Per Seth Emerson ($$),
No. 5 Georgia opened as a 13.5-point underdog to No. 1 Alabama in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. The Bulldogs haven’t closed as that big of an underdog since 2009 against Florida when the Gators were favored by 15 points. If the line holds and Georgia was to win Saturday, it would be the greatest upset in the 26-year history of the SEC championship.
This is the first time this season Georgia has even been an underdog.
Will the Dawgs be fazed by that? Welp,
Nor should they be. ‘Bama may be having a season for the ages, but as the stats in this piece show, Georgia isn’t exactly outclassed.
Comparing the two statistically shows a balanced, well-matched pairing with a spot in the College Football Playoff likely at stake. Both are top-15 in total offense and top-12 in total defense. Georgia is more effective running the ball while Alabama is better with the pass.
Looking at the game-changing measures, both are good on third downs — converting and stopping the opposition. Big plays have also punctuated the offensive production for both the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide while Georgia has done a better job preventing them on defense. In the turnover battle, advantage Alabama.
Georgia lost its composure in Baton Rouge and has spent the following weeks regaining it. Now on a five-game win streak, the offense has rounded into shape. In the month of November, Georgia is second in the country in yards per play, averaging a tick over 8 yards every time it touches the ball. (A significant factor in that is Swift himself, who has been superb as his health issues recede.)
It would be crazy to guarantee a Georgia win, of course. Alabama is head and shoulders above any other opponent the Dawgs have faced this season. I’d like to think, though, that the way Georgia has been playing of late means the same situation exists for the Tide. What I do know is that if Georgia questions itself going into the championship game, it has no chance. Shoot your shot, boys.