Alabama Crimson Tide at Georgia Bulldogs
Stegeman Coliseum – Athens, Georgia
Saturday, January 7, 2012, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox Sports Net
Opening Line: Alabama -6
Current Line: Alabama -6 1/2
Opening Total: 117 1/2
Current Total: 118 1/2
Opening Money Line: Alabama -290 / Georgia +240
Current Money Line: Alabama -285 / Georgia +235
The Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs meet for the 138th time Saturday as they open SEC play in Athens. Alabama leads the series 90-47 against Georgia, including 30-29 in Athens. The Crimson Tide won both meetings last year including a 65-59 win over the Bulldogs in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament in Atlanta.
Alabama is 11-3 this season, under coach Anthony Grant. The Tide have wins at home against Oakland, Maryland, Wichita St, and Purdue, the latter three in a tournament in Puerto Rico. Alabama also wins over VCU, Detroit, Oklahoma St, and Georgia Tech 73-48 Tuesday night. The game against Georgia Tech marked the return of star forward JaMychal Green who missed the previous 2 games with a shoulder injury, and Andrew Steele who played his first game of the season. The Crimson Tide have losses to Georgetown, Dayton, and Kansas St. They have won 3 straight since the K-State loss.
Georgia is 9-5 under coach Mark Fox. The Bulldogs have won 5 straight games since a 4 game losing streak at the end of November and beginning of December. Georgia has wins over Bowling Green, Notre Dame, USC, Mercer, and Winthrop. The Bulldogs have losses to California, Xavier, Colorado, Cincinnati, and Georgia Tech. Georgia beat Delaware St 58-51 in their last game December 30.
Alabama is outscoring opponents 67-56 this season. The Crimson Tide are shooting 46.3% from the field including 27.2% from 3 point range. Alabama shoots 70.5% from the free throw line. The Crimson Tide average 36.1 rebounds, and have a rebounding margin of +2.2. Alabama averages 13.7 assists, 12.2 turnovers, 7.3 steals, and 4.9 blocks a game. Crimson Tide opponents are shooting 36.4% from the field and 25.9% from 3 point range. Alabama forces 14.1 turnovers a game.
Green averages 15.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1 steal and 1.4 blocks a game to tie for the team lead. Tony Mitchell averages 15.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1 steal and 1.4 blocks a game. He leads the Crimson Tide in rebounding. Trevor Releford averages 12.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists to lead the team, and 1.6 steals a game to also lead the team. Levi Randolph, Trevor Lacey, Nick Jacobs, and Rodney Cooper also get significant minutes in the rotation. Steele will try to work his way back into the rotation as he gets back into the flow after the injury. Center Moussa Gueye is out for the season with a knee injury.
Georgia is outscoring opponents 63-61 this season. The Bulldogs are shooting 40.9% from the field including 33.7% from 3 point range. Georgia makes 69.9% of their free throws. The Bulldogs average 33.9 rebounds a game with a rebounding margin of -0.9. Georgia averages 11.6 assists, 11.1 turnovers, 6 steals, and 3.9 blocks a game. Bulldog opponents are shooting 40.5% from the field, and 33.2% from 3 point range. Georgia forces 11.5 turnovers a game.
Georgia guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope averages 14.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.6 steals a game. He leads the Bulldogs in scoring and steals. Gerald Robinson averages 13.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists a game to lead the team. Dustin Ware averages 8.9 points, 2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists a game. Donte Williams averages 7.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks a game to lead the team. Marcus Thornton averages 5.8 rebounds a game to lead the team.
Georgia is 5-5 against the spread this season and the total is 3-7 this season. Alabama is 5-5 ATS and the total is 5-5 as well this season. Georgia is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 against Alabama. The favorite is 9-4 in the last 13 in the series, and the home team has covered 4 of the last 5. The over is 5-2 in the last 7. The Crimson Tide are 9-3-1 ATS after a cover, 3-1-1 after a straight up win of more than 20 points, 9-3 as a favorite of 6.5 points or less, 16-6 in SEC games, 2-5 as a favorite, overall, and as a road favorite of 6.5 points or less, 3-11-2 after allowing less than 50 points, 1-4 in road games, and in road games against teams with winning records. The Bulldogs are 5-1 ATS at home against teams with losing road records, 7-2 as a home dog of less than 6.5 points, 8-3 as a home underdog, 21-8 in Saturday games, and 2-11 after a straight up win.
Both of these teams like playing in the 60’s and play well in the half-court. I think Alabama is a better team, and should win a close game.