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Florida Gators vs. Alabama Crimson Tide SEC Championship Game Predictions, Odds, Picks and NCAA Football Betting Preview – December 5, 2015

Florida Gators vs. Alabama Crimson Tide SEC Championship Game Predictions, Odds, Picks and NCAA Football Betting Preview – December 5, 2015

It’s been a long time since a team outside the SEC West has won the conference. No. 18 Florida, the last team from the East to do so in 2008, is back in the title game this year with hopes of ending the West’s run of dominance. However, the Gators have been struggling mightily on the offensive side of the ball over the last few weeks, which will make it all the more improbable to overthrow No. 2 Alabama.

The Crimson Tide will almost surely get a second-straight College Football Playoff berth with a win over the Gators, and will come in as heavy favorites to claim a third SEC title in four years.

Read on for a comprehensive breakdown of the SEC championship game. Meanwhile, check out more championship game previews with North Carolina vs. Clemson and USC vs. Stanford.

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Florida Gators vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Preview

Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta

When: Saturday, December 5, 8:00 PM ET

Line: Florida Gators (+17.5) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (-17.5); total 40.0 – view all NCAA Football lines

TV Broadcast: CBS

Betting on the Florida Gators (10-2, 7-1 SEC)

The Florida Gators are really not good on offense. That side of the ball has been in steady decline ever since the suspension of quarterback Will Grier due to performance-enhancing drugs in mid-October.

[sc:NCAA240banner ]The Gators’ glaring problem finally came to a head over the past two weeks, with embarrassing performances against Florida Atlantic, whom Florida needed overtime to beat, 20-14, and in a 27-2 blowout against Florida State.

Sophomore Treon Harris has been very inefficient as a passer since replacing Grier as the starting QB. Against Florida State, Harris went just 19-of-38 for 134 yards with no touchdowns and registered a 79.6 rating, his worst in six starts this year.

Running back Kelvin Taylor has done an admirable job carrying the offense with Harris struggling. Taylor has rushed for over 100 yards in four of his last five games, including a season-high 136 yards in a losing effort against the Noles.

However, with Alabama’s front capable of completely taking Taylor and the running game away, the fate of the offense will be squarely in the hands of Harris, which shouldn’t inspire any confidence given how he’s played.

Florida’s main hope of keeping the title game within the 17-point spread is the defense. Despite getting very little help from the offense, the Gator D is still at No. 5 in the S&P+ rankings, and is No. 4 against the run.

No front seven in the SEC has been able to stop Derrick Henry thus far, but Florida has the talent to come the closest to at least slowing Henry down. If it can do so enough to make Jake Coker more of a passer, the Gators should have a decent shot of avoiding embarrasment.

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Betting on the Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1, 7-1 SEC)

2015 SEC Championship Florida vs Alabama Predictions, Picks, Preview

For the fifth time in nine years, Alabama is in the SEC title game. The Crimson Tide are 3-1 under Nick Saban in those title games, and have won in their last three appearances after losing the first to an Urban Meyer-led Florida. Bama will be the big-time favorite ahead of its upcoming meeting in Atlanta, and it’s not hard to see why.

Since suffering a shock loss to Ole Miss in Week 3, the Tide have rolled through the SEC with relative ease. They’ve gone 6-2 ATS in their last eight conference games, and are coming off a 29-13 win over Auburn in the Iron Bowl.

Derrick Henry set yet another career-high with 271 rushing yards on 46 carries against the Tigers. Henry has been on an incredible roll for the last month and a half, which has put him in pole position in the Heisman race. He’s averaging well over 200 rushing yards with 10 touchdowns in his last five conference games.

After seeing Dalvin Cook gash the Gators run defense for 183 yards and two touchdowns last week, there’s even more reason to think Henry can impose his will upon arguably the best defense he’ll face all year.

Meanwhile, the Alabama defense hardly needs any introduction. It’s by far the best run stopping unit in the country, giving up just 79 yards per game and six rushing touchdowns all year. It was also the front seven that held previous Heisman favorite Leonard Fournette to just 31 yards on 19 carries.

Between the Gator run game having almost no shot against the Bama front, and Treon Harris hardly looking like a capable passer, it’s tough to create any scenario where the Alabama D falters against Florida’s offense.

Alabama has gone 7-2 SU (8-1 ATS) in its last nine meetings with Florida, and is a perfect 4-0 (SU and ATS) in its last four.

Writer’s Prediction

Alabama (-17.5) blows the doors off Florida for an emphatic 35-7 win.

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Written by Brad

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