October 21, 2020

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#3 Georgia at #2 Alabama Preview, Picks, and Prediction – 10/17/20

by Zack Lambert

October 15th, 2020

#3 Georgia at #2 Alabama

Spread: Alabama (-4.5)

Moneyline: Georgia (+155); Alabama (-175)

O/U: 56.5

Time and Location: 8:00 ET, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Georgia (3-0)

The Bulldogs continued their Arkansas trend of giving their fans a heart attack in the first half, but giving the perfect cure in the second. Tennessee closed the second half up 21-17 on the Dawgs, but a casual 27 unanswered helped mitigate those pains. Stetson Bennett IV didn’t have his best game but he’s certainly becoming a reliable passer than can actually drive the offense forward as opposed to pass in order to keep a defense honest. That’s a huge deal for a run first team.

Even though the pass game is getting to a point where the run doesn’t have to improve, it is anyways. The Bulldogs are getting better by the week on the offensive line and that’s really opening things up for both Bennett and Zamir White. White shared touches with a whole bunch of guys and while he wasn’t the most effective, he still scored and soaked up a ton of minutes. The weapons on the outside are pretty deep for Georgia and despite the fact that none are going to be first round picks, they catch the balls that hit their hands.

The Georgia defense is still freakish. The line shut down one of the better rushing attacks in the country and left them with a single yard on the night. The secondary was touched up a bit by Jarrett Guarantano, but I’m far from worried about them. They have two really talented corners and Richard LeCounte III is a great safety. Azeez Ojulari and Channing Tindall are getting to the quarterback regularly and the Bulldogs are very adept at forcing turnovers. That line is full of monsters and I would not relish tring to block them.

Alabama (3-0)

The Crimson Tide continue to impress week after week. It’s okay to have some questions about the defense after letting Ole Miss put up a casual 48 points, but I’m not too worried. Ole Miss is going to score on any team because they run so much misdirection. They prey on players with really solid instincts and fundamentals to get their yards and that’s what they did with Bama. The Tide will be a lot happier to play a more traditional offense in Georgia. Everyone on that defense is capable of wrecking a game plan so expect to see some exceptional efforts from that unit on Saturday.

There were some preseason concerns about whether or not Mac Jones could lead Alabama to the promised land as a passer, but those concerns ought to be long gone now. Jones completed over 87% of his passes against Ole Miss for 417 yards and two touchdowns. Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and John Metchie continue to terrorize defenses and all three will be in the NFL in the future. The run game was incredible as well with Najee Harris and Brian Robinson Jr. combining for 282 yards and six touchdowns. Alabama’s line is so impressive and I don’t know if anyone will be able to outscore the Tide this season.

Analysis and Pick

This game is going to be so good, especially when Alabama has the ball. Mac Jones and those wide outs against Georgia’s great secondary. The trenches are going to be a war zone with Georgia’s line going after those monster maulers on the Alabama line. Plus, watching Najee Harris going after the linebackers of Georgia will be a marvel.

However, no matter how fun that side of the ball is, the other side is likely to determine the outcome of the game. Alabama’s defense will be tasked with shutting down a really impressive run game as well as a much improved passing attack. I don’t think Georgia can beat this Alabama team. However, with Saban unavailable on the sidelines it could be a lot closer than usual. I have Alabama winning but not without some sweat. Take Georgia to cover the spread.