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College Football Picks Spotlight: Georgia vs Alabama

This week’s College Football Picks Spotlight Game has been dubbed by many as the game of the entire season to date. No matter what plans you have on Saturday, you’ll want to make sure you are settled in for some primetime football action as 3rd-ranked Georgia takes on 2nd-ranked Alabama. It’s a battle of unbeatens, SEC heavyweights, and College Football Playoff contenders all in one. Even with a reduced capacity, Bryant-Denny Stadium will be rocking for this one. Expert money has come in on the underdog, leading to an ever-shrinking line throughout the week. Read on for a deeper dive into the Georgia vs Alabama matchup as our spotlight game of the week.

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college football picks georgia vs alabama
Credit: AP Photo/Vasha Hunt

Georgia vs Alabama College Football Picks Spotlight Game

Georgia Bulldogs (3-0, 1-0 Away) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0, 1-0 Home)
Date: Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020
Time: 8 p.m. EST
Venue: Bryant-Denny Stadium – Tuscaloosa, AL
Coverage: CBS
Attendance: Roughly 25,000 fans will be allowed to attend

Georgia vs Alabama College Football Odds

Odds courtesy of MyBookie Sportsbook

Opening Lines (Las Vegas Consensus): ALA -5; O/U 49.5
Moneyline: UGA: +155 | AL: -185
Spread: UGA: +4.5 (-105) | AL: -4.5 (-115)
Total: 57 – Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)

Georgia vs Alabama College Football picks odds

Georgia vs Alabama College Football Picks

While Georgia and Alabama can both be considered among the most complete teams in College Football. With that said, the stronger unit for each team could undoubtedly be viewed as the weaker unit for the other. The coaching matchup for this game has drawn plenty of headlines throughout the week, aside from the standard narrative of Georgia head man Kirby Smart being a disciple of Alabama coach Nick Saban. The announcement of Saban testing positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday through a bit of a wrench in Alabama’s preparation for this game. It will be interesting to see how the absence of their head man will impact the Tide on Saturday.

In terms of the expert College Football picks for the game, Saban’s positive test naturally resulted in an influx of sharp money on the underdog Bulldogs. The spread for the game opened as Alabama -5 out in Las Vegas. After the Tide took early money, driving the line up slightly, Saban’s positive test cued an immediate drop down to the current -4.5. It’s also interesting to note that the total has been bet up more than a touchdown from the opening 49.5 line to the current 57.

Georgia Bulldogs Overview

When it comes to Georgia, it’s all about the defense. Despite playing an SEC-only schedule to date thanks to the revised calendar, the Bulldogs rank 7th in the country in points allowed per game (12.3), 2nd in yards allowed per game (236.7), and average a +1.0-turnover margin per game.

Kirby Smart has proven to be a defensive mastermind since taking over as Georgia’s head man in 2016, and his staunch unit has rewarded Bulldog supporters on their College Football picks so far this season. He will need to be on point with his schemes Saturday if Georgia hopes to slow down the high-flying Alabama offense. In a game that contains arguably the best defense in the country, it certainly is interesting to see the total rise so much higher than the opening line.

The offensive side of the ball was the big question mark for Georgia coming into the season. Through the first three games of the season, those questions are slowly being answered. Quarterback Stetson Bennett seems to be settling into his role nicely. He threw for 238 yards and a pair of scores in last week’s win over Tennessee. While Georgia hasn’t asked the junior QB to do too much, they haven’t really had to. With a trio of capable backs in Zamir White, James Cook, and Kenny McIntosh, it’s no secret that the Bulldogs want to run the football often.

Georgia ranks 2nd in the country in average time of possession (35:29) coming into the game. Long, sustained drives could prove critical in this one. Not only would it allow Georgia to keep the Alabama offense off of the field, but it will enable them to wear down a Tide defense that surrendered 268 total rushing yards to Ole Miss last week.

Alabama Crimson Tide Overview

Alabama had their fair share of questions surrounding the offense coming into the season as well, most notably at quarterback where Mac Jones took over for Tua Tagovailoa. Any doubts have been squashed and then some. Jones has been electric on the season to date, already surpassing the 1,000-yard mark for passing with 8 touchdowns and a completion percentage of 79.5. Jones has a trio of tremendous targets in DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and John Metchie III. Each had 100+-yard efforts in last week’s contest against Ole Miss.

Running back Najee Harris has been spectacular as well, including a 206-yard, 5-touchdown effort against the Rebels. Perhaps the big question for the Crimson Tide offensively is whether or not they can find similar success against a much stiffer defensive opponent. The Ole Miss, Texas A&M, and Missouri defenses that Alabama has faced in their first three contests all rank well below Georgia’s in terms of statistics and eye test.

As good as the offense was last week, it was a very poor showing for Nick Saban’s defense. Ole Miss became the first team ever to have two 100+-yard rushers against a Saban-coached defense. A similar effort just won’t cut it against a Bulldogs offensive attack that is predicated on their ground game. On the year, Alabama’s defensive numbers are not great, a big reason why the Crimson Tide are just 1-2 ATS and have seen all three of their games thus far go over the total. The Tide have surrendered 30.3 points per game and 25 first downs per contest compared to just 14 for Georgia.

This is where you have to wonder just how much Saban’s absence from practices and the sideline will impact Alabama. Known for being detail-oriented and tying up loose ends both leading up to and throughout a game, Saban won’t be able to have quite the same influence over this game despite working with the team remotely all week. As good as the Georgia defense is, the shakiness of Alabama is likely a big reason why the expert College Football picks have liked the over.

  • Georgia 2020 Betting Trends: 2-1 ATS; 1-2 to the Over
  • Alabama 2020 Betting Trends: 1-2 ATS; 3-0 to the Over
  • The underdog has gone 6-0 ATS in the last six head-to-head meetings between Georgia and Alabama.
  • Georgia is 13-3-1 ATS in their last 17 games on the road in which they had the opportunity to avenge a road loss.
  • Alabama is 3-5 straight up and 1-7 ATS in their last eight games as a favorite of less than 7 points.

Georgia vs Alabama Statistics

  • Georgia has averaged 36.0 points per game (PPG) this season (No. 5 in the SEC)
  • Georgia has surrendered 12.3 PPG this season (No. 1 in the SEC)
  • Alabama has averaged 51.0 PPG this season (No. 1 in the SEC)
  • Alabama has surrendered 30.3 PPG this season (No. 8 in the SEC)

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