Looking ahead to the College Football Playoff National Championship: Georgia Bulldogs vs Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama vs Georgia
Photo of Ricky Dimon

Ricky Dimon

NCAAF· 2 weeks ago

Show Bio

Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

Amazingly enough, Alabama vs Georgia is not No. 1 vs. No 2. But nobody – not even SEC haters – in their right mind would say that these aren’t the two best teams in college football. The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs are the best…and it’s not even close. The result is an epic matchup on paper and hopefully a memorable contest on the field when the National Championship is played next Monday Night in Indianapolis.

Let’s not waste any more time before we go in-depth into one of the more intriguing College Football Playoff championship games in recent memory. Here we go!

Breaking down the Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama – by its lofty standards – thoroughly underwhelmed throughout the regular season. The Crimson Tide lost to Texas A&M and struggled with Florida, LSU, Arkansas, and Auburn. But this program turns on the afterburners when things get serious and it has looked great in the last two games. ‘Bama beat Georgia 41-24 in the SEC Championship and then eased past Cincinnati 27-6 in the Cotton Bowl.

Still, all is not perfect in Tuscaloosa. Wide receiver John Metchie III suffered a torn ACL in the SEC title tilt and Alabama lost three starters to injury against Cincinnati (two offensive linemen and a cornerback). Their statuses for next Monday are unclear.

Be sure to read my reaction to the College Football Playoff semifinal games

Breaking down the Georgia Bulldogs

Only one question remains when it comes to this Georgia team: can it beat Alabama? From a personnel standpoint (especially on defense), the Bulldogs are the most talented team in college football. I want to say they are the “best,” but you can’t argue that unequivocally when they just lost to the Crimson Tide. UGA has positively destroyed everyone else (including Michigan 34-11 in the Orange Bowl), but head coach Kirby Smart’s crew just seems to have a mental block in this particular matchup.

The key to this upcoming contest is quite clearly Stetson Bennett. Georgia’s veteran quarterback has played stellar, mistake-free football against almost every opponent other than ‘Bama the past two seasons. In two games against the Tide, however, Bennett has completed only 47 of 88 passes and has been intercepted 5 times.

Check out our full game preview for Georgia vs Alabama, with picks on the side and total

Predictions and best bets

Admittedly, I do not have a good read at all on the side for this National Championship. Georgia – despite the SEC Championship result – arguably has the physical edge. I truly believe the Bulldogs are the best team in college football, and perhaps by a comfortable margin. But Alabama obviously has the psychological edge. The Crimson Tide have won a lot more titles, have owned this head-to-head matchup, and Nick Saban consistently gives free coaching lessons to his former assistants (aside from Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher earlier this season). I don’t want to bet against a team that is superior on paper. I also don’t want to bet against a team that just won the head-to-head meeting from four weeks ago by 17 points.

If I had to lean one way or the other, it would be to Georgia because it’s easier to be the hunter than the hunted and Alabama is more banged up. But I’m not enthused about giving 3 points to the top-ranked team in the nation. Give me the Dawgs on the -145 money line.

Like with most UGA games, I feel better about the under than the side. The Bulldogs’ defense is one of the best in college football history and it bounced back nicely from its unusual performance against Alabama by dominating Michigan in the Orange Bowl. Georgia and Alabama gave up a combined 17 points in the two CFP semifinal games and 8 of those stemmed from a meaningless late touchdown by the Wolverines.

Georgia as team generally screams, “under!” As for Alabama, its offensive injury issues and its history of defensive success against Bennett also have me going in that same direction. Under 52.5 is my best bet for the game.

Be sure to read Ross Tucker’s best bet for the CFP National Championship game!

At Pickswise we offer free expert College Football Picks and College Football Predictions for all games in the Power Five conferences and the top 25 teams outside of Power five, including our College Football Parlay picks each week.

See All
BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Win $200 if either team scores a TD in a Playoff game!

Bet $10 on the Money Line for any NFL team

Win $200 if either team scores a touchdown in the game

Winnings paid in free bets

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$150

Bet $5, Win $150 CASH on Any NFL Team to Win Their Playoff Matchup!

Sign up for a new account with FanDuel Sportsbook

Bet $5 on any NFL team to win their next playoff game

If your team wins, YOU WIN $150 - in CASH!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available at FanDuel Sportsbook.

DraftKings

$280

Bet $5, Win $280 on Any NFL team to Win Their Playoff Game!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account

Bet $5+ any NFL playoff game Money Line

Win $280 in credits if your team wins the game

Must be 21+ located in AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WY or WV to play. Offer valid only for new customers. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$200

Bet $20, Get $200 - Regardless of Outcome!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit $20+.

Bet $20 on any game in any sport!

Win $200 - no matter whether your initial bet won or lost!

BetMGM

$200

Win $200 If ANY NBA Team Makes a 3-Pointer!

Sign up for a new account with BetMGM, and make a deposit of $10+.

Place a $10 moneyline bet on any upcoming NBA game.

Win $200 if either team in your selected game makes a 3-pointer

21+ and new players only. Full terms available at BetMGM Sportsbook.

BetMGM

$200

Win $200 If A Goal Is Scored In ANY NHL Game!

Sign up for a new account with BetMGM, and make a deposit of $10+.

Place a $10 moneyline bet on any upcoming NHL game.

Win $200 if either team in your selected game scores a goal

21+ and new players only. Full terms available at BetMGM Sportsbook.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,001

Get a $1,001 First Bet Match + A FREE NBA JERSEY!

Register for a new Caesars Sportsbook account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,001

Receive a free bet matching your initial stake up to $1,001 + a FREE NBA JERSEY!

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$400

Get a $400 Risk-Free Bet on the Breeders' Cup!

Register for a new Twinspires account using offer code PICKS400

Place a bet on the Breeders' Cup

Receive a refund if your first bet loses up to $400

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

Yahoo DFS

$25

Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.