Georgia coach Kirby Smart has yet to get a win against Alabama, where he spent several years as assistant coach under Nick Saban and won numerous accolades for his work. Now, the defensive-minded leader brings his battle-tested No. 3 Bulldogs to Bryant-Denny Stadium to take on the No. 2 Crimson Tide (3-0) in a crucial early-season SEC football showdown Saturday. Saban’s status is up in the air entering Saturday. The six-time national championship-winning coach tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week. But he’s since tested negative and could be on the sideline, pending further testing.
Kickoff in this showcase matchup is set for 8 p.m. ET on CBS. Alabama opened at -6.5 at William Hill. That has gone down as low as -4, and is now at -5 in the latest Georgia vs. Alabama odds. The total is set at 58.5. Before making any Alabama vs. Georgia picks, check out the college football predictions from Barrett Sallee, given his success picking games involving these powerhouses.
When it comes to college football, there are few who deserve the “expert” tag quite like Sallee. The CBS Sports writer and analyst hosts shows on SiriusXM College, writes for CBSSports.com and appears regularly on CBS Sports HQ as well as countless radio shows across the nation as a guest.
Sallee debuted with SportsLine in 2017 and has delivered in a big way, posting a winning record in his weekly best bets column since that point. He went 59-35-2 (63 percent, plus $2,037) on all his college football picks for SportsLine in 2019, and he also enters Week 6 of the 2020 college football season on a 50-30 streak on his best bets since the start of last year.
Moreover, he has had a sharp eye for the trajectories of these programs. Over the past two seasons, Sallee is a sizzling 8-2 with his against-the-spread picks involving Alabama or Georgia. This record includes telling SportsLine members to back Ole Miss (+24) as a home underdog last week against the Crimson Tide, resulting in another no-doubt winner. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
- Georgia vs. Alabama spread: Alabama -5
- Georgia vs. Alabama over-under: 58.5 points
- Georgia vs. Alabama money line: Alabama -200, Georgia +175
- UGA: The Bulldogs are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games as an underdog.
- ALA: The Tide are 4-1 ATS in their last five games as a home favorite.
Why Alabama can cover
Alabama has shown an explosive and varied offense, with its 560.3 points per game ranking third nationally. The Tide piled up an astounding 723 yards of offense against Ole Miss, scoring a touchdown on every possession with the exception of one in the first quarter that resulted in a turnover at the goal line.
Senior running back Najee Harris pounded out 206 yards on 23 carries with five touchdowns for a rushing attack that totaled 306 yards. Quarterback Mac Jones helped his Heisman candidacy by going 28-for-32 for 417 yards with two scores against zero interceptions. The Tide’s normally stout defense allowed 647 yards to Ole Miss, but came up with a pair of fourth-quarter stops to put the game out of reach.
Why Georgia can cover
The Bulldogs found consistency and production at the quarterback position from perhaps an unlikely source. They were expected to have a wealth of riches at the position, as Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman was considered a Heisman candidate before taking a single snap at Georgia. But he chose to opt out, and fellow transfer J.T. Daniels of USC has been recovering from a knee injury suffered last year with the Trojans. He’s been medically cleared, but has yet to play.
The Bulldogs scored just five first-half points in their season opener behind the quarterback play of freshman D’Wan Mathis, who appeared rattled and led the offense to eight empty possessions that included an interception. In the second half, the club turned to former walk-on Stetson Bennett, and the job has been his ever since. He threw for 211 yards and two touchdowns in the second half as Georgia took control.
The junior signal-caller has also been solid in two subsequent starts, going 33-of-55 for 478 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions combined in wins over Auburn and Tennessee. The former walk-on, who had just one FBS scholarship offer out of high school (Middle Tennessee State) also has rushed for 27 yards and a touchdown.
How to make Georgia vs. Alabama picks
Sallee is leaning under on the total, and he’s also found a critical x-factor he believes makes one side of the spread a must-back. Head to SportsLine to see the pick.
So who wins Georgia vs. Alabama? And which critical x-factor has Sallee jumping all over one side of the spread? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Alabama vs. Georgia spread to jump on Saturday, all from the expert who’s on an 8-2 spread run picking games involving the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide, and find out.