- #1 Alabama is a 17.5-point favorite versus #7 Florida in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday, December 19th (8 pm EST)
- The Crimson Tide has won six of the past 11 SEC titles
- See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction
It’s been been three seasons since #1 Alabama last won a National title, but they appear destined to raise the trophy again in 2021. The 10-0 Crimson Tide breezed through the regular season, barely breaking a sweat, and will now face #7 Florida in the SEC Championship Game as a massive favorite.
Alabama vs Florida SEC Championship Game Odds
|#1 Alabama Crimson Tide||-17.5 (-106)||-750||Over 73.5 (-112)|
|#7 Florida Gators||+17.5 (-114)||+490||Under 73.5 (-108)|
Odds taken Dec. 16th at FanDuel.
Alabama is currently a 17.5-point favorite, in a game that features a gigantic total of 73.5. The Tide enter play averaging 49.5 points per outing, and it doesn’t appear like the Gators have the pieces to slow down this prolific offense.
Bama enters play with an 8-2 record against the spread, and have covered in seven straight. They’ve scored 40+ points in all but one contest, while their smallest margin of victory was 17 points against #8 Georgia.
The only team in SEC history to win 10 conference games in a season:@AlabamaFTBL ? pic.twitter.com/Kz9V5VkFlF
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) December 12, 2020
Over their last five outings, they’ve outscored the opposition 201-36, which includes games against Auburn and LSU. They rank top-five in the Nation in points, total yards and passing yards per game, while also averaging 190 yards on the ground. Quarterback Mac Jones, and wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith are all projected top-18 picks in next year’s NFL Draft, while the defense is no slouch either.
Alabama Football Leads SEC
Scoring Offense (49.5)
Scoring Defense (16.8)
Wins (10) pic.twitter.com/SjGK3xWFwP
— InsideBamaRecruiting (@RTRnews) December 13, 2020
That unit is only surrendering 16.8 points per game, and ranks sixth in defensive efficiency according to ESPN’s FPI. They’ve limited opposing passing games to just 227 yards per outing, and have stymied enemy backfields to the tune of 3.2 yards per carry. Furthermore, they held #5 Texas A&M and LSU to 24 and 17 points respectively, two teams that averaged 39 points against the Gators this season.
Gators Offense is Elite
One of the few teams that could potentially keep pace offensively with Alabama is Florida. The Gators average 513.5 total yards and 41.2 points per game, while leading the SEC in passing yards per outing. QB Kyle Trask is a top-three Heisman Trophy candidate, behind Jones and Smith, and has thrown 10 more touchdowns than any other quarterback in college football.
LEGEND ‼️@ktrask9 passes @DannyWuerffel for the most TD passes in a single season in school history. #GoGators ? pic.twitter.com/hjUUERN1gs
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) December 13, 2020
Florida fell in heart breaking fashion to LSU last week, but were without Trask’s main weapon. Tight end Kyle Pitts sat out the contest, which likely contributed to his QB’s underwhelming performance. Pitts projects as a top-five pick in next year’s NFL Draft, and is widely considered the best pass catcher in this class.
Don’t leave Kyle Pitts on an island?️☠️ pic.twitter.com/Xb1QCgFdRF
— PFF College (@PFF_College) December 9, 2020
He’ll be ready to go versus Bama, as will several other key players who missed the LSU game. The Gators 43rd ranked defense (by FPI) isn’t likely to slow down the Tide’s attack, meaning Florida is going to need a massive output from their offense. Trask and company are certainly capable of accommodating, as they’ve exceeded 40 points four times this season.
Take the Points
As good as Alabama has looked this season, and they’ve been sensational, laying 17.5 points in a conference title game seems crazy. Yes, the Gators are fresh off a loss to a program they should have trounced, but Pitts’ absence was huge. Removing the best piece of any offense will cause problems, but with him back in the lineup, Florida should be able to put up points.
DeVonta Smith or Kyle Pitts? pic.twitter.com/L3FY9x6ZX4
— PFF College (@PFF_College) December 16, 2020
Something else to consider is the fact that if the Tide get up big they’d be incentivized to rest their starters. A win ensure’s another trip to the College Football Playoff, and risking injury to one of their stars is not a winning strategy. That potentially opens the door for a backdoor cover, which just increases the amount of outs you have by backing the Gators.
Pick: Florida Gators +17.5 (-114)