Dominant Defense & Superb Run Game Make Alabama -17 The College Football Pick vs. Florida

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 9:24 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015 9:24 PM GMT

We’re going to do an early examination on Saturday’s SEC Championship Game between Florida and Alabama. Go inside to read our preview article which culminates with a college football pick.

Gators and Crimson Tide
Florida will square off with #2 Alabama in the SEC Title Game on Saturday. The opening kickoff at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta is slated for 4:00 PM ET. Current college football odds at The Greek indicates that Alabama is a 17-point favorite, and the posted total is 40. Alabama has won their last four meetings against Florida, including a 42-21 triumph in Tuscaloosa a season ago. Since 1992, the Gators and Crimson Tide have met in the SEC Championship Game seven times, and Florida was victorious on four of those occasions.

 

Anemic Offense and Dominant Defense
Florida’s offense has been far from explosive this season, but for the majority of the year they were good enough to compliment its superb defense. However, that’s not been the case in recent games. They’ve amassed only 262 yards or less of total offense in three of their last four games. During that stretch they’ve averaged a paltry 13.7 points per game. The inability to sustain drives will eventually begin to take a toll on their defense if it hasn’t already. They will be severely challenged this week against an Alabama power running game that wears out opposing defenses with their physicality.

 

Roll Tide Roll
Alabama enters this critical game on Saturday as a red-hot team. They’ve reeled off nine wins in a row since a September loss to Ole Miss. The Tide has really been dominant during their previous four games, covering on each of those occasions, and winning by an average of 26.3 points per contest. During that stretch, and they’ve rushed for 195 yards or more in all of those contests. The Alabama defense has been stellar for the better part of this season, allowing only 14.3 points and 264.6 per game. They’ve also surrendered 92 yards or less rushing in ten of their twelve regular season contests.

 

Final Analysis
The only way I can see Florida staying competitive for four quarters is if Alabama self implodes. That seems highly unlikely considering that the Crimson Tide committed just 4 combined turnovers during their previous six contests. The Gators struggled mightily in each of their previous two games, and even more concerning was that both were played at home. Two weeks ago they needed overtime to come away with a 20-14 win as a 28.5 point favorite, and that was against a Florida Atlantic team that finished with a 3-9 record. Then last Saturday they were thoroughly embarrassed in a 27-2 loss versus their biggest rival Florida State. I hate siding with public opinion, but discretion is the better part of valor in this instance. I’m laying the points in this game for one of my college football picks this week.

College Football Picks: Play on Alabama -17 (-110) at The Greek

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