NCAA Football Betting Preview
No. 1 Florida Gators (12-0) vs. No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (12-0)
Saturday December 5th, 4:00PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – Florida -5 ½ , 41 ½ O/U
The Florida Gators have been ranked as the number 1 team in the nation most of the season and their chance to repeat as National Champions takes a date with destiny this Saturday night as they will meet no. 2 Alabama in the SEC Championship. One year ago these two powerhouses collided with Florida pulling out a hard fought victory and going on to win a National Title. Well the exact same circumstances are on the line again in one of the most anticipated re-matches in SEC history and once again the winner will go to claim a shot at a National Championship.
The magnitude of the SEC is beyond comparison with other football conferences around the nation and over the past few year’s their conference title game has been a version of their own National Championship. This is the match-up of the best of the best and it is no secret the winner of this colossal of titans will be favored to bring home yet another piece of hardware and represent the SEC in a chance to make it 4 straight National Title’s. The question is will Tim Tebow get the chance to go out on top as one of the greatest college football players in history or will Nick Saban lead the Crimson Tide back to glory?
The ironic aspect to the game is both teams play eerie similar styles of football. Both teams have some of the best offensive and defensive lines a college football team could imagine. Both teams lead the nation in rushing and are relentless forces on the defensive side of the ball. The question is who is the better of the two? The Gators have a trio of running backs that could be superstars for any team in the country led by running back Jeffery Demps who is averaging 8 yards per carry with 7 touchdowns this season. Backups Chris Rainey and Emmanuel Moody are equally dangerous forces.
However, if the Crimson Tide is going to stop the Gators they must stop the biggest Gator of them all in QB Tim Tebow. Tebow of course is the dual threat bulldozer that can run through defenses like a full back or step back and beat you with his arm. Tebow leads the Gators with 796 yards this season along with 13 touchdowns on the ground. If that is not enough, he has also completed 67% while throwing for 2,166 yards and 17 additional touchdowns. The only difference in the Gators offense this season compared to last is they are not as explosive. WR Riley Cooper can make big plays, but they do not come in the quantity as they did a year ago. Will the Gators have the firepower to take down the Crimson Tide yet again?
The Crimson Tide defense is right there with the Gators dynamic defense that returned all 11 starters from last year’s National Championship team. In fact, Alabama may be even better on the defensive front especially with Florida’s DE Carlos Dunlap being suspended for the title game. Alabama has the 2nd ranked rush defense in the country holding teams to 77 yard per game on the ground as well as the nation’s number 2 scoring defense holding opponents to 10 points per game. This may very well be the best two defenses to every step on a college football field at the same time. How will the offenses react?
Well Alabama will surely stick with their running game as will the Gators. However the Crimson Tide relies on mainly one back rather than 3, but Mark Ingram may just be the best in the nation. Of course Ingram is a top many of the Heisman ballots after rushing for 1,429 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. One of the main factors to the running game success is the huge Alabama offensive line which will face their biggest challenge to date with the Gators defensive front.
Still, the Crimson Tide offensive line may be the only group that could win the battle against the Florida defensive front. Alabama QB Greg McElroy has been solid this season only throwing an interception in 3 games while throwing 16 touchdowns. McElroy’s main job will be to get the ball in position for playmakers like WR Julio Jones to have a chance to do some damage. Jones only has 545 receiving yards this season, but do not let the numbers fool you because he is a big time wide out. In what promises to be a defensive battle, big plays will be rare. However, those big plays will be huge in determining the outcome. Will Ingram be able to control the ground game or will Alabama have to result to the air game for those big plays?
Pick – Both teams are extremely talented and picking the winner is tough. On that note, I think Alabama will win in the trenches resulting in a close win.