Georgia vs. Alabama: Prediction & Odds (12/2/23)

#8 Alabama will take on #1 Georgia this Saturday (12/2/23) in the 32nd edition of the SEC Championship Game — perhaps the most prestigious conference title game in all of college football. Get Georgia vs. Alabama odds, picks and predictions below where our best bet is Alabama to win at +180 odds.

Georgia vs. Alabama Prediction

This is it- the matchup SEC fans have been waiting for all season. Since 2017, we’ve seen it twice in this context, and twice as the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, as well as a 2020 regular season matchup in Tuscaloosa. Alabama has won four of those five clashes, but Georgia’s win was the most recent, and one of the biggest, as it came in the CFP final matchup back in January of 2022.

The Tide will be looking for revenge as they set out to spoil Georgia’s attempt at an unprecedented three-peat. Georgia is of course not only defending a national title, they’re also looking to retain the SEC crown after earning it a year ago. They’ve also now won 29 games in a row, the longest streak in SEC history as they’ve broken a tie with a couple of previous squads from none other than Alabama.

The question is whether or not Georgia even needs this game- as the #1 team in the country, and two-time defending champion, they may be able to sustain a loss to another very good squad and still only fall as far as third or fourth. We’ve seen such things happen, like last year when TCU lost its conference title game and still finished third, or back in 2021 when this exact scenario happened; Georgia came into the SEC Championship #1 and undefeated, lost to Alabama, and still won it all. Interestingly enough, that was the Bulldogs’ last loss, so the ‘Dawgs will be looking to avoid a repeat of history, as this year’s field is much stronger than those of years past; it’s going to be much harder to lose and still earn a spot.

Assuming that this one is win or go home, both squads will be absolutely dialed in. We’re in a rare situation where Alabama is an underdog within the SEC, and we absolutely have to take advantage. Doubting Nick Saban and his squad is, to be completely frank, a bit crazy. They’re not the same team that lost to Texas, due in large part to the tremendous in-season development of quarterback Jalen Milroe.

He capped off a remarkable regular season arc with 259 yards through the air and 107 on the ground against Auburn with two passing touchdowns, including of course the play of the year, a touchdown throw to Isaiah Bond on fourth and goal from the 31 yard line with just seconds left in the game. Milroe and Bond saved Alabama’s season, as a loss would have made it tough for them to get into the top four, even with a win over Georgia, and Saban’s teams rarely falter when given second life.

As a member of the SEC East, Georgia hasn’t exactly played the conference’s best and brightest, especially when it comes to opposing defenses. They’re likely to struggle with Alabama’s unit, perhaps the best in the conference, and may not be able to slow down the Tide enough on the other side of the ball either. Will we get a playoff rematch? It’s hard to know what happens to Georgia next in this scenario, but Alabama would be rightfully viewed as one of the most dangerous teams coming into the CFP.

Georgia vs. Alabama Prediction: Alabama ML (+180)

Georgia vs. Alabama Best Odds

Georgia is favored by an interesting 5.5 points in this one, with their moneyline set at -225 compared to +180 for Alabama. The total is set at 53.5, with a relatively high-scoring game expected between these two superpowers.

Georgia vs. Alabama Key Matchups

Alabama will look to dominate on the ground against a shockingly poor Georgia run defense, while the Bulldogs will take a similar approach against the Tide.

Alabama Rushing Offense vs. Georgia Run Defense

Jase McClellan isn’t a Jahmyr Gibbs or Derrick Henry, but he’s done a pretty good job for Alabama as he’s averaged 4.8 yards per rush behind an offensive line that definitely does not rank among the best of the Saban era, but still ranks eighth in PFF’s run blocking grades, headlined by tackle JC Latham. Milroe of course is a big ground threat himself, as he’s scored 12 touchdowns and run for 439 yards; the unpredictability he brings to Alabama’s rushing offense is a big reason the unit is 21st in EPA per play.

Georgia’s run defense almost-inexplicably ranks 106th in the country in EPA per play, a huge step back after the unit lost an incredible amount of talent to the NFL. They’re giving up four yards per carry, and a rushing touchdown per game, a far cry from what we’ve come to expect over the past few years. Edge rusher Mykel Williams is the only player in the front seven with a PFF run-stopping grade over 80, as this unit really lacks the stars it’s had in years past.

Georgia Rushing Offense vs. Alabama Run Defense

Georgia’s backfield also lacks the star power it’s had in years past, but Daijun Edwards and Kendall Milton have done a nice job splitting duties; they each have run for 644 yards or more, and cracked double-digits in the rushing touchdowns. The Dawgs’ o-line, however, is third in PFF’s run blocking grade, helping the unit rank 13th in EPA per play.

Alabama’s run defense is better than Georgia’s, but ranking 66th in EPA per play, it’s not the dominant force we’ve seen at times from this program. Their per-snap and game metrics are just a touch better than Georgia’s, but edge rusher Justin Eboigbe has been the star that Georgia is lacking.

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From starting my own blog in Middle School, to working on a friend’s in college, and finally joining the Lineups team this year, I’ve been writing about sports for over a decade and betting on them as long as I’ve been legally able. I graduated from the University of Michigan last year, where I took sports journalism classes alongside my business major. Having played and watched sports for almost my whole life, I aim to provide insight and entertainment, as well as profitable picks, in my writing about professional and collegiate leagues.

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