The SEC Championship is on the line Saturday as the top-ranked and undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide battle the 8-2 Florida Gators inside the Mercedes-Benz Dome in Atlanta. Kickoff is set for 8 pm EST.
This will be the 10th SEC Championship meeting between these two programs and the first since 2016. The Tide are 8-4 all-time on this stage, with all four of their losses coming to the Gators, most recently in 2008.
The Crimson Tide enter this title tilt with a perfect 10-0 record, scoring at least 40 points in every win except their season opener against Missouri in late September. Quarterback Mac Jones and wideout DeVonta Smith are the top two favorites to win the Heisman Trophy, and running back Najee Harris leads the nation with 22 rushing touchdowns.
A win secures Alabama the top spot in the rankings and a slot in the College Football Playoff, its sixth trip to the final four in seven years. A loss could result in a number of different scenarios depending on how the ACC and Big Ten Championship games play out. However, the Tide appear to be the most locked in to a top four spot, regardless of Saturday’s outcomes.
The Gators’ slip-up against LSU last week likely cost them a shot at the College Football Playoff, as they dropped to seventh in the CFP rankings with their second loss of the season. They also fell to Texas A&M earlier in the year, and the Aggies currently occupy the fifth position in the rankings.
The loss to LSU also may have cost quarterback Kyle Trask the Heisman Trophy as the senior slipped behind the aforementioned Alabama players in the odds. However, a win over the top team in the land could swing those odds right back in Trask’s favor.
Dan Mullen is 0-9 lifetime against Nick Saban, but this is the first time they’ll meet with Mullen on the Florida sideline since departing Mississippi State.
Keep an eye on the Gators’ tight end position, as Florida has gotten 16 touchdown receptions from its tight ends, four more than any other school in the country. Outside of BYU, no other program has more than nine.
Betting Line and Pick
Alabama has been installed as an 18-point favorite in this one, with an over/under of 74.5. The Crimson Tide have never lost inside the Mercedes-Benz Dome since it opened in 2017, going a perfect 4-0.
Stars are on display for this primetime battle, with Jones finishing the regular season as the country’s second-rated passer and Trask leading the nation in touchdown passes, eclipsing the school record in the process.
Alabama is 8-2 ATS this season, covering its last seven, the last six of which it has laid at least three touchdowns. Florida had visions of advancing to the CFP but overlooked LSU and now could lack the motivation to play for anything but improving Trask’s chances for the Heisman. Roll Tide again.
Pick: Alabama -18