For better or worse we’ve got an All-SEC College Football Playoff championship game to bet Monday night, as Alabama takes on Georgia in Atlanta (8:15 pm ET, ESPN). Which way are we going with our free championship game pick?
The college football championship game betting market opened Alabama at -4.5, with an over/under of right around 46. Since then most books dropped the Tide to -3.5.
Bettors thinking Georgia might win this game outright could get upwards of +175 on the moneyline.
Championship Game Match-Up
Alabama (12-1 SU, 6-7 ATS) reached this championship game by going 11-1 this season, receiving a bid to the CFP, then snuffing Clemson in the Sugar Bowl last week 24-6. The Tide took an early 10-0 lead, let the Tigers get within 10-6 early in the third quarter, then used a pair of big plays on defense to score twice in a minute, and hung on from there for the win and the cover as 3-point favorites.
‘Bama outgained Clemson 261-188, outrushed the Tigers 141-64 and just basically dominated play.
Georgia (13-1 SU, 10-4 ATS) reached this championship game by going 11-1 during the regular season, then busting Auburn in the SEC championship game, then outlasting Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl last week 54-48 in double-overtime. The Bulldogs fell down to the Sooners 31-14 late in the second quarter, rallied to lead 38-31, fell down 45-38 but forced OT with a touchdown in the last minute. Georgia eventually won it with a blocked field goal and a 27-yard scoring jaunt by Sony Michel.
The Bulldogs piled up 527 yards of offense, including 317 on the ground, but they gave up 531, albeit against probably the most explosive offense in college football this season.
These two teams played four common opponents this season; Georgia went 4-1 both SU and ATS against Mississippi State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Auburn, outscoring those teams by a per-game average of 32-13, while Alabama went 3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS vs. those four foes, outscoring them 37-14.
Alabama is 3-0 over the last three meetings between these teams, and now leads the all-time series with Georgia 38-24-3. But these teams haven’t met since 2015, so this is the first meeting between coaches Saban and Smart.
Free College Football Championship Game Pick
Georgia put on a Herculean effort last week, then had to fly back cross-country, and yes, we believe that could be a factor Monday night. Also, the Bulldogs are throwing a freshman quarterback who, while having a fine season, has never seen a defense like Alabama’s. And Saban has that perfect mark against former assistants. We’re giving the points here with the Tide.