College Football Playoff odds: Alabama and Georgia open as significant favorites

·3 min read

Are we going to get another national championship game between Alabama and Georgia?

The two SEC teams opened as favorites in their College Football Playoff semifinal games. No. 1 Alabama is a 13.5-point favorite over No. 4 Cincinnati and No. 3 Georgia is a 7-point favorite over Michigan at BetMGM.

The Crimson Tide got the top seed in the College Football Playoff after beating Georgia 41-24 in the SEC championship game on Saturday. Alabama (12-1) was the No. 3 team in the playoff rankings ahead of the game and moved up two spots with a win over No. 1. Georgia then swapped spots with Alabama after the loss. 

If Georgia and Alabama both win, they'll meet for the title for the second time in five seasons. The two teams played in the 2018 national title game when Alabama beat Georgia in overtime, thanks to a TD pass from Tua Tagovailoa to DeVonta Smith.

Michigan (12-1) stayed at No. 2 with a 42-3 win over Iowa. The early total for the Wolverines' game with Georgia is 43.5 as both teams are likely going to look to knock the other off the line of scrimmage and run the football. Both Georgia and Michigan's offenses pass off their running games and both teams also have physical defenses. 

Georgia was the most dominant team of the regular season and outscored opponents by over 30 points per game while allowing just one score a game. The 41 points the Bulldogs allowed to Alabama in the SEC title game were the most points Georgia has allowed all season. 

The Wolverines' only loss of the season came at Michigan State. Michigan lost 37-33 to Michigan State on Oct. 30. Michigan then won its final five games of the season, including a 42-27 win over Ohio State a week ago.

The total for Alabama's game vs. Cincinnati (13-0) is 59.5. Both teams averaged at least 39 points per game in 2021 and the game doesn't look anything like the type of game that the Michigan and Georgia game could be. Though Alabama will have to replace a key contributor on offense. Nick Saban said that Alabama WR John Metchie III suffered a significant knee injury and will miss the playoff.

Metchie went down without any contact in the second half of the SEC title game. While Jameson Williams has been Alabama's dominant big-play threat, Metchie leads the team with 96 catches and has 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns. Alabama may have to rely on Ja’Corey Brooks in the playoff like it did in the final minutes of the Iron Bowl. Brooks stepped up after Williams was ejected from the Iron Bowl for a targeting penalty on punt coverage.

Cincinnati's offense should be at full strength for the game and could be an enticing bet given Alabama's propensity for close games this season. QB Desmond Ridder has 37 total touchdowns while RB Jerome Ford has rushed 200 times for 1,238 yards and has 20 TDs.

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