2018 SEC Championship Odds and Betting Preview: Alabama vs Georgia
Are the Alabama Crimson Tide one of the great college football teams of all time? Obviously, they won the national championship last year, and this has become something of a habit for coach Nick Saban. But this year they have become much more dangerous on the offensive end, with a quarterback who is making a B-line to the Heisman Trophy. On Saturday, they will be going up against the team they beat for the national championship last season when they face the Georgia Bulldogs in a game that begins at 4 PM ET. The Southeastern Conference championship is at stake at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. And Vietbet customers can get in on the action before the game, with reduced juice, or after the kickoff, with Live Betting Ultra.
2018 SEC Championship Odds – Alabama vs Georgia:
In the SEC championship odds posted on this game by the folks at Vietbet, Alabama is the double-digit favorite:
Alabama Crimson Tide -13
Georgia Bulldogs +13
Over 63 points -110
Under 63 points -110
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2018 SEC Championship Odds – CJ’s Take on Alabama vs Georgia:
Defense is always going to be a strength with the Tide (12-0 straight-up, 8-4 against the points), and this year they are sixth in the nation at 282.2 points allowed per contest. And while they were led by Jalen Hurts most of the way last season, it was the terrific lefty who stepped in and rescued them in the title game against Georgia and has proceeded to perhaps take the front-running position for the Heisman this year that makes these guys utterly dynamic. Tua Tagovailoa has completed 70% of his passes with 36 touchdowns, and he’s thrown only two interceptions. This is good enough to be first in the nation in passing efficiency, and Alabama is scoring 49 points per game. The ground game, which produced a Heisman winner a few years ago with Derrick Henry, has taken a back seat, although it still averages 206 yards a game. But this is an Alabama team that can score anytime it touches the ball, and from anywhere on the field, thanks to Tua.
It’s hard to stop the kind of machine that achieves 53.4% success on third down, then turns around and holds the opposition below 31%, but that’s exactly what you’ve got with Alabama, which is the only team in college football history to go through an entire regular-season winning each game by at least 20 points. Think about that for a second; they play in one of the toughest conferences in college football and have beaten everyone by almost three touchdowns. LSU was supposed to give them a tussle, but Bama turned them back by a 29-0 margin. There is almost nothing they don’t do well.
And so it stands to reason this is going to be an extremely difficult thing for Georgia to deal with. Last season, they had an all-American backfield of Sony Michel and Nick Chubb, both of whom are making an impact in the NFL right now. But they just grow running backs there (see Todd Gurley for that), so it’s no big surprise that they have another dynamic duo this year, with DeAndre Swift, averaging 6.9 yards per carry, and Elijah Holyfield, averaging 6.7. And yes, if that last name sounds familiar, that is the son of the former heavyweight champion of the world.
It’s going to take an awful lot for Georgia to overcome the Alabama avalanche, but consider that the Bulldogs are ranked among the top 15 in the nation on both offense and defense, are third in passing efficiency behind quarterback Jake Fromm, and are pretty damn good on third down themselves, moving the chains at a 49.6% clip and holding opponents to just 31.7%.
Plus, they have an advantage of knowing that they can play on even terms with the Crimson Tide – witness last year’s title game, which they took into overtime before losing on a sensational and daring touchdown pass from Tua. But you also have to consider the fact that went Tua got into the game, things eventually changed in a big way. Remember that Georgia was ahead 3130-0 at halftime, and they couldn’t deal with what was, at that time, a sensational freshman. This is a big number, but we’ve seen Alabama take care of competent teams with relative ease, and keep in mind that with Hurts in reserve, even when they go to the second team, they can ring up points.
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By Charles Jay