SEC Championship 2018: Final Odds, Preview, Prediction for Alabama vs. Georgia

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistDecember 1, 2018

Tua Tagovailoa has much more than arm strength going for him at the quarterback position.
Tua Tagovailoa has much more than arm strength going for him at the quarterback position.Butch Dill/Associated Press

The 2018 season has seen Alabama drub its regular-season opponents on a consistent basis.

The Crimson Tide has rolled to victory 12 straight times, and the closest any opponent came to staying with them was the 22-point margin of defeat suffered by Texas A&M in the fourth week of the season.

Alabama (12-0) has been so strong this year that it would be a major surprise if they were not included in the College Football Playoffs even if they lost this Southeastern Conference championship game.

Georgia (11-1) moved inside the CFP playoff structure after the final regular-season weekend of the season. Michigan had been ranked in the No. 4 spot, but the Wolverines got beaten badly by Ohio State and fell back in the rankings.

Georgia is where it needs to be right now, but it obviously has its toughest task of the season as it has to attempt to beat Nick Saban's Crimson Tide in the SEC title game.

      

Date: Saturday, December 1
Game Time: 4:00 p.m. ET
Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Network: CBS

      

These teams met in last year's national championship game, and the Bulldogs had their hearts broken, losing 26-23 in overtime as Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa hit DeVonta Smith with a 41-yard touchdown pass on a 2nd-and-26 play.

That gave the Crimson Tide their 17th national championship and their fifth title in the previous nine years. They seem to be on a straight-line course to making it six championships in 10 years.

Tagovailoa became the triggerman in that national championship game, and he is the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy this year. He has completed better than 70 percent of his passes for 3,189 yards with 36 touchdowns and just two interceptions.

Tagovailoa is a superb quarterback prospect because of his instincts, arm strength, athleticism and the touch he can put on his passes. Many strong-armed quarterbacks struggle with accuracy or the amount of pace to put on a ball, but Tagovailoa has no such problems in that area.

Tagovailoa has the support of some of the most skilled offensive players in the nation. Running backs Damien Harris and Najee Harris have combined for 1,383 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Jerry Jeudy has caught 56 passes for 1,079 yards and 11 touchdowns to lead the Tide. Henry Ruggs III has caught 39 passes for 675 yards and 10 touchdowns, while Jaylen Waddle and Irv Smith Jr. have combined for 10 TDs.

The Alabama defense has been excellent, holding eight opponents to 20 points or less. That unit is going to make things quite challenging for Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm and his teammates.

The Bulldogs are going to have to contain Quinnen Williams, who is capable of wrecking any offensive game plan. The 6'4", 289-pound defensive lineman has superior quickness, and he has 58 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and 7.0 sacks this season.

Fromm has thrown for 2,236 yards with 24 touchdowns and five interceptions. He does not have to throw as much as some quarterbacks because Georgia once again has one of the best running attacks in the nation.

They lost Sony Michel (New England Patriots) and Nick Chubb (Cleveland Browns) after last season, but D'Andre Swift has run for 962 yards with an average of 6.9 yards per carry with nine rushing touchdowns. Elijah Holyfield is right behind with 896 yards and seven touchdowns. 

Mecole Hardman and Riley Ridley have the responsibility of getting open against Alabama's tough defense. Since Williams is often in the backfield causing havoc, Hardman and Ridley will have to break free quickly in order to give Fromm a chance to be productive.

Georgia has to be confident in its kicking game because Rodrigo Blankenship has show he can make his field goal attempts with consistency. He comes into the SEC title game having made 19 of 22 three-point attempts.

      

Prediction

Saban certainly knows how to prepare his team for the biggest games. The Crimson Tide is not likely to overlook Georgia or any other opponent at this point in the season.

The Crimson Tide is a 12.5-point favorite, per OddsShark. There is a chance that Georgia can keep up with Alabama for at least 30 minutes and perhaps well into the second half.

However, Alabama has too much firepower and will win this game and advance to the College Football Playoffs after registering a 38-28 victory.

Alabama survives and advances, but the Bulldogs get the cover.   

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