The third-seeded Georgia Bulldogs will look to pull off the huge upset over the fourth-seeded Alabama Crimson Tide and cash in as slightly more than a field goal underdogs when they square off in the 2018 National Championship on Monday, January 8, live from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Both teams advanced to the national championship by winning their respective CFP semifinal matchups on New Year’s Day, albeit it completely polar-opposite fashions. Now, let’s find out which one of the final two teams standing is offering the best value against their National Championship game betting odds.
Alabama vs. Georgia 2018 National Championship ATS Betting Analysis
— College Football Playoff (@CFBPlayoff) 2 de enero de 2018
- When: Monday, January 8, 2017, 8:00 PM ET
- Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
- TV: ESPN
- Radio: 95.3 FM (Alabama) / 92.5 FM (Georgia)
- Live Stream: Watch ESPN
- 2018 National Championship Odds: Alabama Crimson Tide -4 (Over/Under at 47.5 points)
- Overcast: 9°C/48°F
- Humidity: 91%
- Precipitation: 4%
- Cloud Cover: 91%
- Wind: 7 mph WSW
- Stadium Type: Retractable
Why Consider Betting On Alabama?
If you’re thinking about betting on the perennially-powerful Alabama Crimson Tide, then you’ve got a bunch of reasons why doing so is a good idea.
First, Alabama looked phenomenal in completely shutting down top-seeded Clemson in their overwhelming 24-6 win in the Allstate Sugar Bowl semifinal on Monday night. Alabama harassed Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant into two costly interceptions and held the Tigers to just 64 rushing yards and 188 total yards of offense in the dominating win.
The Tide didn’t run the ball down Clemson’s throats, but they got an efficient performance from sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts as he tossed a pair of TD passes and no picks in the victory.
Alabama is also 4-1 in national championship games under head coach Nick Saban, so there’s that as well. Last but not least, the Crimson Tide have the best defense in all the land as the rank an outstanding first in total defense (253.5 YPG), third against the pass (160.6 YPG), first against the run (92.8 YPG) and first in points allowed (11.1 PPG).
Before I go any further, let me just say that Alabama’s strength, their defense and ability to shut down the run, goes directly against Georgia’s strength…the Bulldogs’ powerful rushing attack.
Why Consider Betting on Georgia?
If you’re looking for reasons why No. 3 Georgia could pull off the upset or at least cover the chalk against the Crimson Tide, then you’ve also got some good reasons for that as well.
First, the Bulldogs looked phenomenal offensively in their stunning 54-48 double-overtime comeback win against second-seeded Oklahoma on New Year’s day. Georgia also isn’t limited to one running back that Alabama will have to contain, seeing as how they’ve got a pair of future NFL performers in running backs Nick Chubb(1,320 yards, 15 TDs) and Sonny Michel (1,129 yards, 16 TDs).
Georgia also has a very good young quarterback in freshman Jake Fromm who completed 63.7 percent of his passes while throwing for 2,383 yards with 23 touchdowns.
However, it is his scant total of just five interceptions that suggests to me that he won’t turn into a turnover-prove signal-caller in the national championship.
Another good reason to back the Bulldogs is that Georgia has its own outstanding defense that ranked sixth in total defense (289.5 YPG), eighth against the pass (167.6 YPG) and 20th against the run (121.9 YPG) while finishing fifth in points allowed (15.7 PPG).
Last but not least, you’d think that if any coach could beat Nick Saban, it would be one that knows him as well as former longtime defensive coordinator and Georgia head coach Kirby Smart does.
Smart was Saban’s defensive coordinator with the Tide from 2008-2015 and probably knows every play the Tide will call, even if he doesn’t necessarily know when they’re coming.
Expert Final Analysis and Prediction
As much as I’d like to pick the Georgia Bulldogs to get the win or even the ATS cover in this contest, I just don’t see it happening.
Alabama is, in my mind, a simply better, more experienced version of ‘Alabama-lite’…er, I mean Georgia! I’m thinking the Crimson Tide are going to find a way to put both, Nick Chubb and Sonny Michel on lockdown and force Jake Fromm to beat them with his passing – and that’s just not going to happen as they tee off on him in obvious passing situations.
I know the Crimson Tide have an awful 1-4 ATS in their last five games against a team with a winning record, an identical 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in January and 1-5 ATS in their last six conference games, but Alabama is also 5-1 ATS in their last six neutral site games.
I’m thinking that will be enough to get past a Georgia team that has posted some fantastic ATS numbers by going 4-0 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games, 6-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 conference games.
As much as it pains me to write it, somehow, some way, Alabama will win and cover the chalk as 4-point favorites to win their fifth national title under Nick Saban.
Pick: Alabama Crimson Tide -4