The second-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide will look to secure their berth in the four-team College Football Playoff by ‘laying the smackdown’ on the struggling 18th-ranked Florida Gators when the two longtime rivals square off in the 2015 SEC Championship on Saturday.
While winning this game outright likely won’t be much of a problem for the streaking Tide, they could have a hard time covering the college football SEC championship betting line as a two-touchdown-plus favorite. Now, let’s find out if the Tide will roll and cover!
A Closer Look At How To Bet The Florida Gators V Alabama Crimson Tide SEC Championship Line
What: No. 18 Florida Gators (10-2) at No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1)
When: Saturday, December 5, 2015
Kickoff: 4:00 PM ET
Where: Atlanta, GA
Stadium: Georgia Dome
Spread: Alabama -17
Moneyline: Florida +485 vs Alabama -833
Game Total: 40.5
Stream: CBS Sports
Listen: Florida vs Alabama
Bet The Florida Gators at +17 Because…
The Gators (10-2 SU, 7-5 ATS) managed to reach the SEC title tilt despite getting pounded unmercifully in their 27-2 home loss against in-state rival Florida State on Saturday while never coming close to covering the spread as a 2.5-point favorite.
While running back Kelvin Taylor rushed for 136 yards on 19 carries, quarterback Treon Harris struggled by completing just 19 of 38 passes for 134 yards.
"You know, he could’ve played better, but so could some other guys and some guys around him," McElwain said. "He’s our quarterback and he’s got to get a little bit better this week as we go into the SEC Championship Game."
Defensively, Florida couldn’t stop Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook en route to 183 rushing yard and two touchdowns on 26 carries.
More importantly, the Gators have played progressively worse in the weeks that have followed the suspension of former starting quarterback Will Grier six weeks ago.
Harris has completed just 53.7 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and four interceptions while Taylor leads the Florida rushing attack with 977 yards and 13 touchdowns.
The Gators are ranked 92nd in scoring (25.2 ppg) and a stupendous fifth in points allowed (15.5 ppg).
Bet The Alabama Crimson Tide at -17 Because…
Alabama (11-1 SU, 7-5 ATS) has arguably the nation’s best defense at this point of the 2015 season not to mention arguably the best running back in the country in Derrick Henry, not to mention a ton to play for with a playoff berth on the line.
The Crimson Tide have won nine straight games and man-handled Auburn in its 29-13 win on Saturday to narrowly cash in as a 14.5-point road favorite.
Quarterback Jake Coker completed 17 of 26 passes for 179 yards and one touchdown while running back derrick Henry continued his quest for the Heisman by rushing for a stunning 271 yards and one score on 46 carries.
"He (Henry) was asking to stay in," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "I asked him every time he came over to the sideline, ‘Are you OK? We’ll put somebody else in.’ He says ‘Coach, I’m good. I want to win this game.’"
"There have been a lot of great players to play at Alabama and a lot of good running backs," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "I don’t know if they all got as many opportunities as he got when they played. We’ve had some really good running backs here, first- and second-round draft picks, guys that are playing well in the NFL. But what Derrick has done for this team, because this team needs him to do what he does, I would say he’s made as significant an impact on his team as any player that we’ve ever had."
Defensively, the Tide limited the Tigers to 91 rushing yards and 3-for-15 success on third downs while winning the time of possession battle by almost 2 full minutes.
For the season, Coker has completed 65.4 percent of his passes for 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Derrick Henry has rushed for a stupendous 1,797 yards and school-record 22 touchdowns.
Alabama is ranked 34th in scoring (34.5 ppg) and a stellar third in points allowed (14.3 ppg)
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
Just 57 percent of the betting public likes Alabama to cover the huge spread as two-touchdown-plus home favorites, but I’ clearly among them and you should be too.
Alabama has not allowed more than 16 points in each of their last five games while Florida has been held to nine points or less twice in their last four games. Not only that, but the Gators also lost to mediocre South Carolina three weeks ago (24-14) and tiny Florida Atlantic two weeks back (20-14 OT).
Bama is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a S.U. win. The Crimson Tide are 6-0 ATS in their last six games against a team with a winning record, 4-1 ATS in their last five conference games and a robust 10-4 ATS in their last 14 neutral site games.
While the Gators have gone 4-0 ATS in their last four games following an SU loss and 6-2 ATS in their last eight conference games, the favorite in this series has gone 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings, making the Crimson Tide the right pick to cover the huge spread.