SEC Championship College Football Betting Odds & Picks: How to Bet Alabama vs. Florida

SEC Championship College Football Betting Odds & Picks: How to Bet Alabama vs. Florida article feature image
Credit:

Chris Graythen/Getty Images. Pictured: DeVonta Smith.

  • Another classic Alabama vs. Florida matchup.
  • The Crimson Tide will look to continue their run of domination on Saturday when they take on the Gators in the SEC Championship.
  • Check out Collin Wilson's full betting analysis compete with updated odds and a pick for Saturday's game below.

Alabama vs. Florida Odds

Alabama Odds -17 [BET NOW]
Florida Odds +17 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -770 / +480 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 74.5 [BET NOW]
Time Saturday, 8 p.m. ET
TV CBS
Odds as of Friday morning and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today.

The Marco Wilson shoe throw was heard throughout the college football world.

Not only did the late unsportsmanlike conduct penalty give LSU a first down before a 57-yard Cade York bomb, but the market took action on the SEC Championship game.

Alabama had wrapped up an early afternoon mastery performance against Arkansas while the look-ahead line for the conference championship game hovered around the Crimson Tide -12.5. By the end of the LSU-Florida game, that SEC Championship game line had moved five points to Bama -17.5.

Now, investors must ask if Wilson’s shoe, the inactivity of star tight end Kyle Pitts and the leg of Cade York are all worth five points to the Alabama spread.

The Crimson Tide have not been slowed the entire season, covering every game since Ole Miss covered on Oct. 10. It also remains to be seen if the Alabama offense can be stopped, as the Tide have gone over the total in eight of their 10 SEC games this season.

Alabama Crimson Tide

The Crimson Tide continue to dominate in the category of possible yards again. Available yards looks at the difference between total possible yards and the actual yards gained, and Alabama ranks second in the country in that category behind Kent State.

The national average for available yards is 44%, but the Crimson Tide have cruised at 72.2% with the highest third-down efficiency at 59.1%. This Alabama offense has been so good that it’s more meaningful to compare the 2020 Crimson Tide numbers to past College Football Playoff competitors.

Saban has acknowledged his defense deserves a healthy portion of the credit in this era of efficient and explosive offenses.

A top-15 rank in Havoc derives from 10 forced fumbles, 59 passes defended and 67 tackles for loss.

The Crimson Tide have been excellent when opposing offenses find scoring opportunities. Alabama allows just 2.4 points to teams crossing the 40-yard line, and in 26 opponent red-zone attempts, only 11 have resulted in a touchdown. Alabama now has the third-highest grade in pass coverage, per Pro Football Focus.

The key to stopping Florida’s offense may be Alabama defensive back Malachi Moore.

One of the Alabama defenders will be assigned to Gators tight end Pitts, and the freshman may be up for the task. Moore ranks in the top 30 of all FBS defenders by slot coverage, per PFF. Quarterbacks that have targeted Moore own a lowly 62 NFL rating, two interceptions, no touchdowns and just one yard per coverage snap.


Florida Gators

A number of elements could be to blame for Florida’s loss to LSU, but there was a bubbling number of concerns on the team that can be held accountable.

Pitts, the best tight end in college football, was out of the game for undisclosed reasons. There was never specification whether it was for precautionary reasons, or that Dan Mullen decided to keep Pitts off the film with the number of eligible players LSU brought to Gainesville.

There are a number of issues with the Gators.

The defense has consistently let the team down, from a Mullen meltdown on defensive coordinator Todd Grantham to allowing 117 points in the past five games to struggling SEC teams. Β On the season, Florida has a negative point differential in the fourth quarter, which is on both the cushy leads and a defense that ranks outside the top 90 in tackling, coverage and defensive pass explosiveness.

Bet $1, Win $100 if Michigan/MSU Scores 10+ Pts
Full Review
Deposit at least $5
Bet $1+ on Michigan or MSU ML
Win $125 if your team scores 10+ points

Betting Analysis & Pick

Before the LSU circus, oddsmakers had a look-ahead line of less than two touchdowns. The breakdown of Florida in its final regular-season game has created an abnormally inflated market against the Gators, with Alabama having a market consensus around -17. The shoe throw heard around the college football world has moved the betting market as if Kyle Trask was not playing in the SEC Championship.

Alabama vs. Florida Matchup Matrix

There are plenty of handicaps for this game with primary questions around who can stop the Tide offense or the Trask-to-Pitts connection for the Gators.

Nick Saban knows the opposing coaching staff very well, as Grantham was a defensive line coach in the late 1990s under Saban at Michigan State. Grantham was soon connected to Mullen in 2017 at Mississippi State as the yearly battles between the coaches continued. Mullen and Saban have not gone head-to-head since the 2017 season, and Saban holds a 5-4 against-the-spread mark between the two.

If there’s a blueprint for handling Pitts, it may be the Tennessee defensive scheme. The Vols limited Pitts and Kadarius Toney to a combined 236 yards and one touchdown on 20 targets. Tennessee played nickel and dime against Florida throughout the game, assigning a cornerback to both explosive targets in the slot.

Trask hit eight other targets against the Vols because of the successful slot coverage on Toney and Pitts. Alabama will do the same by assigning one of the best slot defenders in the nation in Moore to the task while keeping two safeties deep to prevent the explosive play.

Expect Florida to maximize passing yards against the Alabama base nickel package. But it could easily run into issues in the short field in scoring attempts against a defense that ranks 10th in Finishing Drives.

No defense has been able to stop the Alabama offense, which ranks as the best in FBS in Success Rate.

Mac Jones has the highest adjusted completion percentage of any quarterback in FBS while maintaining a top-five NFL passer rating in pressured dropbacks. Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam leads the SEC in pass breakups and allows opposing quarterbacks just a 61 NFL rating.

Elam will be given the task of shutting DeVonta Smith down, but the Gators have no answers for John Metchie III or the run game with Najee Harris. Wilson, famous for chucking the cleat in the LSU game, has not posted a good season in pass coverage. He’s graded 41st of all defensive backs in the SEC on pass coverage.

The total and spread will come down to Florida converting multiple scoring opportunities into points. The total will also come down to how often Harris runs the ball once the Crimson Tide have a three-score lead.

Neither of these teams run at a lightning pace, but Florida’s defensive rank in pass explosiveness shows that Alabama will have no issues getting its points even if Elam has a career day against Smith. The market is completely inflated on the Florida number, as the value falls on the Gators at 17 or better.

The best bet is that Alabama puts up its required number of points to win this game against a Florida defense that struggles in every facet.

With a total settling in the mid-70s, a Crimson Tide team total will fall around 45. Both Alabama and Florida rank in the top-five in FBS in scoring drive percentage. Alabama will go over its team total thanks to the best third-down conversion rate in FBS along with a Finishing Drives rank of third.

If Florida and the 17 points is not good pregame, consider that the Gators are third in the nation in the “Middle 8.” That statistic captures the point differential for the four minutes before halftime and the four minutes after halftime. The bulk of the Gators’ “Middle 8” comes from the four minutes before halftime, as they lead the nation with a scoring offensive average of 8.3 points per game.

Consider a live wager in the middle of the second quarter or a first-half side if looking to back the Gators.

Pick:Β Alabama Team Total Over 45 or better | Florida 1H.

[Bet the SEC Championship now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]