Georgia vs Alabama
Georgia -3 +100 over Alabama

Pinnacle  +10 -102 BET365 +10 -110 SportInteraction +10 -110 BetOnlin+10 -108 

Posted at 4:30 PM EST.

College Football Playoff National Championship - Lucas Oil Stadium • Indianapolis, IN

Georgia -2½ -110 over Alabama

8:00 PM EST. 2021 was one of the craziest college football seasons in recent memory. Clemson stumbled twice in four games, Oklahoma struggled throughout the season before Baylor and Oklahoma State dealt them a fatal one-two punch, and Ohio State got stunned at the gun by an ascendant Michigan. Between October 9, when Texas A&M walked off against Alabama, and December 4, when the Crimson Tide took down Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, there was effectively only one team playing at the level of most previous CFP contenders. And in that conference title game, those Bulldogs got blown out by a team fighting for its playoff life all the way.

After years of domination by a select few, the 2021 season was a breath of fresh air. Most of the bluebloods and familiar College Football Playoff faces underachieved, and surprise playoff hopefuls such as Oklahoma State, Michigan State, and Cincinnati made serious cases to reach the final four—the Bearcats actually doing so, becoming the first CFP team from the Group of 5. It all led up to a playoff field that, on paper, looked absolutely tantalizing: familiar blueblood Alabama hitting their stride to face the underdog of all underdogs in Cincinnati, while a reeling Georgia took on a Michigan team playing in its first-ever official playoff game.

Then the games actually happened. Alabama and Georgia, in turn, took Cincinnati and Michigan to the woodshed, winning by scores of 27-6 and 34-11 to set up an SEC Championship Game rematch for the national tite, a game full of intrigue and consequence. What will the Bulldogs' offense change—or keep the same—in order to hang with the Tide? Can they find the edge against Bryce Young that just wasn't there a month ago? And can Kirby Smart finally put together a complete performance to take down his archrival and finish a remarkable year with the ultimate glory of a championship? The memory of a 41-24 beatdown will be fresh on both teams' minds as they try to make history in the final game of a thrilling 2021 season.

So, what did the market witness a month ago in that highly anticipated game? It witnessed a back-and-forth affair turn into a blowout in the blink of an eye…..again.  Since 2008, when Nick Saban turned the Tide into a perennial title favorite, the Bulldogs have lost seven straight against them. And in every one of those games, there has been a consistent theme, one that stood out very clearly when these teams last met a few weeks ago: most of the game is competitive, but Alabama finds at least one scoring run that turns it on its head.

This painful history of Alabama turning close games into comfortable wins and orchestrating remarkable comebacks was reinforced in the SEC Championship Game, where they trailed 10-0 after Georgia closed out a 97-yard drive to open the second quarter. Less than a minute later, Bryce Young hit Jameson Williams for a 67-yard touchdown, and Alabama soon surged to a 24-17 halftime lead. They went on a five-play, 75-yard touchdown drive after halftime, and from there they cruised to victory. For a head-to-head matchup with such a long streak of futility, Alabama-Georgia has featured plenty of back-and-forth ball, but the Tide always seem to figure their opponent out at some point or other.

To recap those games, we must start in 2008 when the Tide came out of the gate swinging, scoring five times before Georgia put points on the board and jumping out to a 31-0 halftime lead. The 2012 game was for the SEC championship and was effectively a title play-in between No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia, and it was more competitive; the Tide's critical stretch came in the last 20 minutes, as they scored 22 points and managed to hold Todd Gurley and the Bulldogs to just seven. 2015 saw the Tide turn a 3-3 contest into a 38-3 no-contest in a 15-minute stretch straddling halftime. In the 2017 title game, Tua Tagovailoa took the reins from Jalen Hurts and led a comeback from a 13-0 deficit to win 26-23. The following season, things turned on their head as Hurts entered for Tagovailoa to throw and rush for two touchdowns in the last six minutes. In 2020 the Tide trailed 24-20 with four minutes left in the third quarter—then Mac Jones connected with Jaylen Waddle for a 90-yard touchdown and 10 minutes later the score was 41-24, Alabama.

It is, perhaps, unhelpful to say that the biggest key to the Bulldogs' hopes of revenge is simply doing what they were doing before they faced Alabama. They say the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, and there's reason to fear that history will repeat itself in short order. Georgia will once again march into this game as a slight favorite, trying to do what has worked against everybody else and once again walk away defeated, wondering how the Tide beat them at their own game. But computers, oddsmakers, and a simple glance at the pure talent on this team agree: if they play like they have on every night but one, this game is more than winnable for Georgia. In Atlanta, they looked like a pale imitation of their usual dominant selves; in Indianapolis, the Bulldogs must be at their best to break through and win the national championship but all that fodder means nothing from a gambling perspective. 

We’re not going to break it down with X’s and O’s. There are a lot smarter football people than us to do that for you 10 dozen times over the next few hours. What we know for sure is that the oddsmakers and the public are very aware of Alabama’s dominance over the Dawgs. Very aware. They whacked Alabama this year and until Georgia gets this proverbial monkey off its back, the wagering public will continue to not trust Georgia. Why would they? Why would we? Frankly, we don’t but we’re not in the prediction business. Those responsible for setting the price could have made this game a goddamn pick’em and not swayed a single wager. The masses are hammering a trusted commodity in Alanama but the number isn't moving down and if we were on Alabama, that might have us a little more than concerned.  

It is, perhaps, unhelpful to say that the biggest key to the Bulldogs' hopes of revenge is simply doing what they were doing before they faced Alabama. They say the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, and there's reason to fear that history will repeat itself in short order. Georgia will once again march into this game as a questionable slight favorite, trying to do what has worked against everybody else and once again walk away defeated, wondering how the Tide beat them at their own game. Those suckers that bet the Dawgs a month ago are not making that mistake again and those that laughed all the way to the bank will not be switching gears. Computers, oddsmakers, and a simple glance at the pure talent on this team agree: if they play like they have on every night but one, this game is more than winnable for Georgia. In Atlanta, they looked like a pale imitation of their usual dominant selves; in Indianapolis, the Bulldogs must be at their best to break through and win the national championship. Forget the X’s and O’s. The line is screaming out that it is Georgia’s day.

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Our Pick

Georgia -3 +100 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.00)