Georgia Alabama SEC Football Championship Pick

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Georgia

vs.

Alabama

SEC Football

Championship Pick

ATS Trends

12/1/18

This was the matchup everyone expected in the SEC title Game, but the circumstances are somewhat surprising. Georgia was thought to be an almost equal to Alabama going into the season and that’s not what the spread shows. The Crimson Tide were -13 point favorites with an over/under of 63 as of Monday (at 5Dimes Sportsbook) for the Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Some will point to last year’s College Football Playoff to how even these teams are, but it’s important to note that Tua Tagovailoa didn’t play in the first half when Alabama was losing 13-0. The Tide went on to win in overtime on the arm of Tagovailoa, who had three touchdowns, while Alabama held Georgia’s ground Game to just 3.0 yards per carry (sacks included).

The difference for these teams is that Georgia’s defense isn’t as good and Alabama’s offense is suddenly one of the best in the country. Georgia’s weakness showed up in the 36-16 loss to LSU in which it looked outmatched in every way. Sure, the Bulldogs had no problems with Florida or Auburn, but Alabama dispelled of everyone on its Schedule, winning every Game by at least 22 points, including the 29-0 stomping at LSU.

If Georgia wants to have a chance, it needs to hold onto the ball and churn out yards on the ground. D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield have both been great leading a Georgia rushing attack that’s averaging more than six yards per carry, yet a lot of that is due to an easier Schedule. In the loss to LSU, the Bulldogs managed just 113 rushing yards on 3.8 yards per carry and that’s not going to cut it against ‘Bama, who is allowing 3.3 ypc itself. Quarterback Jake Fromm has decent numbers with 24 touchdowns and 9.60 yards per attempt, but he’s still a question when pressed into more action if the running Game doesn’t work. Fromm completed 50 percent of his passes for two interceptions in last year’s playoff loss and had almost the exact numbers in the loss to LSU. To have a chance, something has to change for Georgia.

On the other end, the Bulldogs also need to pick up their Game as they haven’t been as good defensively, allowing 29 points to Missouri and 36 to LSU, among other mediocre results. It’s still a stout group, but the run defense has been worse, allowing Four yards per carry and that’s not going to work after Alabama ran for 4.7 ypc in last year’s Game when Georgia had a better rush defense.

The other problem is that Tagovailoa has torched everyone, completing 70.3% of his passes for 11.86 yards per attempt, 36 touchdowns and only two interceptions. All of his top receivers are averaging 17 yards per reception and that doesn’t include a rushing Game that has two backs in Damien and Najee Harris that are averaging more than six yards per carry.

The spread may seem large, but since Alabama has blasted every opponent it’s faced, it may be too small. Georgia has to play its best Game of the season to have a chance at covering and then it will need to play perfect to win. 

The Crimson Tide have covered in their last Four against a team with a winning record and are 6-2 ATS in their last eight neutral-site Games. The Bulldogs have also covered in their last Four against a team with a winning record and last six at a neutral site. The underdog has covered in the last five meetings between these schools and the over is 6-1 in the last seven. That said, these teams have played just three times since 2009.

Georgia ATS Trends

Georgia is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Conference Games  

Georgia is 10-4 ATS in their last 14 Games following a straight up win  

Georgia is 4-0 ATS vs  a team with a winning record  

Georgia is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Games in December 

Georgia is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Games as an underdog 

Georgia is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 Games as an underdog of 10 5 or more  

Georgia is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Games overall 

Georgia is 6-0 ATS in their last 6 neutral site Games 

Georgia is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Games on grass 

Alabama ATS Trends

Alabama is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Conference Games 

Alabama is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Games as a favorite 

Alabama is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Games following a straight up win 

Alabama is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 neutral site Games as a favorite of 10 or more

Alabama is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 neutral site Games as a favorite 

Alabama is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Games in December

Alabama is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Games as an underdog of 10 or more

Alabama is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Games overall 

Alabama is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 neutral site Games 

Alabama is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Games as a favorite of 10 or more

Alabama is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Games on grass 

 

Our Pick – This being  THE Game of the weekend, it would be nice to have a solid, strong opinion on this one. Unfortunately, that’s not going to be the case. However, we will give you some food for thought.

Our model has Alabama winning by anywhere from 9 to 12 points, depending on the time frame parameters used (how much data). So, a very narrow Georgia cover.

However, it’s so difficult to buck this Alabama team who has simply wiped the field with every opponent it’s faced.

We’ll make a slight call on Georgia here and will also hold out for two full touchdowns. Georgia +14 or more.