NCAA Championship Football Picks -- Will it Finally be Georgia's Time? Is the "Smart" Money On the Bulldogs?

  • In Charles Jay
  • Mon, Jan 10th, 2022 5:07:03 pm
  • By Charles Jay - Exclusive to OSGA

The Georgia Bulldogs will try to rebound from the defeat they suffered at the hands of the Alabama Crimson Tide and get some payback in the national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Preview and pick for the College Football National Championship Game

As the Georgia Bulldogs take their shot at unseating the Alabama Crimson Tide for the NCAA football championship, what has to be on their minds is how they are going to cause a reversal of what happened in the first meeting, five weeks ago, as 'Bama rolled to a 41-24 win. It was shocking to some that the Tide would be able to move so easily against a defense that, even AFTER that loss, is still allowing less than nine points per game.

BetOnline customers - or at least some of them - are probably wondering whether this "all-time great" stop unit of Georgia's is a little bit more of a mirage than they were led to believe. It's pretty hard to make enough excuses for giving up 41 points.

One of them that is being used is that somehow Georgia lacked urgency in that SEC title tiff, because they knew they would be in the four-team playoff even if they lost, while Alabama had to win. If you believe that, then you might want to consider supporting the Bulldogs.

NCAA Football championship free pickFor this 8 PM ET kickoff, they'll be playing at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Georgia was laying 6.5 points in the first meeting, leaving all the value with Alabama. And Bryce Young, the Heisman Trophy winner, slashed through that heralded Georgia defense for 421 yards. That is a definitive statement, and no accident.

There are certain things that change the dynamic a little in this rematch. Now the Bulldogs have gotten a look at what Alabama has to offer. Of course, that works the other way around too. And Alabama is without John Metchie, a receiver who caught 95 passes and suffered a torn ACL in the SEC title game after almost reaching the 100-yard mark. Georgia has to be relieved that he is not available.

So Alabama will have to come at things from a slightly different angle. And we wonder whether one possibility is the ground game, since Georgia has the capability of slamming that door shut. But the 'Dogs may be more reliant on their rushing attack, considering that QB Stetson Bennett, despite 340 yards, was intercepted twice (including a pick-six) in the first meeting. And Alabama has allowed just 2.5 ypc to opponents.

Here are the NCAA championship football odds on this game. As you can see, Georgia is favored by a field goal:

Georgia Bulldogs           -3 (-104)
Alabama Crimson Tide +3 (-116)

Over 52.5 Points -115
Under 52.5 Points -105

And there are alternate lines available too - just go check out the sports betting interface at BetOnline and go to "NCAA."

Georgia favorite NCAA  pickGeorgia will blitz. Do they even have another choice? Young sat back in the pocket and when he was not blitzed, he threw for 13.4 yards per attempt. But even they were able to get pressure on the Heisman winner, they scored no sacks. Is that result an outlier? Maybe. The Tide allowed for opponents to pressure Young 33.2% of the time this season.

According to the analytics site Pro Football Focus, Georgia's secondary has suffered seven coverage "busts" this season, and five of them came in that game against Alabama. Was that just a freak thing? Or was it just a matter of the Bulldogs having to face an opposing offense that was much more talented, all the way around, then anything else they had encountered?

I would suggest the latter. I'm not even going to over-complicate this. Sure, 'Bama will miss Metchie, but they are the only team Georgia has faced - and that includes Clemson - where the level of talent and depth is equal or greater. These schools have been 1-2 in recruiting over the last five years.

But how will Alabama handle the absence of Metchie, assuming they won't run the ball all that well? Well of course Jameson Williams had 75 catches, and averaged 20 yards per reception. Blade Bolden is an effective possession receiver. Between Ja'Corey Brooks and Jojo Earle, among others, they'll get some production in Metchie's place. And Alabama has a couple of tight ends who have averaged almost 15 yards a catch between them.

Alabama Free pick NCAA ChampionshipIt may not be like taking candy from a baby, but it still may be easier for the Tide to move the chains than it would for Georgia. And Nick Saban has an angle to throw at his former D-coordinator (Kirby Smart) as he attacked without Metchie.

In other words, I'm not sure that's the key difference.

To wrap things up, this is the bottom line:

-- You have a team that has already demonstrated that they can penetrate the best defense in college football and do so with a certain degree of aplomb;
-- It is a team that has the Heisman Trophy winner, who deserved to be. When you throw 46 TD's with five interceptions, you deserve to be.
-- Alabama still has the most explosive receiving weapon on the field (Jameson Williams).
-- Nick Saban has shown that he has some mastery over former assistants - his loss to Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M is the only time in 25 games that he has suffered a defeat in that situation. And he's got Smart's number, beating him four times in a row. Like his buddy Bill Belichick, he studies not just the opponent but the opposing coach as well.
-- And they have a 17-point win over this foe . . . 

And they are getting points.

In a game like this, you've got to look for some value. And in our opinion, the value play here is not speculating that Georgia will somehow find a magic potion to defeat an opponent that beat them soundly in their biggest test. It's to grab points with the defending national champion, with the championship coach, who might indeed be the superior side.

In fact, never mind grabbing points at -117. Let's take the money line at +122.

BetOnline is giving you a lot of choices when it comes to betting on the NCAA championship....... Remember that Prop Builder is going to offer you a lot of possibilities, and then there is "Live betting" so that you can enjoy the action in real-time....... They are designed for convenience when it comes to making deposits, as you can use any number of crypto options, and that includes Bitcoin, so you're going to be in very good shape!

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