Heisman Trophy front-runner Bryce Young of the Alabama Crimson Tide squaring off with the relentless Georgia Bulldogs’ defense. Defensive stalwarts Jordan Davis of Georgia and Will Anderson of Alabama share the spotlight. Yes, this is going to be a fun one.
Georgia continues to be No. 1 in both the College Football Playoff rankings and Associated Press Top 25 poll. Alabama is third in the CFB rankings and fourth in the AP poll. This has the potential to be a classic Southeastern Conference Championship Game matchup.
With temperatures in Atlanta expecting to approach 70 with very little chance of rain, those who bet online shouldn’t have to worry about the weather impacting the game college football fans have been waiting for all season.
Game: Alabama (11-1) vs. Georgia (12-0)
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Day/Time: Saturday, 4 p.m. ET
|Alabama||+6½ (+110)||+190||49½ (-110u)|
|Georgia||-6½ (-110)||-230||49½ (-110o)|
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Georgia Bulldogs: 2021 SEC Championship Game
Tide in Unusual Underdog Role
It has been six years since the Las Vegas odds listed the Alabama Crimson Tide as an underdog and 13 years since they have been facing a line as big as 6½ against the favored Georgia Bulldogs in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game.
There is not one thing that can be pointed to as a key to victory with teams with as much talent as Alabama and Georgia possess. According to the 247sports.com recruiting database, the last year that neither Alabama nor Georgia had the top recruiting class came in 2010. They signed the top two recruiting classes in 2019 and 2020, which is where many of Saturday’s key players came from.
Alabama will need to do a better job protecting Heisman favorite Young, who was sacked seven times and forced to throw before he was ready on many other occasions in last week’s narrow escape against Auburn.
There are concerns about the availability of leading rusher Brian Robinson, who was knocked out of the Auburn game. Even with Robinson getting 16 carries, Alabama was held under 100 rushing yards for just the third time all season.
— Daniel Shirley (@DM_Shirley) November 30, 2021
Young is coming off his worst statistical game as Alabama’s starting quarterback as he completed less than 50 percent of his passes. Georgia allows the fewest yards per passing attempt (4.9) in the country.
Bulldogs Have Plenty of Bite
No team at the FBS level has allowed fewer than 10 points per game since the Alabama Crimson Tide allowed just 106 points in 13 games during the 2011 season. The Georgia Bulldogs are giving up only 6.9 points per game. They have allowed multiple touchdowns just twice.
This will be the second time this season that, according to the college football odds, Georgia is not favored by at least 10 points. The Bulldogs have failed to cover in three of their last six games.
Jordan Davis, a 6-foot-6, 340-pound defensive tackle, is a wrecking ball in the middle of the defense but he has plenty of help.
Channing Tindall, Nakobe Dean, Lewis Cine and Quay Walker all have at least 50 tackles. Jalen Carter’s 8½ tackles for loss leads the team but four other players have at least six TFLs.
No team has been able to consistently move the ball on this defense and now it is Alabama’s turn to try. Georgia has only trailed in three games and for a total of 17:47 this season. The largest deficit faced by the Bulldogs has been seven points. What will happen if Alabama can get up by 10-14 points?
The offense is overshadowed by the incredible defensive unit, but the Bulldogs are second only to Alabama in the SEC in scoring offense, putting up 40.7 points per game.
The teams have only met once in the SEC Championship Game, with Alabama winning 32-28 in 2012.
The combined record of the last four FBS teams faced by Georgia is 21-23 so will the Bulldogs be battle-tested with Alabama lining up across from them. The Crimson Tide will be desperate knowing that it is very unlikely they will secure one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff with a loss.
Tight Affair With SEC Title on the Line?
The Alabama Crimson Tide has won a record 14 SEC championship games but each of the last two titles won by Alabama was by seven points or less. Alabama was a 16-point favorite in the 2020 SEC Championship Game and failed to cover in the 52-46 win over Florida.
Alabama has covered in four of its last five games when the college football spreads list the Crimson Tide as the underdogs.
Georgia (-125) and Alabama (+650) have the best odds to win the national championship.
Alabama can play some defense as well. Linebacker Will Anderson is the national leader with 14½ sacks and 29 ½ tackles for loss.
The total has gone over in eight of Alabama’s last nine games against Georgia.
Georgia has lost its last six games to Alabama
The total has gone under in six of Georgia’s last eight games.
The Bulldogs have been on cruise control in recent weeks, facing overmatched teams with little chance to be competitive. That is not the case, although we are still going with Georgia in this one.
Based on how Alabama struggled to score until late in the fourth quarter in last week’s four-overtime win over Auburn and just how dominant the Georgia defense has been, we would tread very carefully in going over the 50-point total.