Georgia vs. Alabama prediction: Don’t guess in opposition to Nick Saban

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Clemson is not going to play on championship weekend for the primary time in seven years. Ohio State received’t go well with up for the primary time in 5 years. Oklahoma will watch from house for the primary time in seven years.

Solely the SEC is smart — on the floor.

Georgia and Alabama have lengthy been essentially the most dominant forces of their respective divisions, however Saturday might be simply the second time prior to now 9 years — and third time ever — that the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide meet within the SEC Championship. Will probably be the primary time Nick Saban is an underdog since 2015, when Alabama destroyed Georgia en path to a nationwide championship. Will probably be the primary time Saban is an underdog of greater than three factors since 2009, when Alabama hammered defending nationwide champion Florida within the SEC Championship en path to a nationwide championship.

It appears unlikely Saban will do it once more. One of the best staff within the nation belongs to his protégé, Kirby Good, whose all-time protection provides up lower than seven factors per sport and whose underrated offense places up over 40 factors per sport. Georgia has been essentially the most dominant and constant staff within the nation, the one staff sure to succeed in this season’s playoff.

It has no holes — on the floor.

Georgia hasn’t but performed a staff presently ranked inside the highest 20. It hasn’t confronted a quarterback close to the extent of Heisman favourite Bryce Younger. Its common margin of victory is greater than 32 factors, that means the Bulldogs haven’t been examined in three months. On Sept. 4, Georgia was held with out an offensive landing, needing a pick-six to get previous Clemson, 10-3. The Eleventh-ranked Tigers’ protection is the most effective Good has seen all season. Till now.

Nick Saban
Nick Saban
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Although Georgia’s defensive entrance will beat down a beat-up Alabama offensive line, Stetson Bennett may have simply as a lot bother transferring the ball in opposition to Saban’s sixth-ranked protection. With Alabama’s run protection giving up fewer than 82 yards per sport — just about the identical as Georgia — Good might be pressured to show to the air. And Bennett, a former walk-on, is only one season faraway from throwing three interceptions and finishing 45 % of his passes in opposition to the Tide.

Georgia possible will nonetheless come out on high, however simply twice prior to now 10 years has Alabama (+6.5) misplaced a sport with national-title implications by greater than a landing. Saban — who’s 3-0 in opposition to Good, 6-0 in opposition to Georgia (at Alabama) and the winner of his previous seven SEC title sport appearances — hasn’t been discounted like this in additional than a decade.

It’s a great time to spend money on the best coach of all time.

Northern Illinois (+3.5) over Kent State

There might be no protection. It’s unclear if both staff even has a coordinator. When the groups met final month, the Golden Flashes pulled out a 52-47 win at house. Now, they transfer to a impartial website for the MAC Championship. With so many factors set to hit the scoreboard, it’s good to have an additional few sitting in your pocket.

Oklahoma State (-5.5) over Baylor

It has been two months for the reason that Cowboys’ 10-point win over the Bears, captured regardless of Spencer Sanders’ three interceptions. Oklahoma State’s third-ranked protection has solely improved since limiting Baylor to 14 factors, most impressively preserving Oklahoma’s offense from scoring within the second half of Bedlam. Gerry Bohanon’s standing is irrelevant. If the Cowboys can cease Caleb Williams, neither Baylor quarterback will do a lot injury.

Spencer Sanders
Spencer Sanders
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Utah State (+6) over SAN DIEGO STATE

Brady Hoke has written an excellent comeback story, however I don’t really feel good laying this many factors with a staff averaging 22 factors — with a median scoring differential lower than 5 factors — in its previous seven video games. The Aggies are 3-0 as street canine this season.

Appalachian State (-3) over LOUISIANA

Break up focus received’t be Louisiana’s solely subject in Billy Napier’s ultimate sport earlier than departing for Florida. Appalachian enters with better motivation — dropping a midseason battle, 41-13, after a four-turnover efficiency — and better momentum, having received its previous 5 video games by a median of greater than 30 factors.

Houston (+10.5) over CINCINNATI

A win — in opposition to a balanced opponent using an 11-game win streak — isn’t sufficient to ship the Bearcats to the playoff. A loss by Oklahoma State and/or Michigan helps, as would Georgia annihilating Alabama, however no end result could make Cincinnati really feel assured will probably be the primary Group of 5 playoff staff. Every part in the end hinges on an elitist and unpredictable voting physique. It dropped TCU from No. 3 to No. 6 within the ultimate rankings of 2014 after a 52-point win. In 2016, two-loss Auburn entered the ultimate weekend at No. 2, forward of undefeated Wisconsin. In 2018, undefeated UCF was ranked eighth, behind two-loss Michigan. The committee can transfer the goalposts wherever it pleases.

Michigan (-10.5) over Iowa

The letdown potential is clear, identical to it was after the Miracle on Ice, Duke’s upset of UNLV and Boston’s unprecedented comeback in opposition to the Yankees within the 2004 ALCS. Michigan’s upset over Ohio State marked its first win in a decade over its greatest rival, but additionally its most significant win since its 1997 nationwide championship. The Wolverines now have an opportunity to win one other, peaking on offense, proudly owning the trenches and free from the Buckeye-sized weight defining the previous decade. After slowing the nation’s highest-scoring offense, Michigan might hold Iowa’s 121st-ranked offense from ever reaching the tip zone.

Wake Forest (+3) over Pittsburgh

Kenny Pickett is the extra gifted quarterback within the shootout to come back, however Wake’s Sam Hartman will get the higher matchup, throwing in opposition to the 119th-ranked move protection within the nation. Wake is extraordinarily susceptible in opposition to the run — Clemson and North Carolina mixed for 663 speeding yards in Wake’s two losses this season — however the Panthers aren’t outfitted to take advantage of the Demon Deacon’s best weak point, proudly owning the ACC’s Eleventh-ranked floor sport.

Usc (+4.5) over CAL

Didn’t you hear? Lincoln Riley goes to make USC the “mecca of college football.” With delight set to be restored to the storied program, the Trojans ought to enter this postponed affair in better spirits, trying to make a powerful impression on their new coach.

Greatest bets: Alabama, Oklahoma State, Appalachian State
This season (finest bets): 90-101-4 (22-15-2)
2014-20 report: 904-866-15



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