Georgia at Alabama
Time: 3 PM CT, CBS
Spread: ALA -13
Odds c/o Bovada
So far through 12 weeks, there has been no stopping the Alabama Crimson Tide. Now 12-0, and in possession of a No. 1 ranking still, the Crimson Tide will host visiting Georgia as 13-point favorites in the SEC Championship game.
The over/under is set at 64 points for the game according to college football oddsmakers at 5dimes, and it will air at 3 PM CT on CBS.
For as tough as Georgia is, ranking No. 4 in the nation, the Crimson Tide are still favored by almost two-full-touchdowns in the SEC title game this week. It is no small wonder when one considers the ridiculous overall strength of Bama’s offense and defense. It holds opponents to just 13.8 points per game, while amassing over 537 yards per game and tallying 49 points per contest. The Crimson Tide possess a win differential of positive-35.2, almost an absurd notion to consider as it plays in the SEC and faces tough teams week in and out.
Too Tagovailoa has thrown for 3,189 yards on the season at a stellar 70.3 percent passing clip, averaging over 11 yards per attempt and having thrown 36 touchdown passes with just two interceptions.
Muse on that. It is good for a passer rating of 212.5, and when he is not dismantling defenses, backup quarterback Jalen Hurts is good for a 204.5 passer rating of his own, and an even more impressive 74.1 percent passing ratio. Bama can hurt a team in so many ways, and one need only look at its top two consistent rushers to factor in why. Damien Harris and Najee Harris both are averaging over six-yards-per-carry and have almost 1,400 yards and 11 touchdowns between them. Tagovailoa is a decent rusher in his own right, with 4.7 yards-per-attempt and 211 yards on his 45 carries. He has also scored five rushing TDs.
Tagovailoa’s top passing target has been Jerry Jeudy. He has caught for 1,079 yards on 56 receptions with a team-high 11 receiving TDs. Henry Ruggs III is No. 3 in yardage but No. 2 in reception TDs with 10, while Jaylen Waddle ranks No. 2 on the team in receiving yardage at 690 on the season. Alabama has scored 44 touchdowns via the pass and 28 rushing the football, showing the versatility in the red zone to keep teams guessing.
The No. 4 ranked Georgia Bulldogs are 11-1 with a 7-1 mark in SEC play this season. Its lone loss came to LSU in week 7, but since it has gone on to win its past five games. It has mostly steamrolled those five opponents, defeating Florida by 19, Kentucky by 17, Auburn by 17, Massachusetts by 39, and Georgia Tech by 24. Of course, the first of those three games came against AP-Ranked opponents, so Georgia has had its mojo going at the right time in the season. In fact, excluding its loss to LSU, it has had no games closer than 17 the entire year.
Georgia holds its opponents to just 17.2 points per game while scoring 40.4 itself, and its rush attack is absolutely lethal. Georgia averages 259.8 yards per game on the ground, doing it mostly with D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield. The duo has amassed nearly 2,000 yards between them, with both backs averaging better than six yards-per-carry. Swift has nine rushing TDs and Holyfield has seven, with that accounting for over half of the (29) TD production that Georgia has mustered via the rush.
The passing game, while less used, has been highly effective: Quarterback Jake Fromm has thrown for 2,236 yards on 69.1 parent passing with 24 TDs and five interceptions. His top five passing targets are all over 300 yards on the season, and the Bulldogs have scored 28 receiving touchdowns this year. As to whether its top two running backs can continue their dominance against a defense like Alabama’s, it is tough to guess. These teams have not yet met this season and Georgia has been dominant— just not quite as flabbergastingly so as the Crimson Tide has.