College Football Odds: Think Twice Before Betting Alabama Vs. Georgia

Georgia is a 6.5-point favorite in the SEC Championship

by

December 2, 2021

The Georgia Bulldogs have one of the best defenses in the history of college football.

Head coach Kirby Smart built an absolute monster unit with all upperclassmen starters and the statistics are out of this world. The Dawgs lead the nation in yards per play (3.7) and points per game (6.9) and opposing offenses have scored only seven touchdowns all season.

Sheesh.

Georgia is a consensus 6.5-point favorite in Saturday night’s SEC title game against the Alabama Crimson Tide. It’s one of the biggest underdog spots of Nick Saban’s 15-year career in Tuscaloosa, but don’t think for one second it isn’t justified.

“If Alabama was Georgia and Georgia was Alabama, this point spread would definitely be double digits,” Westgate SuperBook VP of risk management Ed Salmons told NESN.

“Georgia was getting bet by the public earlier this season, but then the spreads got too high and people started to back away,” Salmons continued. “Last year, those same people still hammered Alabama at big numbers every single week, especially in the first half. The public doesn’t bet Georgia the way they bet Alabama.”

It’s no secret that defense isn’t as sexy as offense for most sports bettors.

“Georgia’s defense is so consistent,” Salmons said. “A lot of times when a team is as good as Georgia and is up five touchdowns, it’s easy to give up points in the second half. Georgia hasn’t done that. And the defense seems to score a touchdown every game. I’m really impressed with their intensity and how they can play 60 minutes when they have such huge leads all the time.”

College Football national title odds via SuperBook
Georgia -200 ($200 wins $100)
Alabama +700 ($100 wins $700)
Michigan +700
Cincinnati +1400
Oklahoma State +1400
Notre Dame +2500

Bettors love to wager on Saban-led teams at this time of the year because of his amazing track record. Seven national championships and nine SEC titles headline a star-studded résumé that undoubtedly makes him the most dominant coach in the sport.

Saban’s ability to motivate, prepare and scheme makes it very enticing to bet Alabama — especially as an underdog. And he’s one of the reasons that oddsmakers didn’t make the point spread higher than a touchdown. Wiseguys would’ve been way too ready to whack the Tide at +7.5 or higher.

“He’s part of the equation,” Salmons admitted. “He’s obviously the reason Alabama has become the dynasty it has, but it’s the talent and the program that people love to bet. I would say it goes hand in hand.”

Thing is, Saban doesn’t have the best team. We’ve already touched on Georgia’s suffocating defense and Alabama’s offense is nowhere near as loaded as it was last year.

That team was impossible to defend because it dominated the line of scrimmage and opposing teams didn’t know whether to try and stop the pass or the run. Nobody knew what to do against an offense that featured Mac Jones, DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Najee Harris and three offensive linemen that are now in the NFL.

The Tide are much more predictable this season.

“Last year, Alabama could just hand the ball off and run for five to eight yards on every play,” Salmons analyzed. “The Tide didn’t even have to pass. This year, they can’t run the ball. They’re struggling badly and that’s the biggest problem. And because they have no running game, teams are able to defend and have more guys doubling guys up.

“The running game just isn’t effective. That could be their demise.”

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