Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Georgia Bulldogs: National Championship Prediction & Game Preview - 1/10/2022

by Chuck Sommers

College Football Playoff National Championship

Game time: 8 p.m. ET
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Where to watch: ESPN

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Georgia -3; O/U 52; Georgia -145, Alabama +125
BetMGM: Georgia -3; O/U 51.5; Georgia -143, Alabama +120
Caesars: Georgia -3; O/U 52.5; Georgia -145, Alabama +125

Season record
No. 1 Alabama: 13-1
No. 3 Georgia: 13-1

What a run for Matt Fargo during this bowl season, going 8-0 heading into Tuesday's Game of the Week. Matt is riding a 24-11 run and 48-31 over his last 79 since October. Get ready for Tuesday's matchup, as well as what he'll have in store for the national championship. Catch Matt’s plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.

Alabama - Georgia preview and analysis


Last week
Georgia: won 34-11 vs. No. 2 Michigan in Orange Bowl
Alabama: won 27-6 vs. No. 4 Cincinnati in Cotton Bowl

It's time for the Natty.

I get it. This isn't the matchup we wanted. Those who love college football probably wanted the underdogs to get a chance, rather than a matchup we saw a month ago.

But it will be another good matchup between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs meet in the culmination of the College Football Playoff on Monday in Indianapolis.

While this doesn't seem like the ideal situation for most fans, it's almost like this season has to come down to one more Georgia-Alabama game. Alabama gets an opportunity to establish this 2021-22 team as one of the greatest runs in program history. Georgia, on the heels of its amazing defense, is playing the ultimate revenge game.

The Georgia defense was humbled in the SEC Championship on Dec. 4 in Atlanta, giving up a season-high 41 points against Alabama and losing its first game of the season. Both teams were going to make the playoff; that wasn't the issue. The only question was where they'd be seeded; the win pushed Alabama to No. 1, moving Georgia to No. 3.

Alabama met first with the surprising Cincinnati Bearcats in the Cotton Bowl, winning 27-6 in AT&T Stadium in a hard-fought game by the Cincy defense. Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young did throw for three touchdowns but was held to 181 yards on 17 of 28 passing.

But the game belonged to running back Brian Robinson Jr. He didn't get into the end zone, but Robinson ran for 204 yards on 26 carries and carried an Alabama ground game that ran for 301 yards. Alabama's defense, meanwhile, held Cincy quarterback Desmond Ridder to just 144 passing yards.

"As a young kid, just always wanted to be a part of this program. Just always wanted to play for a national championship," Robinson said. "Just being able to go out there and just lead this team in this big game on this big stage ... it's like a dream come true."

That's a far cry from Robinson being held to 55 yards on 16 carries against Georgia. The Bulldogs, though, fell flat in the passing game while letting Young throw for 421 yards and three touchdowns for Alabama.

But the key was Alabama's defense getting two turnovers on Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett; he had one of his best games of the season by throwing for 340 yards and three touchdowns, but two interceptions derailed any chance for Georgia to keep tabs.

Georgia was held to just 109 rushing yards on 30 carries, which meant Bennett would have to keep pace with the Heisman winner. He showed flashes of that in the 34-11 win against the Michigan Wolverines in the Orange Bowl, going for 313 yards and three touchdowns. James Cook hauled in 112 yards on four receptions and a touchdown.

“Answered a million questions about our team, bouncing back and how you played,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “We’ve got a lot of high-character guys on this team and they played their tail off today.”

The last two weeks has shown what Bennett can do. We haven't seen Bennett really be put in a chance to perform on a big stage. Through two games, he's done well. Can he do it one more time against the best quarterback in the country? And for the giant gold trophy, no less?

Prediction


It's not often you get a national championship that could go either way. It wouldn't shock to see Alabama do it all over again and clinch the back-to-back, but there's something about Georgia and what they do offensively that intrigues me. If Bennett doesn't turn it over, Georgia's got a chance. And I firmly believe in the defense playing much better against the pass than a week ago. Georgia by 3

Betting trends


The underdog is 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings.

Georgia is 8-5 ATS this season as a favorite.

Georgia is 4-0 ATS in its last four games after throwing for 280 yards the previous game.

Alabama is 4-0 ATS in its last four neutral-site games.

Statistical leaders


Georgia:
Passing: Stetson Bennett -- 2,638 yards, 27 TD, 7 INT
Rushing: Zamir White -- 772 yards, 10 TD
Receiving: Brock Bowers -- 846 yards, 12 TD

Alabama:
Passing: Bryce Young -- 4,503 yards, 46 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: Brian Robinson -- 1,275 yards, 14 TD
Receiving: Jameson Williams -- 1,507 yards, 15 TD

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert football picks today. And if you enjoyed this Georgia - Alabama prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily college football projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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