn’t beaten Alabama at this stage with Smart, and if Alabama jumps to a lead in the first quarter with its great offense, then it could become real. Georgia, however, will stick with its game plan. Bennett threw three picks in last year’s loss, but he learns from those mistakes and is confident in that running game. Georgia holds on in the fourth quarter this time despite a rally from Young. If Alabama has the ball last and Georgia needs a save to win, who do you pick? We’ll find out on Saturday.
Final score: Georgia 27, Alabama 22
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.