No. 1 Alabama meets No. 3 Georgia in the College Football Playoff championship game.
Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The game will be televised on ESPN.
Alabama (13-1) is looking to win its seventh national championship under coach Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide are in the CFP championship game for the sixth time in eight years, and Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young leads an offense that ranks third in the FBS at 41.4 points per game. The Crimson Tide beat No. 4 Cincinnati 27-6 in the Cotton Bowl.
Georgia (13-1) reasserted its defensive dominance in a 34-11 victory against Michigan in the Orange Bowl. The Bulldogs lead the FBS in scoring defense at 9.6 points per game. Stetson Bennett led a big-play offense, and coach Kirby Smart will get another shot at Alabama on the big stage. The Bulldogs are a 2.5-point favorite.
It’s a rematch of the SEC championship game, which Alabama won 41-24. It’s also a rematch of the 2017 CFP championship, which the Crimson Tide won 26-23 in overtime.
Will the Bulldogs flip the script or will the Crimson Tide pile on yet another national championship? Here is everything you need to know to bet on the CFP championship between Alabama and Georgia:
Alabama vs. Georgia odds
Three trends to know
— Alabama has won seven straight meetings against Georgia, a streak that dates back to 2008. This is the fifth straight top-five matchup between the programs.
— The Crimson Tide are 8-6 ATS spread this season. Alabama was an underdog for the first time since Oct. 31, 2015, in the SEC championship game matchup against Georgia. The Crimson Tide are 2-0 ATS in games with spreads less than 14 points this season. Georgia is 9-5 ATS this season, but they are 5-1 when the spread is less than 20 points.
— The underdog is 6-1 ATS in those last seven meetings. A closer look at those results:
Three things to watch
— Stetson Bennett’s third shot. Bennett silenced the critics, at least for a week, by passing for 313 yards and three TDs in the 34-11 against Michigan. The Bulldogs’ quarterback has completed 58.8% of his passes for an average of 304.5 yards in the last two meetings against Alabama, but that comes with five TDs and five interceptions. Bennett’s favorite target in the last meeting was tight end Brock Bowers, who had 10 catches for 139 yards. Alabama cornerback Josh Jobe is out for the season, and Jalyn Armour-Davis left the semifinal against Cincinnati with a hip injury. Will those injuries in Alabama’s secondary lead to more efficiency for Bennett?
— Missing Metchie. John Metchie III also is out for Alabama after suffering a torn ACL in the SEC championship game. Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien favored a run-heavy attack in the CFP semifinal against Cincinnati, and All-American receiver Jameson Williams took on more of a possession role with seven catches for 62 yards. Ja’Corey Brooks and Slade Bolden caught TD passes, and tight end Jahleel Billingsley could be a sleeper target in this matchup.
— Who wrecks the game plan? Given the injuries in the secondary, Alabama defensive coordinator Pete Golding could dial up the pressure with linebackers Will Anderson Jr. and Christian Harris. They combined for 11 tackles in the first meeting, and Anderson had a sack. Georgia, meanwhile, did not have a sack in the first meeting. All-Americans Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean responded from that with dominant performances in the semifinal matchup against Michigan ,and they will need to make more of an impact to slow down Young in the rematch.
Stat that matters
The longest running play in the first matchup was 15 yards. Which team supports their quarterback with a running game more? James Cook led Georgia with 38 rushing yards in the first meeting. That is not enough to beat Alabama. He had 112 yards receiving in the semifinal against Michigan and could be used in that role again to isolate Alabama’s linebackers. Brian Robinson, meanwhile, had 26 carries for 204 yards against Cincinnati. Robinson kept the Bulldogs honest with 16 carries for 55 yards in the SEC championship game, but Alabama will have to do a better job running the ball in this game.
Alabama vs. Georgia prediction
This won’t be a blowout like last time. Georgia got its groove back on both sides of the ball, and Alabama has depth to overcome injuries on both sides of the ball. Look for Georgia to jump out to a quick lead again, like they did in the SEC championship game. The Bulldogs might even lead at halftime. Then, Young, the Heisman winner delivers a quick strike to Williams that starts the rally, and Alabama breaks the hearts of Georgia fans again. The Crimson Tide wins a seventh national championship under Nick Saban.
Final score: Alabama 28, Georgia 24
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