SEC Championship Game: Alabama vs. Florida odds and preview
The undefeated and undisputed No. 1 team in the country will take the field one more time Saturday, Dec. 19, before its appearance in the College Football Playoff.
Alabama is 10-0, a profitable 8-2 against the spread, and is a 17-point favorite against the SEC East’s Florida Gators, who enter at 8-2 (4-5-1 ATS).
Sun, December 20 2020, 1:00 AM
Alabama Crimson Tide
The rolling Tide
The merits of the Crimson Tide are well known. Led by a number of stars and probable NFL starters, the Alabama offense has been unstoppable. The Tide averages 49.5 points per game and ranks first in the nation with an 11.3-yard average per pass attempt.
Alabama quarterback Mac Jones is a favorite to win the Heisman trophy and has emerged as an excellent leader for the Tide, behind a dominant offensive line. Running back Najee Harris has averaged 5.9 yards per rush to keep defenses honest, and DeVonta Smith is the next Alabama receiver to be taken in the first round of the NFL Draft.
While Jones’ 27 touchdown passes and just three interceptions are impressive, his 76.4% completion rate deserves recognition, as well, as 76.6% is the NCAA record, which was posted by Colt McCoy in 2008, and slightly above Joe Burrow’s 76.3% achieved in 2019.
Will Florida bounce back?
Last week, the Gators experienced a soul-crushing loss. In a tie game as a 24-point favorite, junior cornerback Marco Wilson needlessly threw the shoe of an LSU player in celebration, which garnered a 15-yard penalty and gave the Tigers the opportunity to win the game, 37-34.
Florida now has the opportunity to play for pride, instead of a national championship. It will be interesting to see, against an offense the Gators probably can’t stop, if that pride will kick in for the full 60 minutes.
Florida’s defense has struggled all season. It ranks 46th in points per play allowed, 46th in points allowed per game, and 66th in pass yards per attempt. Against LSU, the Gators surrendered 37 points to a freshman quarterback.
Florida can't slow down Alabama
It’s hard to lay 17 points in a conference championship game, especially against a team that just a week ago was a CFP contender with a Heisman candidate at quarterback.
The Florida defense is a problem, however, and as things start to get out of reach in the second half, I suspect the Alabama defense will have no problem focusing on a one-dimensional offense that doesn’t have a 500-yard rusher.
The Gators threw their season away last week at home, and this will be the hangover from that letdown.