College Football National Championship Prop Bets & Exotics: Calabrese’s Favorite Picks for Alabama vs. Georgia
Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images. Pictured: Jameson Williams (1) and Ja’Corey Brooks (7).
- The CFP National Championship brings with it plenty of new betting markets that aren't around during the regular season.
- Our resident props and exotics expert, Mike Calabrese, broke down some of his favorite props and exotics for Alabama vs. Georgia.
- Check out Calabrese's betting card for the national title game below.
The college football community hates rematches.
In a sport of 130 teams, it’s rare for the publicly-desired nonconference or bowl matchup to come to fruition. That’s why a rematch like the one we have Monday night boils peoples’ blood, so to speak.
The public feels as though, “We’ve already seen this” before. And that reaction impacts both TV ratings and how college football power brokers structure the sport. Keep in mind the 2012 rematch between LSU and Alabama served as a valuable data point in the final argument for a playoff to replace the BCS.
Similarly, this SEC rematch could do the same for an expanded playoff in the near future.
But while some fans and gamblers aren’t jazzed up for the Dawgs and Tide 2.0, I can’t say I share the same feelings.
Sportsbooks across the country have peppered the gambling landscape with one-off promotions, bonuses and boosts for this football game. Props and exotics offer plenty of value to savvy bettors willing to dig a bit for value.
With that in mind, here’s my card for Monday night.
This play comes down to my faith in both Jack Podlesny and Will Reichard.
Alabama’s senior placekicker is 18-for-23 on the season, and 11-for-12 inside of 40 yards. Podlesny was just as sure-footed inside of 40 (16-for-18), and like Reichard, his range extends into the mid-50s if called upon.
Both defenses are coming off electric defensive performances in the semifinal round, which is why this payout is so lucrative.
But you don’t have to dig that deep to find games in which Alabama surrendered points in every quarter.
Alabama allowed both Texas A&M and Florida to get on the board in all four quarters, while the Bulldogs just gave up 41 points to the Crimson Tide (albeit with scores in three out of four quarters).
Georgia should have scored in all four quarters, but an interception from Stetson Bennett and a turnover on downs — both in the Alabama red zone — was the difference in the third quarter.
Alabama would score in the second, third and fourth quarters after a slow start against the Dawgs. My point being, it doesn’t take much imagination for that SEC title game to hit the score in all four quarters prop bet.
Brain Robinson Jr. has arguably been the focal point for Alabama’s offense the past month. The senior tailback has toted the rock 85 times in the Tide’s last four games, resulting in 113 yards per game on the ground.
But this is the Georgia run defense we’re talking about. The same unit that enters fourth against the run (82.3 YPG), fourth in yards per carry allowed (2.66 YPC) and first in terms of preventing runs of 20 and 30 yards or more in 2021.
That last statistic is key when you’re facing a player prop in this range. Robinson will have to grind it out against a stout UGA front, and it’s highly unlikely he can bank on a single run to get him halfway to his total.
It doesn’t hurt that UGA held him to 55 yards on 16 carries during the SEC title game, a contest that should have benefited Robinson rushing today from a game flow perspective.
I would play his yardage all the way down to 67.5 yards.
This one isn’t for the faint of heart because of Williams’ big-play capability.
The Ohio State transfer has more receiving touchdowns of 70 yards, 60 yards, 50 yards, 40 yards, 30 yards and 20 yards than any receiver in the nation.
But as we saw against Cincinnati, he can be schemed against.
Without John Metchie III, Alabama couldn’t get Williams into space all night against the Bearcats. He did finish with seven receptions, but they only went for 62 yards. His 8.9 yards per reception average was 11 yards below his season average.
I foresee Georgia doubling Williams for most of the night, limiting the downfield damage he can do.
I would play this down to 105 yards at normal odds and down to -140 at 120.5 yards.
If you’re interested in playing the Alabama moneyline, this is one way to go about it.
Kirby Smart has now coached against Nick Saban on four occasions. In all four games, he held a lead at some point in the game, and UGA held a lead at the break in three.
It’s been a familiar script, which is why these odds feel inflated. If you’re on the Crimson Tide here, any UGA-Alabama double-result longer than 6-1 is worth a flier.
- Georgia-9.5, Under 52, Over 27.5 Georgia Team Total, Georgia To Lead After 1Q & 1H
As I mentioned above, Georgia has demonstrated it can jump on Alabama in the first half. That track record was enough for me to add both first-quarter and first-half plays on the Dawgs into this parlay.
The rest is predicated on my belief that Alabama is going to struggle to score in this rematch.
College football rematches are incredibly rare, particularly in the National Championship game, but even in the small sample size, a trend has emerged.
In the five previous instances in which two teams met during the season, only to meet again in a national title bowl game, four of the five games have gone under.
- 1960 Sugar Bowl (Ole Miss 21, LSU 0)
- 1966 Rose Bowl (UCLA 14, Michigan State 12)
- 1976 Rose Bowl (UCLA 23, Ohio State 10)
- 1997 Sugar Bowl (Florida 52, Florida State 20)
- 2012 BCS National Championship Game (Alabama 21, LSU 0)
If you’re wholly unmoved by ancient history, consider this nugget on Alabama. The Crimson Tide passing attack, in recent games against Auburn and Cincy, was held to a yards-per-attempt average of 6.2, three full yards below its season average.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the passing game is broken without Metchie, but to expect another otherworldly performance from Bryce Young in this spot, in my opinion, would be a mistake.
I’m calling for a Georgia victory in the 31-20 range, and I believe this same game parlay is the best way to maximize the value.
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