Minty Bets is joined by College Gameday's "The Bear" Chris Fallica to preview the No. 3 Georgia at No. 2 Alabama matchup on Saturday night.
MINTY BETS: Welcome to Mad Bets everyone. This Saturday night we've got two undefeated SEC teams facing off in Tuscaloosa. The number 3 Georgia Bulldogs up against the number 2 Alabama Crimson Tide. Now Alabama's laying 4 at home and the total is set at 56 and 1/2. I'm here with Chris Fallica of ESPN's "Daily Wager" and "College GameDay" to get his best bets for this game. Now Chris, do you think that Georgia's defense can keep up with Alabama's offense? And how do you think this whole Nick Saban thing is going to play out in this game?
CHRIS FALLICA: I think the Nick Saban positive test certainly adds a lot of intrigue to the game and the match-up. I think in terms of preparation and him not being present at practice later in the week is certainly something to pay attention to. Obviously on the sideline that can make a difference as well. It's my understanding that he's not certain definitely ruled out from being on the sideline, obviously if he's not on the sideline he cannot communicate with the team. But it's my understanding that if he were to have three negative tests from between now and the time of the game, he would be allowed on the sideline. So we'll see if that happens.
I think the fact that Steve Sarkisian has been a head coach, that's certainly eased some of the transition as well. In a weird kind of sense, I think there's actually less pressure on Alabama now and more pressure on Georgia. Alabama is in a situation where, if they happen to lose at home they'd say, OK, we didn't have our head coach, our week was unorthodox, in a program that's so used to regiment and structure in the process. It kind of got thrown out of whack this week. So they have that kind of fallback on and knowing that they could potentially have another shot at Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.
Now, if you're on the flip side, if you're Georgia, the line has come down to 4 now from 6. And say you beat Alabama, and it's like OK, well you beat them because they didn't have Nick Saban, and you know that you have to beat them again. So I think kind of in a weird sense that there might be a little bit less pressure on Alabama now on Saturday, and more on Georgia.
MINTY BETS: OK, that makes a little sense. And I know the past couple of meet-ups between Georgia and Alabama, the over has hit quite a bit. What do you like in terms of the total?
CHRIS FALLICA: Well, I think it's an under tight game. If you look at Georgia's recent history against top 10 teams, go back to the start of last year, every game that they have played a top 10 team, all five games, have gone under the total. And I think if you look at the recent match-ups with Alabama-- the SEC Championship Game, the national title game a couple years ago-- Alabama led for less than two minutes in those games. And those were under tight games. I think under's the play here. I think you're going to see Georgia's offense kind of play complementary football with its defense.
I think you're going to see James Cook, the running back, back. I think you're going to see a lot of short passes, a lot of handoff, a lot of time run off the clock to kind of help Monken and Kirby Smart are going to help its defense by keeping that high powered down offense off the field. And remember, they might not need a ton of help, because 'Bama has one of the worst three-and-out rate in the country. So I think this shapes up to be like a 28-24 type game. I believe without Nick Saban on the sideline, I think we're going to see Georgia's defense gets some stops against Alabama, and I think you're going to see Georgia's offense able to control some clock and to get some points as well.
MINTY BETS: All righty. Beautiful. Thank you so much Chris.
CHRIS FALLICA: You're quite welcome. Thank you.
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