SEC Championship Game No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 7 Florida

SEC Championship Game No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 7 Florida | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Written by on December 18, 2020

Barring a 40-point loss, No. 1 Alabama is going to the College Football Playoff no matter what happens in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game vs. No. 7 Florida from Atlanta. The Gators may need to win by at least three touchdowns to have any shot at the playoff, but they are sizable underdogs on the NCAAF odds.

How to Bet Alabama vs. Florida NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 8 PM ET
  • Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
  • TV: CBS
  • Stream: CBS Sports app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Alabama -17 (total 74.5)

Last Meeting

Despite playing in the same conference, the schools haven’t met since the 2016 SEC title game, a 54-16 Bama rout. Alabama and Florida will meet for the 10th time in the SEC Championship Game and the 42nd time overall. The Crimson Tide hold a 27-14 advantage in the series, including a 5-4 mark in the SEC title game.

Why Bet on Alabama? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Scarily, this could be Nick Saban’s most dominant team as no team has come closer than 15 points to Alabama (10-0). QB Mac Jones is likely to win the Heisman.

The Tide avoided looking ahead to this game last week when they won 52-3 at Arkansas. Alabama took control of the game midway through the first quarter, scoring 49 unanswered to put the Razorbacks away. The Tide also extended their college-football record of consecutive games scoring at least 35 points to 23 games on a Brian Robinson Jr. four-yard rushing touchdown just before the half.

Alabama finished the game with 443 total yards, while holding Arkansas to 188 yards of total offense. The Tide defense racked up a season-high eight sacks and forced four turnovers, recovering three fumbles and grabbing an interception. The win extended Alabama’s record for the most consecutive 10-win seasons in Southeastern Conference history to 13.

Najee Harris has racked up 22 rushing touchdowns during his senior season. With his two rushing scores in the second quarter at Arkansas, Harris has now totaled at least one touchdown in nine of the

Crimson Tide’s 10 games and two-or-more scores in seven of those contests. Harris has totaled 3,461 rushing yards and 42 touchdowns for his career. Harris stands in a three-way tie with Alabama’s all-time leaders for career rushing touchdowns between Mark Ingram (2008-10) and Derrick Henry (2013-15) at 42.

DeVonta Smith returned a punt for a touchdown for the first time in his career against Arkansas. The 84-yard touchdown marks the third way Smith has scored this season – rushing, receiving and returning. Smith is second in the nation with 15 receiving scores.

The team that comes into the SEC Championship Game with the better ranking (AP/USA Today), holds a 21-7 advantage in the game’s history. Fourteen times prior to 2020, an undefeated team has come into the SEC Championship Game. Those teams are 10-4 in the game.

Why Bet on Florida? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Gators (8-2) were shocked at home by LSU last week, 37-34. Late in the game after LSU was about to punt, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Florida gave the Tigers new life and set up Cade York’s eventual game-winning field goal from 57 yards out.

Taking over at his own 25-yard line with 23 seconds left, Kyle Trask connected with Trevon Grimes for 15 yards, then hit Kadarius Toney for gains of 18 and nine yards to set Evan McPherson up for a game-tying field goal attempt from 51 yards out. The kick sailed just left of the upright.

Trask, who probably finishes second in the Heisman voting behind Alabama’s Mac Jones, finished with 474 passing yards, matching his career-high total from the win over Georgia, which ranks second on the school’s single-game record list. Florida finished with 609 total yards, its second-highest total of the season, but surrendered 418 yards to the Tigers. Toney caught nine passes for 183 yards with a touchdown and ran for 56 yards.

Trask had 40 TD passes on the year, most in the nation and a school record. They are also the fourth-most in SEC history. Trask is the fourth SEC quarterback since 1996 and the eighth FBS quarterback since the start of 2018 with four games of 400-plus passing yards in the same season.

Will star Gators tight end Kyle Pitts play vs. Alabama? He missed the LSU game with an injury but has been the best tight end in the country. It’s likely that Pitts will play. Pitts’ 11 touchdown receptions rank fourth among FBS players, and the only three with more than him have all played at least nine games compared to Pitts’ seven. Pitts’ 11 touchdown receptions combined with Toney’s nine make them the fifth duo in Gators history (and first since 2001) with at least nine touchdown catches apiece. Florida is the only team in the nation featuring three players – Trevon Grimes has eight — — with at least eight touchdown receptions.

For the SEC title game, the winning team has led at halftime in 22 of the 28 previous games. The team that has scored first in the SEC Championship Game is 14-14. There have been no shutouts in the history of the game. In 2002, Arkansas was the first team in SEC Championship Game history to be shutout in the first half.

Game Trends

  • Crimson Tide are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 conference games.
  • Crimson Tide are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win.
  • Crimson Tide are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in December.
  • Gators are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog.
  • Gators are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS loss.
  • Gators are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss.

Expert Prediction

  • Alabama 45, Florida 27
 
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