Game: Georgia Bulldogs vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Bulldogs -2.5, Crimson Tide +2.5
It wasn’t all that long ago that a then No. 1 Georgia met Alabama in the SEC championship game. We all know the results as the Crimson Tide were the first team all season to score more than 17 points against the vaunted Bulldogs defense. Now, the two powers – the two best teams in the nation – will meet for the College Football Playoff national championship.
Alabama has won three of the last six national championships, but the Tide has never repeated as champions in the CFP era. One of those championship victories came over this same Georgia team in 2017. Alabama won 26-23 in overtime. That victory is one of seven that the Crimson Tide have won over Georgia since 2008.
In that most recent loss in the SEC title game, Alabama QB Bryce Young threw for 421 yards and three touchdowns to the Tide to a 41-24 win. Young’s counterpart Stetson Bennett of Georgia would also have a big day throwing for 340 yards and three touchdowns, but he also threw a couple of costly interceptions. One of those was returned for a touchdown by Jordan Battle in the fourth quarter effectively putting the game out of reach.
When the two teams played in the 2020 regular season, Georgia had jumped out to a 24-20 halftime lead. In the SEC title game this year, the Bulldogs held an early 10-0 lead. In both games, the Georgia offense would stall and allow Alabama back in the game. The result of both games, ironically, was a 41-24 Alabama win.
Since a loss to Texas A&M on Oct. 9, Alabama has now won eight straight games this season. In their CFP semifinal, the Tide ran all over Cincinnati and won easily 27-6. RB Brian Robinson Jr. ran for 204 yards and Young threw for three scores. The Tide offense averages 41.1 points per game.
The Bulldogs’ offense doesn’t get as much hype as Alabama’s, but they are just as potent. Georgia averages 39 points and 448.4 yard of offense per game. The Bulldogs’ offense is more balanced. Bennett has thrown for 27 touchdowns. Running backs Zamir White and James Cook have rushed for over 600 yards and White has 10 rushing touchdowns.
On the other end, it is well-known that the Georgia defense has given up just 9.5 points per game to lead the nation. What might not be expected is that Alabama’s defense is ranked 20th in the same category. With those two quality defenses, the Under has trended for both teams. The total has gone Under in four of the last six Alabama games and in seven of the last ten Georgia games. In the Alabama-Georgia series though, the Over has hit nine times in the last ten games.
It may be surprising, but Georgia heads into this game as the favorite. This would mark just the third time since 2009 that Alabama will be an underdog. All three games have been against Georgia.