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Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) escapes pressure from Auburn defensive lineman Marlon Davidson (3) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Experts pick the SEC title game

The 2018 SEC title game will be played at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday. The game will feature the number one team in the nation, The Alabama Crimson Tide, and the fourth ranked Georgia Bulldogs.

Prior to the season, both teams were favored to reach the conference title game. Now that the predictions have come true, it’s time to predict the outcome.

Alabama has been the most dominant team in college football. The Tide have beaten its opponents b y an average of 35.25 points per game in route to a 12-0 record. Meanwhile, Georgia has recovered from a mid-season stumble against LSU. In the five games since, the Bulldogs have averaged 41.6 points per game and allowed only 18.4 points a game. Georgia enters the title game with an 11-1 record.

Lopsided predictions

Despite the impressive numbers from both teams, experts are leaning Alabama’s way, heavily.

ESPN and SEC Network analyst Laura Rutledge thinks the Tide will win, but Georgia definitely has a shot. The one factor that Rutledge thinks the Bulldogs hold the advantage in is special teams.

She also points out that Georgia must force turnovers on Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The redshirt freshman has only thrown two interceptions all season while throwing for 36 touchdowns. Putting pressure on him will be key for the Georgia defense.

The ESPN staff writers predictions have it all one way as well, roll tide. ESPN had 15 staff writers pick the SEC title game and all 15 picked Alabama. Score predictions ranged from 35-31 to 38-17, all in the Tide’s favor.

Even the Las Vegas betting books have the nations top-ranked team winning handily. Currently the line for the game is -13.5 in Alabama’s favor. That’s unheard of for a game pitting the first and fourth ranked teams in the country against each other.

CBS Sports Tom Fornelli sees the game being closer than what the Vegas line predicts. He writes that the Bulldogs should probably be a seven point underdog, and have a legitimate shot at knocking off the Tide.

Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. tomorrow.

About Michael Knauff

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