College Football Odds, Betting Picks, Predictions: Alabama vs. Georgia (Saturday, October 17)
Chamberlain Smith/Collegiate Images/Getty Images. Pictured: Monty Rice (32), Tyrique Stevenson (7), and Adam Anderson (19).
- Updated college football odds have Alabama as nearly a touchdown favorite over Georgia, with the over/under at 56.
- The Crimson Tide will have coach Nick Saban on the sideline for this game, and will put their elite offense to the test against Georgia's elite defense.
- Get our full breakdown and best bet for Alabama vs. Georgia below.
Alabama vs. Georgia Betting Odds
|Georgia Odds||+6 [BET NOW]|
|Alabama Odds||-6 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+138/-182 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||56 [BET NOW]|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
There’s nothing to call out on Kirby Smart’s defense from an analytics standpoint. The biggest hole was a lack of Havoc, but Georgia ranks 23rd with four forced fumbles in three games.
Eric Stokes and Richard LeCounte have each combined for seven passes defended, key against the top offense in the nation. Smart has maybe the most talented back seven in his time at Georgia. LeCounte has closing speed unseen since the days of Roquan Smith.
Instincts is why Richard Lecounte is one of the best safeties in the country. pic.twitter.com/iyfOUOMdWI
— AXactly (@DawgAXactly) October 11, 2020
Although Smart denied Georgia will run a tempo similar to Ole Miss, there’s no doubt that the way to beat the Alabama defense is to get it out of position. Stetson Bennett has been serviceable, considering Jamie Newman and JT Daniels were the talk all summer.
The Bulldogs have run tempo in spots to generate offense. Look for Bennett to stick to his left in passing plays, as the quarterback has had the most success in that area.
Alabama Crimson Tide
The biggest news for Bama comes in the form of Nick Saban contracting COVID-19. The Action Network’s Danny Donahue summarized the moves in the betting market to estimate Saban’s worth to the spread sits around 2.5 points.
When Urban Meyer was suspended in 2018, the market reacted with a two-point move. The good news for the Crimson Tide is that Pete Golding and Steve Sarkisian have stabilized the revolving door of coordinators in Tuscaloosa.
Golding has been criticized by former players and media close to the program for lack of communication. The absence of Dylan Moses was used as the reason for players lining up incorrectly and the Crimson Tide defense getting lost on key plays.
Even with healthy starters, the Alabama defense resembles the 2019 unit. Defensively, the Crimson Tide rank 62nd in Passing Success Rate and 60th in Havoc. In 236 defensive plays, Alabama has yet to achieve 10 passes defensed and has forced just one fumble.
Sarkisian was part of the 2016 team as an analyst before returning as offensive coordinator last year. Alabama has not missed a beat since the departure of Jalen Hurts or Tua Tagovailoa.
We often grade teams on the number of 20-yard passing plays, but in the case of Mac Jones, the stats are in another stratosphere. Jones has completed just seven passes for over 20 yards, but those passes have combined for 366 yards.
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Betting Analysis & Pick
The Alabama offense against the Georgia defense will be the college football highlight of the year. The one gap is the Bulldogs’ numbers in Power Success Rate, which equates to Alabama converting any third and fourth down with short yardage.
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The Action Network projection for this SEC showdown is Alabama -3.5, lending no value to the side on either team. A closer look at the advanced box scores shows that Alabama has more than just coordinator noise and experience issues in the secondary.
Missouri posted a 46% success rate in passing downs, while Texas A&M completed nine passes of at least 15 yards. What’s scarier for Crimson Tide backers is that the Aggies gained two or more first downs on 58% of their drives. Long, sustainable Georgia drives will be key in keeping the Alabama offense off the field.
As Ole Miss posted 66% of drives with two or more first downs, the secondary came under fire once again. No defensive player has played more snaps than defensive back Jordan Battle, who was ejected in the second half of the Ole Miss game. Battle, who sits at third on the team with 11 tackles, will miss the first half against Georgia.
While Alabama may take to the air early, Georgia will have success against a Crimson Tide defense that has totaled just 14 hurries in three games. The current first-half total is falling with the news of Saban’s diagnosis. In reality, the absence of Saban should affect Golding more than Sarkisian.
Georgia will find the Alabama defense just as Missouri and Ole Miss did — out of position and unable to get a third-down stop.
Pick: First-Half Over 29 or better