The stage is set for the fourth playoff title game, and so are the early wagering odds.
Georgia stunned Oklahoma in come-from-behind, double-overtime fashion in the first College Football Playoff semifinal this New Year’s Day, while Alabama dominated Clemson in the second. This will mark the first CFP championship game pitting two teams from the same conference, and the first since the 2011 BCS title game (LSU-‘Bama) was an all-SEC affair as well
The Bulldogs had come into their Rose Bowl matchup as two-point underdogs while the Crimson Tide was a three-point favorite; entering the first of six days worth of hype prior to next Monday night’s championship game, the Tide is anywhere from a four- to 5.5-point favorites according to various betting establishments.
BookMaker.eu has also established Alabama as an early four-point favorite. The sportsbook also offered up an explanation for its initial line:
The way the semis unfolded certainly factors into the oddsmaking for this matchup, given that Alabama played such a complete game and looked like juggernauts while Georgia simply appeared to be on the right side of a shootout. The thought was to be higher than a field goal to give Alabama the respect it deserves, but not near a touchdown where we’re giving too much value to a quality Georgia club.
Alabama and Georgia, coached by Nick Saban‘s former defensive coordinator Kirby Smart — Saban is 11-0 vs. former assistants — last met in 2015, a 38-10 win by the Tide. In fact, Saban has won the last three games vs. UGA after losing to them his first season at UA in 2007.
Of course, a fourth straight win would tie Saban with the legendary Bear Bryant for most career national championships with six.