Alabama vs. Georgia (-6.5) │Total: 49.5

This has been Georgia’s season through 12 games this year. Dominant performance after dominant performance leads them to a title game against an Alabama that is one their weaker in recent years. This game starts with the battle in the trenches. Alabama has been consistently beaten here all year on offense. In the rushing game, their Power Success Rate ranks 81st at 65.4% and they rank 57th in stuff rate at 17.2%. With injuries to Roydell Williams and Jase McClellan earlier in the year, they have been forced to rely on Brian Robinson who left Saturday’s game with a lower leg injury. This forced Trey Sanders into a prominent role and to be fair, he just didn’t have it. If the Tide can’t get Robinson back, I expect them to struggle against the Georgia defense that is currently allowing a 41.1% rushing success rate (10th), and rank 18th in standard down line yards with 2.27 per attempt. They also rank 2nd in explosive rush rate allowed only behind Wisconsin. Alabama will need to rely on Young in this matchup but again, Georgia ranks 9th in sack rate. In the secondary, Georgia ranks 1st in defensive EPA per pass attempt and 6th in defensive success rate against the pass. Alabama is going to struggle.

I don’t need to continue harping on the defensive mismatch here, the real question is can Georgia cover the spread with their offense? The rushing game will likely struggle but behind Stetson Bennett, the Dawgs have one of the most efficient passing offenses in the country. Ranking 2nd in both EPA per pass attempt and passing success rate, they get a Tide defense that is weak in the secondary. Ranking 51st in defensive success rate against the pass, look for the Georgia passing game to be efficient once again. This is an Alabama defense that allowed KJ Jefferson to throw for 326 and 3 two weeks ago and allowed big games to both Hendon Hooker and Zach Calzada.

Recommendation:

Georgia -6.5 @ -110

Iowa vs. Michigan (-10.5) │Total: 43.5

The Wolverines took down the boogeyman last week in Ohio State and are on track to be playoff-bound if they can close out their season with a win over the Hawkeyes. 10.5 points is a lot in this contest considering the total is only 43.5 but it speaks mostly to how poor the Hawkeyes offense is and Michigan not turning the ball over. Iowa is T-3 in the nation with 27 turnovers on defense leading to xxx points but the Wolverines rank T-6 with only 9 turnovers all season. The Hawkeyes rank 8th in field position due to their tendency to create turnovers despite ranking 121st in net points per drive. This Iowa offense is bad and despite Spencer Petras getting the nod this week, I don’t expect improvement. The mismatch here is with Michigan’s two stud defenders, Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo should be able to get pressure all game against the Iowa line that ranks 105th in sack rate at 8.2% and 104th in pass blocking. I don’t know how the Hawkeyes generate offense this week.

On the other side, Michigan is humming on offense, ranking 18th overall in offensive success rate with a running game ranked 14th. Behind Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum, I expect the Wolverines to handle business against the Hawkeyes this week. Iowa ranks well in standard down line yards (37th) but struggles in power success rate (85th) which should help Michigan sustain drives and wear down this defense. They also perform poorly in stuff rate, ranking 84th meaning we should also see Michigan backs get beyond the line of scrimmage and into the second level where they’re difficult to stop. Additionally, over 7 games, Iowa has allowed over 20 points in all but one contest (Northwestern) and has faced four bottom-30 offenses in that stretch. This defense isn’t as strong as the raw numbers would have you believe. Another concern is the loss of key defensive pieces over the last few weeks. Senior corner Matt Hankins is out again this week and junior corner Terry Roberts is still dealing with injury if he does play. Cade McNamara could benefit here but it’s more likely it’ll help Haskins and Corum in the second level without two upperclassmen.

Recommendation:

Michigan -10.5 @ -110

Baylor vs. Oklahoma St (-5) │Total: 46.5

Baylor barely beat out Texas Tech last week despite the Red Raiders being one of the worst defensive units in the country this year. This week they get one of the best defenses in the country (ranked 1st in defensive success rate) in Oklahoma State. Since losing Gerry Bohanon to a hamstring injury, this Bears offense has been hamstrung. Failing to generate a scoring offense against a decent Kansas State team (no touchdowns in that game after Bohanon left), I expect more of the same here. Heading into last week, Oklahoma State had allowed 23 total points in the prior four games and still kept Oklahoma to only 24 offensive points last week. Baylor without Bohanon will need to rely on the rushing game but with the Pokes’ rushing defense it presents a big challenge. Defensively, they rank 1st in EPA per rush attempt (-0.385) and 1st in defensive success rate against the rush (27.3%) and allow an explosive rush rate of 8.8%.

I think the spread in this one is actually too low and this may be a game I’m willing to throw some cash on the alt-line with. I’d shop around for the best line, up to -6.5, and play that for a little sprinkle. I don’t think the Baylor defense is going to be able to hold up with their missing pieces. Defensive backs Kalon Barnes and Christian Morgan are still injured and both are big pieces of that secondary that will look to contain a Spencer Sanders offense that while it isn’t explosive it is efficient, ranking 19th in passing success rate.

Recommendation:

Oklahoma State -4.5 @ -112 (FanDuel)

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