Georgia is a three-point favorite in the college football playoff national championship game against Alabama on Wednesday. This is the third time since 2010 that Alabama has been an outsider. Each of the previous two times has come against Georgia, and each of the previous two times Alabama has won by at least 17 points.
Alabama were a six-point underdog in the first meeting. He ended Alabama’s 92-game streak, the longest streak for any team since the 1978 FBS / FCS split. The total was also up three points from the first meeting.
Alabama are 6-4, 6-3-1 ATS as an underdog under Nick Saban, including 5-1 and ATS since his second season in 2008.
Both teams have been favored all season. Alabama and Georgia have been the favorite in college football betting all season on Caesars Sportsbook.
Georgia’s title odds peaked at 10-1 in May, and they entered the +750 season. Alabama odds were as long as +650 to enter the SEC Championship game.
Since 2008, six teams have faced each other in ball games after meeting in the regular season. The teams that won the first game all lost the second game, going 1-5 ATS, including LSU’s loss to Alabama in the National Championship game for the 2011 season.
Nick Saban is 3-0 and an ATS in his career when he faced a team for the second time in a single season (1-0 with Alabama, 2-0 with LSU).
This is the third time since the 1978 FBS / FCS split that the No.1 team (Alabama) has been an underdog against a team they beat in the regular season (Georgia). Each of the previous two times, the lower ranked team won in a blowout.
The last time the AP’s No.1 team was an underdog was on November 9, 2019, when the No.1 LSU was a 5-point underdog at Alabama’s No.2. LSU won 46-41. Nick Saban has only been the underdog of the AP’s No.1 team once in his career. Alabama was a 10-point underdog against Florida No. 2 in the 2008 SEC Championship game and lost 31-20. The favorites have covered the national championship game two consecutive years after going 0-5 ATS in the first five years of the playoffs.
Alabama are looking to be the third team since 2001 to win a National Championship after being the favorite in preseason betting (2017 Alabama, 2004 USC). The preseason favorites are 2-6 and 1-7 ATS in title matches during this span, including 0-4 ATS in the college football playoff era.
Kirby Smart is 45-34-1 ATS in Georgia. The minuses are 43-36-1. He’s 5-2 ATS in bowl games. Nick Saban is 112-87-5 ATS in his Alabama career. The minus are 101-97-4. He is 11-9 ATS in bowl games.
For their careers, they are two of the top five active Power 5 coaches from ATS perspective (at least three seasons).
The advantage is 9-1 in the last 10 meetings, including 4-0 in the last four.
Kirby Smart is 8-2-1 ATS when the line is between +3 and -3.
Alabama are 4-1 ATS against the top five teams in the past two seasons (three consecutive covers).