Two SEC giants will play for all the marbles in the 2018 College Football Championship when the Georgia Bulldogs get down with the Alabama Crimson Tide. The title game is scheduled to get underway on Monday, December 8th at 9 p.m. EST. The college football season finale’ can also be seen on the ESPN network for your viewing pleasure. As of this article, the Crimson Tide are -4 point favorites and the contests over/under currently rests at 44.5.
The Georgia Bulldogs head into the Mercedes-Benz Dome off the heels of a dramatic 54-48 come from behind victory in overtime over Oklahoma. In that battle, the Bulldogs used their powerful running game to match the Sooners electrifying offense for all four quarters. As a result, Georgia blocked a field goal and put the ball in the end zone for the win.
The Alabama Crimson Tide return to the College Football Championship in 2018 after winning the rubber match against the Clemson Tigers. Alabama used their ferocious defense to limit the Tigers to only a pair of field goals. When all was said and done, the Crimson Tide were victorious to the tune of, 24-6. Now, Nick Saban and company will be looking for their second National Title in three years.
The last time these two schools settled their differences on the gridiron, Alabama came out on top 38-10 in Georgia. That game was played in early October of 2015. In fact, the triumph was the Crimson Tides’ third-straight over Georgia. Before that, the Bulldogs were the ones who had come out on top three-straight times.
(3) Georgia Bulldogs (13-1)
The Georgia Bulldogs were a team to be reckoned with from the word go in 2017. It wasn’t until mid-November that they finally tasted defeat at the hands of the Auburn Tigers. Since that game, the Bulldogs have gotten back on track and have reeled off four-straight wins. Georgia has used their explosive rushing attack and some smart quarterback play to reach the 2018 College Football National Championship.
He may only be a freshman but quarterback Jake Fromm surely isn’t playing like one. He has been asked to manage the offense without creating turnovers, putting Georgia behind the eightball. So far so good. The talented youth has completed 63.7 percent of his throws for just under 2,400 yards. He also kept the ball from the other team by throwing for 23 touchdowns and only five interceptions. Fromm will need to be at his best because the Crimson Tide front-four can absolutely bring it.
The Bulldogs prefer to pound their enemies into submission via their running game. When doing so, head coach Kirby Smart calls upon the best one-two punch in the nation. Nick Chubb and Sony Michael have been amazing out of the backfield in 2017. The roommates have combined for 2,449 yards on 347 totes of the rock. Whats even more amazing is that they also have combined for 31 trips to pay-dirt. Chubb leads the two with 1,320 rushing yards, while Michael is first with eight yards per run average and 16 scores. Together, the two give the Georgia Bulldogs the country’s 8th ranked rushing offense (267 ypg).
Although the Bulldogs prefer to run the ball, they do have a couple of good wideouts to help move the chains come gameday. Javon Wims and Terry Godwin have been solid when called upon and will need to be at their best in the 2018 College Football Championship. If not, the Crimson Tide can load the box and make it tough for Georgia to run the ball effectively. Together, the two receivers have reeled in 78 balls for just under 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Defensively, the Georgia Bulldogs sport one of the best defenses in the nation. Even after the 48 points that Baker Mayfield’s bunch laid on them, they still sit inside the top-10 in three of the four major defensive categories. Heading into the 2018 College football Championship, Georgia sits fifth in the FBS, surrendering only 15 points a game. The Bulldogs athletic secondary ranks eighth in the nation, allowing only 167 yards a contest. The front-seven isn’t far behind, allowing opposing schools to rush for 121 yards a game (20th).
(4) Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1)
Well, one thing is for sure, the Alabama Crimson Tide put the doubters to bed with their decisive victory over Clemson. Once again, the Alabama defense rose to the occasion and stymied the Tigers for the duration of the game. The Crimson Tide’s offense didn’t really have to produce that much to get the job done last weekend. Truth be told, they only put up 261 total yards of offense.
Nevertheless, Alabama has one of the best dual-threat signal-callers at the helm. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has become one of the better running quarterbacks in college football. Although he hasn’t made a lot of big plays down the field, he has made up for it with the use of his legs. So far, Hurts has thrown the ball for 2,125 yards with 17 touchdowns and only one pick. He also has run the ball 148 times for another 808 yards with eight more scores.
Like the Bulldogs, Alabama prefers to move the ball down the field with their potent rushing offense. Running backs Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough also make a nice one-two punch out of the backfield. Harris has carried the ball 129 times for 983 yards and 11 trips to the back of the end zone. Scarbrough has toted the pigskin another 120 times for 573 yards and eight touchdowns. With Hurts in the mix, Alabama has the nation’s 10th-ranked rushing offense (255 ypg).
When Jalen Hurts looks to throw the ball downfield, there is little question as to who he is looking for. The Crimson Tide’s leading receiver Calvin Ridley has had to do it all this season. Through 13 games, Ridley has reeled in a team-high 59 catches for 935 yards and four scores. In fact, not one other Alabama wideout has even registered more than 15 catches.
There are good defenses in college football and then there’s Alabama. The Crimson Tide are coming into the 2018 College Football Championship with the FBS’ best unit once again. The squad sits first in total yards allowed a game (253). They also rank first against the run, holding opposing tailbacks to mere 92.8 yards a go. Lastly, they are first in the nation, only relenting to 11 points a contest. So if teams think that passing is to go-to option against Alabama then they better think again. The secondary is third in the country, giving up only 160 yards a showdown. The Crimson Tide will be without the services of their talented linebacker Anfernee Jennings.
Las Vegas made it clear on Monday that the Alabama Crimson Tide will reclaim the national crown against the Bulldogs. Their oddsmakers opened them as a 4.5 point favorite. Since that time, the betting public has pushed that line down to four. That might not seem like much but consider where the half point was. It took some decent money to drive it there. With that being said, I also think the Georgia Bulldogs are better than that.
The Bulldogs have a great defense that is athletic enough to keep the Crimson Tides’ rushing offense in check. Also, their outstanding secondary should have no problem bottling up Calvin Ridley. They are a lot like Clemson and the Tigers’ defense certainly did its part. Furthermore, I believe that Sony Michael and Nick Chubb can produce enough together to put up more than six points.
Taking all that into consideration, I still don’t expect either of these offenses to have a break-out game against the opposing defenses. Both are one-dimensional and both will stick to what has got them here, running the ball. To me, that has the recipe for a good old-fashioned war in the trenches. Give me the Bulldogs and the four points in this one.
As for the game’s total, well it’s pretty low for any football match really. Still, I see why Sin City had to set it so low at 46. These two defenses are as advertised. Apparently, the bettors agree because it has come down from 46 to 44.5 points. Either way, I’m suggesting to stay away from it and just play the spread. When I think about a title game, I think dog. In this case, it is the Bulldogs from Athens, Georgia covering the four points by game’s end.
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The Crimson Tide are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games.
The Over is 19-7-1 in the Crimson Tide last 27 neutral site games.
The Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games.
The Under is 18-8 in the Bulldogs last 26 games following a straight up win.
Underdog is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
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