The SEC Championship Game features the 2ndd and 3rd ranked teams in the country squaring off for more than just the SEC crown, the winner earns a trip to Miami to face number one Notre Dame for the BCS National Championship on January 7th. The 2nd ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1) will take on the 3rd ranked Georgia Bulldogs (11-1) at 4:00pm ET in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA in one of the most anticipated games of the year for all the marbles as the loser will likely be shut out of a BCS Bowl. Alabama has a 6-6 record ATS this season, and has covered in only one of their last four games, a 49-0 drubbing of Auburn in the Iron Bowl last week as a 34 point favorite. Georgia is also a mediocre 6-6 ATS this season, but they come in considerably hotter after having covered in four of their last five games, including a 42-10 win over in-state rival Georgia Tech as a 14.5 point favorite last week.
The Alabama offense ranks 15th among all FBS teams with an average of 39 points per game scored and 43rd in the nation in total offense with 433.9 yards per contest. Quarterback A.J. McCarron (2,507 yards passing) is as steady as they come, and is one of the most efficient passers in the country. The Tide will be dealing with a depleted receiving corps this week as deep threat Kenny Bell suffered a broken leg against Auburn. Bell is averaging a team-high 25.4 yards per catch.The calling card for the Crimson Tide is defense, as it always is under Head Coach Nick Saban, and they rank number one in the nation in scoring defense (9.2 PPG allowed), total defense (233.7 YPG allowed), and run defense (77 YPG allowed).
Georgia has an explosive offense triggered by quarterback Aaron Murray (3,193 yards passing), one of the nation’s most efficient passers, that has averaged 38 PPG (17th among FBS teams) and 463.8 YPG (24th among FBS teams). The Bulldog defense ranks 15th in the nation with 17.7 PPG allowed and 21st in the nation in total defense with 337.8 YPG allowed.
Alabama vs. Georgia Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Alabama Crimson Tide -7.5
@ Georgia Bulldogs +7.5
Over 50.5 (-110)
Under 50.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Alabama vs. Georgia Pick:
Alabama has a 6-0 record ATS in their last 6 neutral site games, a 12-5 record ATS int heir last 17 SEC games and a 1-4 record ATS in their last 5 games against winning teams. The Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games on field turf. The under is 16-5-1 in Alabama’s last 22 games against winning teams and 6-1-1 in their last 8 games following an ATS win. The under is 6-0 in Georgia’s last 8 games overall, 5-0 in their last 5 SEC games and 44-0 in their last 4 games against winning teams. In head-to-head play, the over is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings between the two teams, and the road team is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
This is Alabama’s eighth time in an SEC championship game but the first time the team has played someone other than Florida. The Tide is the more experienced team on the national stage, and they have a defense that ranks number one in the country virtually across the board. That being said, Georgia is the team with more momentum and the Bulldogs have the advantage of playing a virtual home game in Atlanta. The Bulldogs should be able to keep this game much closer than most observers expect it to be, and they are quite capable of pulling off the upset and heading to Miami to face the Fighting Irish.
PICK = Georgia +7.5