Pick with Analysis
With already an SEC loss to its name, Alabama is in a must-win situation against Georgia this weekend. The Bulldogs are 2-0 in Conference play, but haven’t really had a challenge yet. And for the first time since 2009, the Crimson Tide are underdogs opening at +1.5 at 5 Dimes Sportsbook amd moving to +2.5 as of Monday morning.
It will be power against power in this Game with Georgia’s top rushing attack going against Alabama’s defensive front, which hasn’t allowed a team to rush for 100 yards yet, including Wisconsin and Ole Miss. These teams last played in 2012, so it’s hard to look at any previous matchups.
Georgia is led by one of the current Heisman frontrunners in Nick Chubb, who is now at 12-straight 100-yard performances. Chubb has 599 yards on the year with six touchdowns, while compiling 8.4 yards per carry. Sony Michel and Keith Marshall have been solid fill-ins as well. The question for the Bulldogs will be in the passing Game, where Alabama can be beat. If Georgia can’t find the same kind of success through the air as Ole Miss did, will the run Game be enough?
Quarterback Greyson LAmbert has played well so far, but that’s what happens when the running Game is unstoppable. LAmbert has completed 76.5% of his passes for seven touchdowns and zero interceptions. He hasn’t really faced any adversity yet, although struggled a bit against Vanderbilt a couple Games ago. So far, Malcolm Mitchell (20 receptions, 306 yards, 3 TDs) has been his favorite target by far.
On the other end, Alabama will also focus on the running Game as much as possible. Once again, this Georgia defense hasn’t really been tested as their two SEC wins were over lackluster Vanderbilt and South Carolina.
Behind this offensive line, the Tide will likely have success, though. Derrick Henry (422 yards, 8 TDs) and Kenyan Drake have had their way as expected, even in the loss against Ole Miss. The main thing for Bama will be limiting turnovers, which is something they didn’t do against the Rebels.
Quarterback Jake Coker still doesn’t have a firm hold on the quarterback job and could be replaced if more interceptions come about in this one. He’s completing just 55.3% of his passes for 8 TDs and 4 INTs. The difference in this Game could once again be how Coker plays.
The over has hit in the last five meetings between these teams and because of these dominant offensive lines, could see another over, much like the Alabama-Ole Miss result. On the year, the Tide have not covered in three straight ATS since beating Wisconsin in Week 1.
Our Pick – We’re at the crucial 4 Game mark of the college football season, for most teams, which is the magic number for us to begin relying on current season statistics for Our handicapping, including Our model.
One stat we always take a look at is the yards per point numbers. In this spot, Georgia has one of the best ypp differentials in the country with a spectacular 10.7 on offense and a 20.2 on defense. Alabama weighs in with a 12.8 and 15.2.
Using those numbers to make a line, Georgia would be a 7 point fav on a neutral field. Give them a field goal for home field and that makes Georgia -10. However, looking at the strength of Schedule, we see Bama has played a Schedule that’s been about 10 points more difficult than the Bulldogs. When we make that adjusment, we have Ourselves a pick em affair.
Our model happens to agree, pegging this as a 1 point Game with Bama on top. As a result, we have to take any points available in this one. As if this writing, that would be +2.5, but watch the board to see if any +3’s pop up. Alabama +2.5