With bowl season two weeks away, much of the unpredictability within the college football season is almost upon us. But I’m seeing value in a matchup in particular this weekend — the SEC Championship game between No. 1 Georgia and No. 3 Alabama. Let’s break down my college football best bets for this contest.
You’ll also find the betting perspective of Motoi Pearson, WynnBET Sportsbook’s senior trader, including a game he’s targeting.
Georgia Bulldogs vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Over at PointsBet Sportsbook, 81% of the spread tickets and 86% of the spread handle are on Georgia.
Alabama coach Nick Saban has been an underdog five times since 2008. The Tide won four of those five matchups outright.
- 2015: (+1.5) over Georgia 38-10
- 2009: (+4.5) over Florida 32-13
- 2008: (+10) loss to Florida 31-20
- 2008: (+6.5) over Georgia 41-30
- 2008: (+4) over Clemson 34-10
Does that mean there’s value in backing the Saban once again? Not unless you enjoy tailing meaningless trends.
Kirby Smart’s defense boasts the sixth-ranked success rate (SR) across college football, thwarting opponents’ passing games in particular. While Alabama’s arial attack slots in at No. 27 in passing SR, Heisman favorite Bryce Young (-220) is playing behind an offensive line that’s allowed a top-10 pressure rate.
- SR showcases whether a play is successful if a team gains:
- 50 percent of the yards needed to move the chains on first down
- 70 percent of yards to gain on second down
- 100 percent of yards to gain on third or fourth down
Expect the Bulldogs’ front seven to generate plenty of havoc against Young & Co. — especially when the Tide are faced with a negative game script. They aren’t super efficient on the ground, either.
When Georgia has the ball, quarterback Stetson Bennett should be in position to expose Alabama’s secondary, which ranks No. 55 in passing SR. The public perception around Bennett is that the Bulldogs lack efficiency on explosive throws. But Bennett is tallying 19.2 yards per attempt (YPA) on tosses 20 yards down the field or more.
Despite the Tide likely needing a win to punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff, anything under a touchdown is worth a bet on Georgia.
Behind The Counter
“It didn’t take long for that Georgia -4.5 (opener) to get smoked after seeing Alabama’s performance against Auburn in the Iron Bowl,” Pearson said. “Georgia seems to be the ‘public’ side, but we are waiting for the avalanche of Alabama money, which I’m sure we will see day of.”
Eli’s Bet: Georgia -6.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook — placed at noon ET on Thursday, Dec. 2)
College Football Best Bets: Georgia -6.5 or better
Best Available Line: Georgia
Pearson’s College Football Best Bets: Oregon vs. Utah
“I already figured if Utah smoked Oregon at home, I’d be back for Oregon getting any amount of points on a neutral site,” Pearson said. “Without the revenge factor, I can’t imagine the Ducks having as tough a time in the red zone as they did in Utah. Expect a closer game and a Ducks win.”
Mo’s Bet: Oregon +3
Best Available Line: Oregon
- Click below to bet on any conference championship game, and read more about each one here.