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The Alabama Crimson Tide (13-1 SU, 8-6 ATS) have won three of the last six college football championships, but they’ve yet to repeat as champions in the playoff era. Alabama tries to rectify that when it faces the Georgia Bulldogs (13-1, 9-5), whom the Tide have beaten seven straight times — including in last month’s SEC championship game.

Georgia Bulldogs vs Alabama Crimson Tide
  • Date/Time: January 10, 8 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: Georgia -2.5 | O/U 52.5 (Line History)
  • Georgia vs Alabama Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Georgia was a 6-point favorite when these teams met on a neutral field in the SEC championship game last month, but oddsmakers opened the Bulldogs as just 2.5-point chalk for the rematch. If Alabama closes as a dog, it’ll be just the third time the Tide have been an underdog since 2009 — the two previous times also came against Georgia.

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Georgia News & Notes

Quarterback Stetson Bennett enters the championship game playing his most prolific football of the season, averaging 325 passing yards in his last two starts after failing to throw for more than 255 in any of his previous eight appearances.

The Orange Bowl offensive MVP has also thrown 10 touchdown passes in his last three games, with three of those strikes coming against Alabama in the SEC championship game.

Although Bennett also threw a couple of costly interceptions in that game against the Tide, Georgia’s defense was the bigger issue as the Bulldogs were lit up for 41 points — nearly six times their season average.

Georgia’s stop unit atoned for that ugly performance by dominating Michigan in the Orange Bowl, holding the Wolverines to just 88 rushing yards and keeping Michigan out of the end zone until the dying minutes.

Alabama News & Notes

Heisman-winning quarterback Bryce Young and the passing game are Alabama’s bread and butter on offense, but the Tide can move the ball on the ground as well. Alabama proved that in its 27-6 Cotton Bowl win over Cincinnati, running the ball 47 times for 301 yards.

More than 200 of those rushing yards came courtesy of Brian Robinson Jr., who had topped the 100-yard plateau just twice in his previous seven games.

Alabama may continue that run-heavy approach in the absence of star receiver John Metchie, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury against Georgia in the SEC final. Freshman Ja’Corey Brooks was the Tide’s top receiver against Cincinnati, catching four balls for 66 yards and a touchdown as Young was held to just 181 passing yards.

Regardless of what strategy Alabama employs on offense and defense, it seems safe to expect that head coach Nick Saban will have all the right answers. Saban has won all four of his career meetings against Georgia coach Kirby Smart, including wins in the 2017 national title game and two SEC finals, and is 25-1 SU against his former assistant coaches.

How Georgia Will Cover

The Bulldogs moved the ball with ease against Alabama last month, controlling it for nearly 35 minutes and gaining 30 first downs. If the Bulldogs can win the turnover battle and limit Alabama’s big plays, Georgia’s 41-year national title drought could come to an end.

How Alabama Will Cover

Saban and his squad relish the role of the underdog, winning outright in five of their last six games when catching points. They could also enjoy a psychological advantage after overcoming an early 13-point deficit in last month’s SEC title game, when they beat Georgia for the seventh straight time.

Computer Pick: Georgia -3

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For more College Football Playoff Championship Game predictions, visit our NCAAF Computer Picks page.

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Shark Bites
  • Alabama is 5-1 SU and ATS in its last 6 as an underdog.
  • Alabama is 7-0 SU in its last 7 games vs Georgia.
  • The OVER is 9-1 in the last 10 meetings.