SEC Championship Game 2018 Betting: Alabama vs Georgia

SEC Championship Game 2018 Betting: Alabama vs Georgia

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It seems like less of a championship game than a coronation, confirming what we’ve already known: Alabama is the best team in the SEC. The conference has already had a Game of the Century this year, after all, and the Crimson Tide turned that one into a rout.

So from a competitive standpoint, at least, we’re tip-toeing into Saturday’s SEC Championship Game even though No. 1 Alabama against No. 5 Georgia looks like a great matchup on paper. The line, Alabama -13, perhaps offers a truer indication of what might unfold in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

It’s a rematch of last year’s national championship, which Alabama opened as a 4-point favorite and closed with Tua Tagovailoa coming off the bench to throw the winning touchdown pass in overtime. Smart money seems to suggest fewer dramatics this time around.

What’s On The Line

For both teams, an SEC championship would be a springboard into the College Football Playoff. Unbeaten Alabama is also likely to get there even with a loss — just as it did a year ago, when the Tide claimed the national title even after falling to Auburn in the regular-season finale.

Georgia has no such margin for error. With one loss on their record already (36-16 at LSU), the Bulldogs must win to earn another shot at college football’s biggest prize.

Things to Consider

Alabama isn’t just unbeaten, the Crimson Tide hasn’t even been pushed late in a game. Their smallest margin of victory has been 22 points (in a 45-23 win over Texas A&M), and nobody’s been closer than 17 points entering the fourth quarter. It’s enough to make you wonder how Alabama might react should Georgia hang around late.

Alabama is 8-4 against the spread this season, with those ATS losses coming against Texas A&M, Louisiana-Lafayette, Arkansas, and The Citadel. Admittedly, the Tide had huge spreads to cover, with the smallest being -24. Georgia is 7-5 against the spread, its ATS losses coming to Austin Peay, Tennessee, Missouri, LSU (their only actual loss of the season), and Massachusetts.

Statistically, the two teams appear closer than the spread might indicate. Alabama is second nationally in scoring offense at 49 ppg; Georgia is 13th at 40.1. Alabama is third nationally in scoring defense at 13.8 average points allowed; Georgia is 10th at 17.2. One difference is average total offense, where Alabama is 58 yards per game better, thanks to Tagovailoa and that high-powered passing attack.

Tagovailoa’s passing numbers are just ridiculous. He threw five touchdowns last week against Auburn, marking the fifth time this season he’s thrown for at least four scores. He leads the NCAA in passing efficiency, is fourth in passing TDs, and ranks seventh in completion percentage — all while attempting just three fourth-quarter passes all season.

2018 SEC Championship Game Best Bets

Alabama -13

It’s the fourth time in as many appearances that Alabama has been a double-digit favorite; Tide have covered twice in that span, and none of those games were really close. As good as Georgia is, they’ve lost to the best team they’ve played this year, a squad that in turn lost to Alabama 26-0. Bet Alabama to cover the double digit spread at 888Sport.

Over 63.5 Total Points

Alabama has gone over the total eight times this season, Georgia six. As good as both teams are on defense, these are squads defined this year by their offensive production. This game promises to be high-scoring, even if it’s not necessarily close. Get over to SugarHouse and bet the over.

Prop Bets Involving Tagovailoa

Most passing touchdowns, most valuable player, most yards of total offense — if it’s there, pounce. He’s been the most prolific player in the nation, responsible for 53 percent of Alabama’s offensive production. Whatever happens Saturday, he’ll play a major role.

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