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College Football Playoff National Championship Game Roundtable: Alabama or Georgia?

Our experts provide their best bets for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game between Georgia and Alabama.

The College Football Playoff national championship game is an all-SEC affair.

No. 1 Alabama (13-1) faces No. 3 Georgia (13-1) on Monday at 8 p.m. in a rematch of the SEC Championship Game and the 2018 national championship game.

Despite Alabama's 41-24 win in the SEC title game, Georgia is a three-point favorite at SI Sportsbook. The game features an over/under of 51.5.

The Bulldogs are 9-5 against the spread (ATS), while the Crimson Tide are 8-6. The over hit in just six Georgia games, compared to seven Alabama contests.

Bet Alabama-Georgia at SI Sportsbook

FILE - Georgia offensive lineman Warren Ericson (50) and Alabama wide receiver Slade Bolden (18) play during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Atlanta. Those Georgia Bulldogs aren't the only ones having a devil of a time beating fellow Southeastern Conference powerhouse Alabama. They're just the only one that gets another shot in the biggest game of them all.

Alabama will be looking to continue its domination of Georgia, having won seven straight against the Bulldogs. Nick Saban is 4-0 against Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, including a 26-23 overtime triumph in the 2018 National Championship Game.

The Crimson Tide are also quite profitable as an underdog under Nick Saban, and especially when facing one of his former assistants.

Both teams have strong offenses with Alabama scoring 41.4 points per game and Georgia tallying 38.8. Georgia's defense, however, leads the country by a wide margin by yielding only 9.64 points per game, compared to Alabama's 19.21.

We asked our experts what bets they would make for this intriguing battle.

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SI Betting's Matt Ehalt:

To quote the undefeated and legendary Admiral Ackbar: "It's a trap!" You're telling me I'm getting a Nick Saban team with the points against a team he's beaten 7 straight times, defeated in the SEC title game and conquered in the 2018 title game? This seems too good to be true! That's what scares me. I just don't see why this line has relatively held with Georgia as the favorite. But I'm not fading Saban in this spot. As Ric Flair said: "To be the man, you got to beat the man." And I've yet to see Kirby Smart beat Saban. I'm a big believer that you have to see it first before you believe it. So, let's back the Tide. I'm also going to bet the under here since I believe both team's defenses will deliver and keep this game in the 20s.

BEST BETS: Alabama +2.5 and Under 51.5 (+280)

SI's Dan Lyons:

When the line for this game opened on New Year’s Eve, before Georgia’s blowout win over Michigan officially went final, I jumped to bet the Crimson Tide at +2.5, imagining that the spread would swing the other way. Instead, Tide bettors are getting an extra half-point in value right now. Georgia may not get blown out by Alabama again, but between the 2020 and ’21 games between these teams, I haven’t seen much evidence that Stetson Bennett is up to win a shootout against Bryce Young and the high-powered Bama offense, even with its absences. He’s completed just 54.5% of his throws against Nick Saban’s defense in those two starts, with five interceptions to go with five touchdown passes. Those mistakes are crippling against a program like Bama and could certainly keep this one very close, if not help Alabama pick up a straight-up moneyline win.

BEST BET: Alabama +2.5 (-105)

Bama Central's Christopher Walsh

I generally stay away from making predictions because I've been covering Alabama since 2004, and it got real old picking the same team over and over again. However, I feel pretty confident about one thing with this game, taking the points—any points. I also like the over, especially considering how many points were scored in the SEC Championship Game. The rematch is still about matchups, and while Georgia may have more overall talent, the Crimson Tide is better with its playmakers. That list is led by Bryce Young, Jameson Williams and Ryan Anderson Jr. When in doubt, I'm going with the playmakers, especially at quarterback. There's also the unknown factor of if Alabama can get Georgia thinking, "Oh no, here we go again." The Bulldogs do, and it's game over.

BEST BETS: Alabama +2.5 (-105), Over 51.5 (-118)

MMQB's Conor Orr:

While I am on the NFL beat, I assume my prognosticating powers are still valid at the lower levels of the sport, so I'll try my hand here. I used our BET BUILDER feature to take Alabama with the points (+2.5) AND the over. I feel like it's instructive betting advice to take Nick Saban if we're ever getting points no matter what. Also, if we're making this game out to be some clash between defensive geniuses, what are the chances both offenses let it rip and pour it on? I feel like it always goes that way. Both of these staffs have more super-secret offensive advisors than the White House, so what are the odds either one of them comes up with a wrinkle for Monday?

BEST BETS: Alabama +2.5 and Over 51.5 (+260)

SI Betting & Fantasy's Bill Enright:

National title game with a national spotlight and Alabama is GETTING points? I couldn’t click bet now fast enough. Forget the points. I’m going in on the moneyline and locking up +125 on SI Sportsbook. Alabama gets its 20th national title, while Georgia’s 40-year drought continues.

BEST BET: Alabama moneyline (+125)

SI Betting & Fantasy's Kyle Wood:

Georgia is historically good, and rebounding from its SEC title game loss to Alabama with a dominant win against Michigan does inspire renewed confidence in the Bulldogs. That said, this is Alabama we're talking about. This isn't regular old, multi-touchdown favorite 'Bama—three-point underdog 'Bama! I'm taking Nick Saban and Heisman winner Bryce Young with the points for a bit of insurance.

BEST BET: Alabama +2.5 (-105)

SI Fantasy's Craig Ellenport:

In the SEC title game, Alabama scored more points in the second quarter against Georgia than the Bulldogs had allowed in any game all season. You can call that an aberration, and maybe Georgia won’t allow 41 points again. But 24 points will be enough to win. The Tide defense is coming around -- it was utterly dominant against Cincinnati in the semifinals and will show up again Monday night. Then there’s the quirk of Alabama getting points for the second time in its last three games. I wasn’t having that the first time and not having it this time—another title for Nick Saban.

BEST BET: Alabama +2.5 (-105)

SI Betting's Frank Taddeo:

Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice and I deserve to lose my money. After being sucked in on Georgia in the first matchup, I learned a valuable lesson. Do NOT fade Nick Saban in the role of underdog. I am holding a Futures ticket on the Bulldogs at 3/1 but I am grabbing the points with Alabama. Both clubs played great in the playoff wins, but the Tide at plus-points is simply an auto wager at this point. This line opened in Vegas with Georgia as a 1-point favorite and has since steamed to a full field goal. So let's see, getting Alabama at plus points combined with being afforded the luxury of landing on the side the sportsbooks will clearly need as all the early money is on the Bulldogs. Yep, its a no-brainer. Time for me to hedge my investment made months ago. I may also be looking at potentially investing in over the posted total of 51.5. This game should be a classic!

BEST BET: Alabama +2.5 (-105)

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