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Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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Casino City’s Friday Five: College Football National Championship Game betting preview edition

7 Jan 2022

By Dan Ippolito
On Monday night, the Georgia Bulldogs are set to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in the NCAA Football National Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis (8 p.m. ET kickoff).

The game is a rematch of the SEC Championship that was played back on 4 December when Alabama upset the previously undefeated Bulldogs, 41-24, as a 6-point underdog. Last week in the NCAA Playoffs, Alabama (-13.5) rolled over Cincinnati, 27-6, and Georgia rebounded from the loss in the SEC title game to down Michigan, 34-11, as a 7.5-point favorite, setting up Monday night’s rematch.

Georgia is a 3-point favorite at most sportsbooks with a consensus total of 52, but there are many other ways to bet the game, thanks to a plethora of proposition wagers made available.

Here, we take a look at a five bets to consider, including our prediction on who will prevail and be crowned national champion.

5. Picking the exact score
To start things off, let’s get a little bold with a half-unit play.

In the first meeting, the Bulldogs’ offense seemed to play as expected and put up 24 points against a solid Alabama defense. The issue for Georgia was on the defensive side of the ball. While Alabama’s offense is electric, allowing 41 points against a unit that is supposed to be the best defense in the country won’t win games.

I am sure Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart will have plenty of adjustments from the previous matchup and the defense will come hungry to play after the beatdown the Crimson Tide handed them.

I’m not saying they will lock down the Bama offense because that is pretty much impossible to do as it averages 40.1 points per game, but I do see them being more effective and not allowing QB Bryce Young and company to get anything they want.

Bet $50 on FanDuel to win $4,750 on Georgia to win 24-21 over Alabama

4. Bryce Young over 10.5 rushing yards
Young typically does not take off on big runs because he usually is able to find a wide receiver open and hit him in stride from the pocket. As a result, he has only run for more than 10.5 yards three times in 13 games this season.

That being said, the Georgia defensive line and pass rush is no joke and they will surely be in the backfield at times flushing Young out of the pocket.

In the semifinal game, the Bulldogs were in Michigan’s backfield all night and getting after the quarterback from all angles.

With the pressure I am predicting on Young, I can see him scrambling a few times in this game and you really only need one or two decent scrambles to hit the over on his rushing yards prop bet.

Georgia may also be dropping more DBs into coverage to help limit the pass game and if there is no spy to prevent Young from taking off, he may take the yards he can get with his legs.

The SEC Championship Game was one of the three games that Young topped this rush total and it wasn’t even close, as he sprinted for 40 yards. If he can avoid multiple sacks, we think he’ll easily get over 10.5 rushing yards on Monday.

Bet $110 on FanDuel to win $100 on over 10.5 rushing yards for Bryce Young

3. Georgia to win by 1-13 points
The SEC Championship Game was more of a must-win game for Alabama because Georgia was pretty much a lock to get into the playoffs, even with a loss.

Now with everything on the line, the two teams are fighting for the same honor. And in my opinion, the Bulldogs have the upper hand after allowing 41 points in the first meeting. I think the hunger on that defensive side will be seen right from the first snap on Monday night.

Smart used to be a defensive coordinator under Alabama head coach Nick Saban and is now 0-4 against Saban in his career. In fact, in his career, Saban is now 25-1 against opposing head coaches who are former assistants, but Smart has managed to have a lead over Alabama in all four meetings.

I think this time around Smart will be able to hold onto that lead and Georgia’s defense will come up with a big stop late to secure the victory.

Bet $100 on FanDuel to win $160 on Georgia to win by 1-13 points

2. Jameson Williams to score a TD
With Alabama’s star wide receiver John Metchie III out with a torn ACL, Alabama will need to have a very big game from its other big play pass catcher, Jameson Williams.

Williams torched Georgia in the first game with 184 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Metchie ended up getting hurt late in that game, so Georgia had both of them to deal with for most of that game. This time, Williams will surely be the main focus of the Georgia secondary, but even as the top priority on defense, he is too quick to be able to contain for 60 minutes.

Williams is known for making big plays and he has a nose for the end zone, scoring a touchdown in nine of the Tide’s 13 games this season, including four games with multiple TDs. I can definitely see him finding his way into the end zone at least once on Monday night.

Bet $120 on bet365 Sportsbook & Racebook to win $100 on Williams to score a touchdown in this game

1. Georgia Bulldogs (-3)
With the loss of Metchie and the “redemption” opportunity for the Georgia Bulldogs, I am absolutely leaning toward Smart getting his first win against Saban.

All my focus has been on their defense, but the Bulldogs have an incredible running game with the two-headed monster of Zamir White and James Cook, who have combined for more than 1,400 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns this year.

Then there is the man under center, quarterback Stetson Bennett, who averages 10.1 yards per attempt. Bennett is very calm in the pocket and has shown his intelligence by his decision making. If the offense can put up 21-27 points in this game I think Georgia will give their defense a chance at winning this game.

The keys to the defensive side will be to limit the big plays and to contain the workhorse Alabama running back Brian Robinson Jr., who has 1,200 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns himself this season.

Bet $110 on bet365 Sportsbook & Racebook to win $100 on Georgia (-3)
 
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