While No. 3 Georgia opened as a 3-point favorite over No. 1 Alabama for Monday’s College Football Playoff national championship game in Indianapolis, that spread is down to -2.5 and probably will close there on the NCAAF odds. The total is set at 52.5 points.
College Football 2022 Playoff National Championship Betting Analysis
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said that everyone traveled to Indianapolis and the team has no COVID issues. They were ravaged earlier in December with COVID issues, including QB JT Daniels and WR George Pickens having dealt with the virus between the SEC Championship Game and the Orange Bowl.
The Bulldogs are averaging 39.0 points/game and outscoring their opponents 546-135. The Bulldog defense and special teams have combined to score five TDs this year, two safeties and blocked five more potential points (one FG, two PATs).
In his Bulldog career, former walk-on QB Stetson Bennett is 13-3 as a starter and has completed 61.9 percent of his passes (274-for-443, 4077 yards, 37 TDs, 14 INTs). Also, he has 70 rushing attempts for 314 yards and four scores. In 2021, Bennett has played in 13 games (10-1 as a starter) and is 168-for261 (64.4%) for 2,638 yards with 27 TDs and seven INTs. He has 48 carries for 283 yards. He ranks fourth nationally in Passing Efficiency (176.8). The single-season school record in that category belongs to Aaron Murray at 174.8 in 2012. Bennett posted career highs in completions (29), yards (340) and attempts (48) and threw for three touchdowns in the SEC title loss.
Alabama also appears to have no COVID issues. Of course, the Tide routed Georgia 41-24 in the SEC title game in December. Asked about his experience coaching in the NFL and playing division opponents a second time, Tide coach Nick Saban referenced his final season with the Cleveland Browns when they beat the Houston Oilers and Cincinnati Bengals, and they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers twice in the regular season — and again in the playoffs.
“I don’t think anything that happened in the last game is going to help us in this game,” he said. “Revenge is always kind of a normal motivating factor, but I think five minutes into the game, players are going to be worried about what they need to do on the next play.”
Alabama and Georgia will meet for the 72nd time in series history. The Crimson Tide hold a 42-25-4 series advantage and are currently riding a seven-game winning streak against the Bulldogs, a stretch that includes three SEC Championship wins and one CFP victory. Saban is 9-2 all-time against Georgia, including a 7-1 mark at UA. Smart is 0-4 in his career against Alabama. Saban is 25-1 all-time against his former staffers during his tenure at the Alabama. Smart was one of his former assistants.
The Tide have won 34 straight games vs. SEC East Division foes. Overall under Saban, the Crimson Tide are 44-3 (.936) against the SEC East, including a 8-1 (.889) record in the SEC Championship Game.
Bama is 72-17 (.809) against the Associated Press Top 25 since the start of 2008. Alabama is 6-0 against AP Top 25 teams this season, including a 44-13 win against then-No. 14 Miami on Sept. 4; a 31-29 triumph at then-No. 11 Florida on Sept. 18; a 42-21 win over then-No. 12 Ole Miss on Oct. 2; a 42-35 win against then-No. 21 Arkansas on Nov. 20; and a 41-24 victory over then-No. 1 Georgia at the 2021 SEC Championship Game. The Tide’s most recent win over an AP Top 25 opponent came on Dec. 31 against No. 4 Cincinnati in the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic with UA claiming a 27-6 victory over the Bearcats.
Odds to win next season’s national title will be out early this week and the Tide will be favored to win it all as they usually are. Most of Alabama’s best players return for the 2022 season, including Heisman Trophy winning QB Bryce Young and linebacker Will Anderson Jr.
Young set an SEC championship game record with 461 yards of total offense in Alabama’s win over Georgia. He passed for three touchdowns and ran for another against a Georgia defense that had allowed only seven touchdowns in 48 quarters entering that game. Young led the Crimson Tide to three touchdowns in the first half. In his first season as a starter, Young has thrown 46 touchdown passes and just five interceptions. He is fifth nationally in passer rating, one spot behind Bennett.
“[Young] has really good weapons around him, he’s got a really good team around him, but make no mistake, he is elite at what he does,” Smart said. “To have the number of touchdown passes, the interception ratio, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen really anything like that.”