Georgia vs. Alabama First Touchdown Odds & Picks: Collin Wilson’s Top 4 Bets for Monday
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Brock Bowers.
- Collin Wilson provides his top four first touchdown scorer bets for the national title game.
- Collin also looks at how both teams approach the coin toss.
- So, who will score first in the CFP National Championship?
Assessing the first touchdown for Georgia vs. Alabama, it’s important to know how Kirby Smart and Nick Saban handle the coin flip.
Alabama won the coin toss in seven games this season and deferred to the second half every time. On one occasion, the opposing team won the toss and elected to receive, the start of many mistakes for New Mexico State.
The Alabama defense allowed just one opening-drive touchdown — its lone loss to Texas A&M. In the five games Alabama received the ball first, only three resulted in an opening touchdown. John Metchie III and Jase McClellan provided two of those touchdowns, but both are unavailable for the national title game.
Against Southern Miss, Jameson Williams opened the game with a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown.
Similar to Alabama, Georgia won the toss in five games this season and deferred to the second half every time. In the eight games Georgia received the ball first, the Bulldogs scored on half of the opening drives.
Jermaine Burton hauled in a 73-yard pass against UAB, while James Cook ran 23 yards for the first score against South Carolina. In a smashing of Arkansas, Georgia scored first on one of two total touchdowns from Zamir White.
The running back was active once again in the semifinal, as White and Brock Bowers had two touches apiece in the red zone on the opening drive against Michigan.
BROCK BOWERS GIVES GEORGIA (-7.5) THE EARLY LEAD! pic.twitter.com/H8NKEUBY3m
— PFF Bet (@PFF_Bet) January 1, 2022
In six opening defensive drives, Georgia allowed just one touchdown in the form of a Hendon Hooker touchdown pass against Tennessee. The handicap on first touchdown is clear: Both teams will opt to defer winning the coin toss, and both defenses have been excellent at preventing opening-drive touchdowns.
Alabama’s first touchdown candidates will be targeted through the air, while White and Bowers are the top options for Georgia.
White will certainly receive his touches and may be the grinder Georgia needs to slow the game down with a lead, but when the fireworks kick off in this game, there will be a heavy dose of Bowers, who should account for a third of all Georgia targets.
The wild card in this game is tight end Darnell Washington, who received one target on Georgia’s third drive in Atlanta, resulting in the Bulldogs’ first touchdown.
Darnell Washington hit the silencer celly after this TD snag 😤
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 4, 2021
That touchdown catch was by design, as Washington was Stetson Bennett’s only look on the second-and-goal play that followed a failed first-down rush by White.
For Georgia first touchdown props, look for Bowers +700 or better and a long shot on Washington at +5000 or better in the market.
The Alabama prop is a bit trickier, considering the Georgia defense has allowed just eight red-zone touchdowns this season.
Williams is listed at +500 for the first touchdown of the game, properly priced considering the explosive passing and special teams touchdowns throughout the season.
When Alabama does get into the red zone, there has been a clear pattern of Trey Sanders and Slade Bolden attempts, both seeing numerous touches against Cincinnati and all the way back to Arkansas.
Although Bryce Young scrambled for a touchdown against Georgia, this is not the preferred red-zone attempt, as the Heisman winner has nine fumbles on the season.
Sanders and Young are both well outside of +2000 to score the first touchdown, but considering what the Georgia defense does to zone reads, there may be better choices than rushing options for the Crimson Tide, including the short odds on Brian Robinson Jr.
Cameron Latu fumbled in the red zone against Arkansas and didn’t receive another look until the Cotton Bowl.
The Alabama passing attack will be between the hash marks, a specialty for Latu. The tight end posted an 18-of-21 mark between the hashes and is out of Saban’s doghouse.
Latu had not posted a touchdown since Week 11 against New Mexico State but was targeted just once against Cincinnati, resulting in a touchdown. Any number at 20-1 or better deserves a small investment on the Alabama tight end.
Bryce Young to Cameron Latu for another Bama TD! pic.twitter.com/RcaAg47P65
— ESPN (@espn) December 31, 2021
Finally, while Williams deserves all the attention, it’s Ja’Corey Brooks who had the highest number of targets against Cincinnati in place of the injured Metchie.
Brooks posted explosive touchdowns against Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl and against Auburn in the Iron Bowl. If oddsmakers drop Brooks beyond 20-1, the freshman wide receiver will be on my card. The better bet might be total yards over considering his increased role without Metchie.
First Touchdown Picks
- Brock Bowers +700 or Better
- Darnell Washington +5000 or Better
- Jameson Williams +500 or Better
- Cameron Latu +2000 or Better