Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Georgia Bulldogs Odds, CFP Championship Betting Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2018

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01:  Jalen Hurts #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide throws the ball in the seond half of the AllState Sugar Bowl against the Clemson Tigers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Alabama Crimson Tide own a 38-24 edge in the all-time rivalry with the Georgia Bulldogs, including a 3-0 run over the last three meetings. Alabama and Georgia, after not meeting in the regular season, play each other again Monday night, this time in an all-SEC College Football Playoff Championship Game in Atlanta.

College football point spread: The Crimson Tide opened as four-point favorites; the total was 45.5 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 38.6-31.4 Crimson Tide (College football picks on every game)

Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more picks and a breakdown of this week's top sports betting news.

        

Why the Crimson Tide can cover the spread

The Tide reached the national title game by smothering defending national champion Clemson in the Sugar Bowl 24-6, covering as three-point favorites.

Alabama grabbed a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, let the Tigers get within 10-6 early in the third and then made the two key plays of the game on defense.

First, a quarterback pressure by linebacker Anfernee Jennings resulted in an interception by defensive tackle Da'Ron Payne, who returned the ball 21 yards to the Clemson 42-yard line. A few moments later Payne lined up in the backfield and caught a short touchdown pass from Jalen Hurts to help extend the Tide's lead to 17-6.

The Bama defense iced the game on the next play from scrimmage on an 18-yard pick-six by linebacker Mack Wilson.

Alabama outgained Clemson 261-188, outrushed the Tigers 141-64 and won the turnover battle 2-1, resulting in a plus-11 point differential. And those numbers don't really tell the story of how the Tide dominated play, and justified their berth in the College Football Playoff.

        

Why the Bulldogs can cover the spread

The Bulldogs reached the title game by outlasting Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl 54-48 in double overtime. Georgia fell behind to the Sooners 31-14 shortly before halftime but got a 55-yard field goal from Rodrigo Blankenship at the first-half buzzer to salvage some momentum.

The Bulldogs scored the first 21 points of the second half to take a 38-31 lead. Georgia again fell behind and tied the score at 45 thanks to a Nick Chubb score with just under a minute to go. The Dawgs ultimately won it with a blocked field goal in the first possession of the second OT and a 27-yard touchdown run by Sony Michel on the ensuing possession.

Georgia racked up 527 yards of offense, including 317 on the ground, as Michel tallied 181 yards and three touchdowns while Chubb had 145 and two scores. A Bulldogs defense that gave up 31 first-half points held the high-octane Oklahoma offense to 10 points after halftime.

Georgia also picked up the cover as a 2.5-point favorite.

       

Smart pick

The Bulldogs are coming off a huge emotional effort in the Rose Bowl and could be ripe for a letdown. Alabama, on the other hand, put forth a solid effort in the Sugar Bowl but definitely had an easier semifinal. The smart money here rides the Tide.

       

College football betting trends

The total has gone over in five of Alabama's last six games against Georgia.

Georgia is 5-12 SU in its last 17 games as an underdog.

Alabama is 1-4 ATS in its last five games in January.

        

All college football odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.

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