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How and what to watch for No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 7 Florida in SEC Championship Game

The title game in Atlanta will feature a Bama team that is rolling and a Gator team coming off one of the most bizarre losses of the season.

Florida Gators quarterbacks Kyle Trask throws the ball for a first down in the first half in the game against the LSU Tigers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. Dec. 12, 2020. Brad McClenny-USA TODAY Sports

The SEC Championship Game matchup between the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide and the No. 7 Florida Gators has been set in stone for several weeks but some of the luster of the contest has been taken off due to, uh, let’s just say some weird circumstances.

By now everyone has had time to fully digest Florida’s inexplicable 37-34 loss against LSU last week, a game so bizarre that a player throwing a shoe led to one of the landmark upsets of this bizarre college football season. Even without star tight end Kyle Pitts, the Gator offense looked normal at least from a raw stats perspective with Heisman candidate quarterback Kyle Trask consistently finding Kadarious Toney and Jacob Copeland to finish the night with 474 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns.

However, context is key and three first-half turnovers, one of which being an Eli Ricks pick-six, allowed for LSU to enter the half with the lead. It also didn’t help that Todd Grantham’s all-or-nothing defense allowed the Tigers to somewhat consistently move the chains by allowing them to convert eight-of-19 third down attempts throughout the entire game.

Earlier that afternoon in Fayetteville, Alabama did exactly what it set out to do in a 52-3 barbecuing of Arkansas. Mac Jones, Devonta Smith and the rest of the Crimson Tide offense was able to build up a large enough lead before downshifting in the second half with their backups taking the field.

All 10 of Bama’s victories this season came by at least 15 points with Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss offense coming the closest.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Alabama vs. Florida on Saturday, December 19th at 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS, or you can stream it via the CBS Sports app with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Alabama -17 vs. Florida
Point Total: 74
Money line: Alabama -770, Florida +480

  • Alabama is a perfect 10-0 against the spread this season while Florida is 8-2.
  • Alabama is 21-14 against the spread at a neutral site under Nick Saban. Florida is 2-4 against the spread at neutral sites under Dan Mullen.
  • Florida is 6-2 against the spread as an underdog under Dan Mullen.

Betting splits

Alabama: (90% of handle, 78% percent of bets)
Florida: (10% of handle, 22% percent of bets)

The Best Bet

Even with Kyle Pitts looking good to go for Saturday, it’s hard to imagine anyone having enough to keep pace with this particular Tide squad.

Bama boasts the top offense in SP+ and a top-five unit in both explosiveness and success rate. Expect them to cover here once again.

Pick: Alabama (-17)

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