Alabama vs. Georgia Prediction, Pick Against the Spread, and Latest Odds

Alabama vs. Georgia predictions and pics for the 2021 SEC championship game on Saturday. Who will win the SEC this year? Alex Kirshner breaks it down here
Alex Kirshner |
Mon, November 29, 8:04 AM EST | 4 min read
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Alabama vs. Georgia Prediction, Pick Against the Spread, and Latest Odds

Georgia Bulldogs vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

Spread: Georgia -6.5

Total: 50.5

Game time: Saturday, 4 p.m. ET

Where to watch: CBS

Alabama vs. Georgia odds

Alabama vs. Georgia Prediction

The Alabama-Georgia SEC Championship everyone has seen coming all year finally comes to fruition on Saturday. Every available piece of 2021 evidence says Georgia should win, but every available piece of information about Nick Saban says he’ll have Bama exceptionally prepared –– and that he won’t let a former assistant of his out-scheme him on the biggest stage.

I’m not overly excited about the spread value in either direction. I think the Tide are a little closer to the Dawgs on a neutral field than the 6.5-point spread would suggest, but I’m slightly spooked by Bama’s troubles with Auburn in Week 13 and feel pulls in countervailing directions: I think Georgia might be a touchdown better than any team in the country this year, but laying that many points against Nick Saban’s Alabama in the SEC Championship is hard to actually do. Someone’s going to cover, but I don’t have a strong read yet on who’s going to do it.

I do see value in a total pick, though, and see a few things pulling me toward the over when Bama and UGA meet in Atlanta. That requires getting over some sticker shock –– Georgia has one of the great defenses in the history of college football, and Bama just scored 10 points in regulation against Auburn. Neither really screams “over” at you. But oddsmakers have priced in the Dawgs’ insane defense, and the over has had a respectable 5-7 showing in Dawgs games this year, including hitting two of the last three weeks after an 0-5 midseason stretch.

The biggest thing in the over’s favor might actually be the Georgia offense. It’s not the Dawgs’ best phase of the game, of course, but the Dawgs entered Rivalry Week fourth in offensive SP+ and have managed to get into the 30s every week except Week 1 despite taking their sweet old time when they have the ball. It helps that the Dawgs have scored four non-offensive touchdowns (tied for 11th in the country), but I’m not banking on that against Bama. I just think Stetson Bennett IV and crew will move the ball pretty well against a Tide defense that’s more “very good” than “Alabama-level elite.” There’s a fair counterpoint to that: Georgia didn’t score an offensive touchdown against Clemson, the best defense it’s played all year. But I’d raise a counter-counterpoint that UGA’s offense was still gelling at that point and adjusting on the fly to the absences of some anticipated key passing targets, Arik Gilbert and George Pickens. They’re still not here, but Georgia’s offense has learned to score points without them.

Of course, the stumbling block is Georgia’s ridiculous defense. The Dawgs haven’t let up more than 17 points all year, and Bama topping out at that number would require Georgia to score 34 for the over to hit. I have twisted myself into knots before trying to figure out paths to UGA overs, and I’ve gotten burned (thanks to some missed kicks in Georgia’s October 16 win over Kentucky, no less). But the road to 51 seems more reasonable this week. Bama should score more on Georgia than any team has all year, because Bama has the best offense Georgia has seen all year. And Georgia could still easily get into the 30s, as the Dawgs typically do. It doesn’t take an epic shootout for someone to win 28-24 and deliver us our over. Recall that Bama has eclipsed 40 points in eight of 12 games and only scored fewer than 31 once. Again, it doesn’t take that much for either of these offenses to make the over appear quite small.

There’s a lot not to like about the over, I know. You could simply say the words “Georgia’s defense” and make me feel nervous about it, and both teams’ deliberate pace will work against the over, too. But these offenses are so talented that I think they’ll reach the 50s.

Alabama vs. Georgia Pick

Alex Kirshner
@Alex_Kirshner

Alex Kirshner covers college football for the Moon Crew newsletter. He is a co-author of The Sinful Seven: Sci-Fi Western Legends of the NCAA, and he lives in Washington, D.C.

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