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12:00PM EST: Texas -15 (4 Units)
By now you should be plenty familiar with Texas. We've used them Against the Spread 4 times and have gone 4-0. They have one of the best defenses in the country and it all starts up front. Their defensive line is as good as any in the Country and that's where games are won and lost. DT T'Vondre Sweat is a nimble 364 pound monster in the middle. He was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and a critical part of the Longhorns success. He along with Byron Murphy II form the best interior duo in the nation. The Texas Defense allows just 17 points per game and rank 1st in 3rd down and red zone defense. They also allow just 85 rushing yards per game.
This Oklahoma State offense runs through the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year RB Ollie Gordon. He's averaging 131.6 rushing yards per game, 6.4 yards per carry, and has 20 rushing touchdowns. Those running lanes just aren't going to be there against Texas. Gordon's going to make some plays here and there, he's a very talented player. They just won't be there for him consistently. Oklahoma State QB Alan Bowman is going to have to make big time throws and he's far from an elite passer. Mike Gundy had a 3 QB rotation to start the year before settling on Bowman. The big 6'4 QB has completed 59.9% of his passes for 2,808 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He's also not much of a running threat either. He has 24 carries for 20 yards on the year.
On the flip side the Texas offense should have no issue moving the ball. The Cowboys are outside the top 100 (of 132) in both yards allowed per play and explosive pass rate allowed. Texas has scored 29 or more points in every game except for their trip to Iowa State. They scored 26 and it was the week immediately following the Jonathon Brooks injury. They've figured out the backfield however, CJ Baxter ran for 117 yards on 20 carries that day and the following week Jaydon Blue ran for 121 on just 10 carries. Savion Red added 9 for 72 and Baxter 9 for 45. They do no lack talent at the RB position.
They also have Quinn Ewers at QB. He can do it all and will be asked to do so as Texas makes one last push for a chance at the College Football playoff. That's another reason we like Texas the cover the big number. Winning this game might not even be enough to get them into the playoff. Style Points matter and a very convincing win over the Cowboys could go a long way in the eyes of the committee. Fully expect Texas to keep pouring it on. We do believe they're one of the top 4 teams in the Country and it's because this roster is loaded from the top down. They're better than Oklahoma State at just about every position and if they play they're brand of football, they cover this number easy.
4:00PM EST: Alabama +5 (3 Units)
This is as good as College Football gets, Georgia and Bama in the SEC championship game with what is likely playoff hopes on the line. There isn't a tougher conference to navigate in CFB and both Nick Saban and Kirby Smart have made it look easy at times. Georgia has won back-to-back National titles, but last season was their first SEC championship win since Smart's only other one in 2017. Nick Saban's Alabama won it the 2 years prior to last's and 4 times since Smart joined Georgia. Saban holds a 3-1 record over Smart but that 1 loss came in the 2022 National Championship game.
This should be another good one in the Alabama vs Georgia history books. Game can go either way. Both teams are coming off uninspiring wins during Rivalry Week. Alabama won on a practical miracle while Georgia made Georgia Tech look like a playoff team. Wouldn't put too much stock into either of those performances. Both teams have been playing really good football up to this point. Rivalry week last week and a clear look ahead to the SEC championship which was already set.
Alabama's had the tougher road to get to the SEC championship. Their Strength of Schedule ranks 31st compared to Georgia's 61st. They have quite a few similar opponents but the match-up against Texas is going to go a long way for Alabama. They also played Texas A&M before they imploded. The defensive talent on that team was and is incredibly deep. Just a lot of adversity and battling going on for this Alabama team this year and that will come in handy. Georgia is one of the best teams in the Nation and they're going to make plays. Alabama will have to respond.
Georgia's defense is good, but they aren't nearly as great as they have been the past couple years. They don't have that dominant Defensive Line or Elite Pass rush like they used to. They all got drafted in early rounds the last 2 years. Going back, they had just 2 sacks against Georgia Tech, 1 the week before vs Tennessee, 2 vs Ole Miss, and 3 against Mizzu. Alabama's pass protection struggled early this year to say the least, but they've put it together. Milroe's been sacked just 4 times in his last 4 games. Some of that is also Milroe improving as a QB as the year progresses.
They've also struggled against running Quarterbacks this year and Alabama has one in Jalen Milroe. Their competitive games have come when a mobile QB has done damage. Last week against GT their QB ran for a couple touchdowns. Against Mizzu QB B. Cook ran 10 times for 57 yards. Then when they were nearly upset by Auburn their QB's combined for 140 rushing yards. Milroe had 18 carries for 107 yards against Auburn last week and he's sure to run early and often in this one.
Alabama's defense has been playing very well of late too. Not the best showing against Auburn last week but that's rivalry week football. The SEC date with Georgia was already set too. Saban does a wonderful job getting his back end up to speed as the year goes on. They got much needed experience and were tested early against a Veteran Texas team and the Longhorns had success against them. Since then, they've allowed more than 21 points just twice. Last week's 24 in the Iron Bowl and 28 against LSU's #1 ranked offense.
Georgia's Offense has stalled at times this year. Carson Beck is a first year QB after all and he's had a pretty easy go of it. He's been sacked just 8 times this year and in only 4 games this year. Saban is going to try and make Beck uncomfortable and how does he respond to it? This is where that adversity and gauntlet for Alabama comes into play. Milroe's a first year as well but he's been through the ringer. Beck's coasted for much of the year and that's not going to happen against Alabama.
Fully expect a dog fight and close game. Saban is 3-1 against Smart and that National Championship game in 2022 was a lot closer than the final score indicated. Alabama held an 18-13 lead in the 4th quarter before Georgia rolled off 20 straight. That Georgia football team was as talented as any CFB team had been in the Nation. We trust Bama to keep this game tight, even if Saban's going to lose to Georgia for the 2nd straight time.