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Georgia vs. Alabama 2023 SEC Championship Odds, Preview & Pick

By Hank Blaine

If it seems like we have seen Georgia and Alabama in the 2023 SEC Championship Game before, that’s because we have twice since 2018 – not to mention their national title matchups. The No. 1 Dawgs will return to the playoff with a win over the No. 8 Tide in the 2023 SEC title game Saturday in Atlanta and are favored to do so. Alabama has a good chance of sneaking in with a win. If it’s a close Tide win, both might make the playoff. These schools have combined to win five of the past eight national championships.

By the way, these schools will play in the new-look SEC next year – which adds Texas and Oklahoma — in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 28. There will be no divisions in the SEC going forward, either, so it presumably will be tougher for this matchup in future SEC title games because UGA has been dominating the East Division and Alabama the West. That 2024 game will be only the fifth time in the past 20 years that these SEC powerhouses have played in the regular season. Their showdown on Saturday in Atlanta will mean five of their past six meetings have come in either the SEC title game or the College Football Playoff National Championship game. The only exception was during the 2020 pandemic season when Alabama beat visiting Georgia 41-24.

Saturday will be the 73rd all-time meeting and the fourth time in the SEC title game. The Crimson Tide own a 42-26-4 all-time advantage, including a 3-0 mark in the SEC Championship. The two teams last met in the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship Game with the Bulldogs coming out on top, 33-18. Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 9-3 all-time against UGA, including a 7-2 mark leading the Tide. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, a former Saban assistant, is 1-4 for his career against UA.

Georgia Bulldogs vs. Alabama Crimson Tide 2023 SEC Championship Game Information

  • When: Saturday, December 2nd, 2023, 4:00 PM ET
  • Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
  • TV: CBS
  • Radio: 93.9 FM The Ville (Louisville) // WFLA 100.7 FM (FSU)
  • Live Stream: CBS Sports
  • College Football Odds: Georgia (-5.5) // Alabama (+5.5)

Why Bet on the Georgia Bulldogs?

Top-ranked Georgia (12-0, 8-0 SEC) will be looking to capture its 15th SEC title and second straight. The Bulldogs completed their third consecutive perfect regular season, which is a school record. Also, the 2023 senior class has tied the school mark for victories as they enter the postseason now 49-3. The 2022 class went 49-5. The Bulldogs are making their 11th appearance in the SEC Championship Game where they are 4-6.

Georgia is on a school record and SEC record 29-game winning streak. Georgia is enjoying a school record streak of 39 consecutive regular season victories that dates to a 31-24 home triumph over Mississippi State on Nov. 21, 2020. That’s the longest streak in the FBS. Georgia has won 27 regular season SEC games in a row dating to a 31-24 win over Mississippi State on Nov. 21, 2020. This is a school and SEC record tying mark for consecutive conference wins.

The Bulldogs are one of only three teams in the country who are ranked in the top 10 in both Scoring Offense and Scoring Defense. The Bulldogs rank sixth in Scoring Defense at 15.8 ppg and eighth in Scoring Offense at 39.6 ppg. One of the keys to Georgia’s success is its third down defense. The Bulldogs are ranked second nationally with opponents converting just 27 percent of the time. Offensively, the Bulldogs are second nationally in converting third downs (57 percent). Georgia converted 56 of 99 third downs (57 percent) against league opponents.

QB Carson Beck is 4-0 vs. top-20 opponents with a 74.6 completion percentage for 1,247 yards, 11 TDs and just two picks. Beck is on a school record pace for completion percentage overall at 72.4, which ranks 6th nationally. The Bulldog record was set last year by Stetson Bennett at 68.3. Beck’s 268 completions ranks third in UGA single season history and his 3,495 passing yards are fourth.

Why Bet on the Alabama Crimson Tide?

One major injury note for Saturday is that Alabama leading rusher Jase McClellan is iffy with a foot injury suffered in the Tide’s incredible comeback win at Auburn on Saturday. McClellan left the Iron Bowl after being tackled by Auburn’s Jalen McLeod for a 1-yard loss during Alabama’s final drive. McClellan limped to the sideline with about four minutes remaining on the clock and received attention from the medical staff. He was later seen with a walking boot on his left foot and using crutches on the sideline. McClellan leads Alabama with 803 rushing yards this season on 166 attempts, with six rushing touchdowns.

Alabama has a 17-1 record in games played in Atlanta since Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa, including 16 straight wins. Saban is 30-3 all-time against his former staffers during his tenure at the Capstone. He’s 4-1 vs. UGA’s Smart. During his tenure at Alabama, Saban has suffered 28 total losses. Of those 28 losses, the Crimson Tide and Saban have had the opportunity to face the team that beat them at a later date on 24 occasions. In those 24 rematches, Alabama owns a 22-2 mark when avenging its previous loss. The Crimson Tide have not yet had the opportunity to bounce back from losses against Utah (2009), Clemson (2018), Georgia (2021) and Texas (2023).

The Tide have the most wins all-time against the Associated Press Poll’s No. 1 team since the poll was introduced in 1936 with 10 victories, most recently against No. 1 Georgia in the 2021 SEC title game. Seven of those 10 wins have come under Saban. This is the 13th straight season with at least 11 wins for Bama, which is the longest streak of its kind in SEC history. The SEC has had three streaks of three seasons with at least 11 victories, including Alabama from 1973-75, LSU from 2005-07 and South Carolina from 2011-13.

QB Jalen Milroe has responded the last nine weeks since losing his starting job for the USF game. The redshirt sophomore has led Alabama to nine straight victories, with three of those wins against top-25 teams. Since his return to the lineup, Milroe is averaging 230.8 passing yards per game (2,077 total) while completing 67.9 percent (131-193) of his passes and accounting for 26 total touchdowns (16 passing).

Georgia vs. Alabama Betting Trends

  • Georgia is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games played on a Saturday when playing on the road.
  • Bulldogs are 10-0 SU in their last 10 games.
  • The total went over in 6 of Georgia’s last 9 games.
  • Alabama is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games.
  • Crimson Tide are 10-0 SU in their last 10 games.
  • The total went over in 5 of Alabama’s last 5 games.

Georgia vs. Alabama Expert Betting Predictions

Georgia 30, Alabama 27.

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