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Alabama vs. Georgia odds, prediction, betting trends for SEC championship

Jacob Scott

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No. 3 Alabama meets No. 1 Georgia in the SEC championship game on Saturday. 

Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The game will be televised on CBS.  

Georgia (12-0) is trying to become the fourth consecutive SEC team to complete a perfect regular season. The Bulldogs have been dominant on both sides of the ball with an offense that averages 40.7 ppg. and a defense that surrenders 6.9 ppg. Georgia appears locked in to a second College Football Playoff berth under Kirby Smart. 

BENDER: Ten playoff scenarios to ponder

Alabama (11-1) is trying to win the SEC championship for the eighth time under Nick Saban, and will look to avoid a second loss that would likely knock it out of CFP contention. Quarterback Bryce Young has the opportunity to make a Heisman statement against the best defense in the FBS, and the Crimson Tide have won their last seven appearances in the SEC title game.

MORE: When Nick Saban and Kirby Smart were on the same side

This game will have a national championship feel to it, because the winner will be favored to do just that. With that in mind, here is everything you need to know to bet on the matchup between the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs. 

MORE: Against the spread picks for Championship Week | Bowl projections

Alabama vs. Georgia odds 

Spread: Georgia -6.5 Over/under: 49.5 Moneyline: Georgia -260, Alabama +205

Three trends to know  

— Alabama has won six straight meetings against Georgia, a streak that dates back to 2008. Five of those six matchups were top-10 showdowns. 

— The Crimson Tide is an underdog for the first time since Oct. 31, 2015, an incredible streak of 92 games. The last time Alabama was an underdog was against Georgia, and the Crimson Tide won 38-10. 

— The Bulldogs are 8-4 ATS this year, and they are 4-0 ATS when the line is below 20 points this season.

MORE: Where to find the next ‘home-run’ hire

Three things to watch  

— Bryce Young. Georgia’s pass defense allows just 4.9 yards per attempt, but they haven’t seen a quarterback like this in 2021. Young averages 9.3 yards per attempt, and he’s been brilliant with a dynamic tandem of receivers in Jameson Williams (1,261 yards, 13 TDs) and John Metchie III (1,045 yards, 7 TDs). They will test a Georgia secondary led by Clemson transfer Derion Kendrick and safety Lewis Cine. 

— Georgia’s running game. Stetson Bennett has been productive in Georgia’s offense, but he’s had the help of a balanced rushing attack led by Zamir White (691 yards, 10 TDs) and James Cook (581 yards, 7 TDs). The tandem isn’t flashy, but they average 5.8 yards per carry combined and are part of a grind-it-out philosophy that will test Alabama’s run defense. 

— Defensive studs. While this is seen as a chance for Young to make a Heisman statement, it could be a last-ditch campaign for Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr., who has 14.5 sacks and 30.5 tackles for loss. On the other side, Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis, a 330-pound force, has been the heart of the Bulldogs’ defense. He may have his way against an Alabama offensive line that is not up to the usual Tide standard. There is a lot of NFL talent on both sides, especially on defense. 

Stat that matters

Bennett averages 10.9 yards per pass attempt, which ranks second in the FBS. That running support allows for down-field passing to tight end Brock Bowers (652 yards, 10 TDs), Ladd McConkey (395 yards, 4 TDs) and Jermaine Burton (376 yards, 4 TDs). All three top targets average more than 15 yards per catch, and if that happens against Alabama, then the Crimson Tide is in trouble. Alabama did allow 20 passing TDs this season. 

Alabama vs. Georgia prediction 

There is psychology at work here. Georgia has not beat Alabama on this stage with Smart, and if Alabama jumps out to a first-quarter lead with its big-play offense then it could get real. Georgia, however, will stick with its game plan. Bennett threw three picks in last year’s loss, but he learns from those mistakes and relies on that ground game. Georgia hangs on in the fourth quarter this time despite a last-ditch rally from Young. If Alabama has the ball last and Georgia needs a stop to win, then who do you choose? We’ll find out Saturday. 

Final score: Georgia 27, Alabama 22

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‘Moon Knight’ Took Marvel in a Different Orbit, but It Didn’t Rise to the Occasion

Jacob Scott

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Before anyone writes that off as an anomaly, “Eternals” tackled a similar introduction of a dense mythology on the bigger screen, with equally mixed results. It’s a reminder that while film-goers have had more than a decade to get to know characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, introducing some of these lesser-known heroes can pose a more formidable challenge beyond catering to the most ardent fans.
For Marvel, there are warning signs in that, since “Moon Knight” will be followed by several series based on second-tier characters, although the next two on the horizon, “Ms. Marvel” (which is due in June) and “She-Hulk,” at least have the benefit of sharing franchises and name recognition with existing Avengers.
Ultimately, “Moon Knight’s” murky storytelling appeared to squander its principal assets, which included the cool look of the character — a costume that was too seldom used — and the presence of Isaac, who possesses additional genre credentials via the “Star Wars” sequels.

Taking its time in peeling back the layers of the character’s complicated backstory, “Moon Knight” took a weird plunge into the Egyptian mythology behind it, in ways that became increasingly confounding and surreal.

By the time the protagonist’s two halves, Steven Grant and Marc Spector, wound up in a psychiatric hospital talking to an anthropomorphic hippo in the penultimate chapter, the question wasn’t so much being able to keep up with the story as whether bothering to do so was worth the effort.

The sixth and final episode brought the plot to a messy close, seeking to stop the goddess Ammit from proceeding to “purify the souls of Cairo, and then the world.” In the customary credit sequence, the producers capped that off by introducing a third personality, Jake Lockley, also rooted in the comics. While that seemingly spelled the end for the show’s villain (Ethan Hawke), the finish — giving the god Khonshu the protégé he sought — paved the way for further adventures should Marvel so choose.

That last twist might be cause for celebration in narrower confines of the Marvel fan universe, but “Moon Knight” too often felt like it was one long Easter-egg sequence, conspicuously preaching to that choir.

Granted, Marvel has made clear that Disney+ offers the chance to explore different kinds of stories, but “Moon Knight” feels at best like a quirky showcase for Isaac and at worst a failed experiment in terms of execution and tone.

That doesn’t mean this “Moon” won’t somehow rise again, if the closely held streaming data justifies it. But the promise that surrounded this property has faded, providing further evidence that even Marvel isn’t immune from setbacks as it moves into its next phase.

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Start-up Pony.ai says it’s the first self-driving company to get a taxi license in China

Jacob Scott

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Autonomous driving start-up Pony.ai can collect fares for robotaxi rides in parts of two major Chinese cities as of Sunday.

Pony.ai handout

BEIJING — Self-driving start-up Pony.ai announced Sunday it received a taxi license, the first of its kind in China.

The license allows Pony.ai to operate 100 self-driving cars as traditional taxis in the Nansha district of the southern city of Guangzhou, the company said.

The Chinese start-up, which is backed by Toyota, received approval from Beijing city late last year to charge fees to operate a commercial robotaxi business in a suburban district of the city. It is not the same as a taxi licence.

Baidu’s Apollo Go also received approval in the same Beijing district last year.

Pony.ai was valued at $8.5 billion in early March. The company said its Nansha taxi license required 24 months of autonomous driving testing in China and/or other countries, and no involvement in any active liability traffic accidents, among other factors.

The start-up said it plans to launch commercial robotaxi businesses in two other large Chinese cities next year. The company is already testing self-driving cars in those cities and in California. 

Robotaxis in China currently have a human driver present for safety.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.

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How to watch Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies: TV channel, NBA live stream info, start time

Jacob Scott

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Who’s Playing

Memphis @ Minnesota

Current Records: Memphis 2-1; Minnesota 1-2

What to Know

The Memphis Grizzlies’ road trip will continue as they head to Target Center at 10 p.m. ET this past Saturday to face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Memphis will be strutting in after a win while Minnesota will be stumbling in from a loss.

The Grizzlies are hoping for another victory. They beat the Timberwolves 104-95 this past Thursday. The victory came about thanks to a strong surge after the first quarter to overcome a 39-21 deficit. Memphis’ success was spearheaded by the efforts of power forward Brandon Clarke, who had 20 points in addition to eight rebounds, and shooting guard Desmond Bane, who shot 7-for-15 from beyond the arc and finished with 26 points and six boards.

Barring any buzzer beaters, Memphis is expected to win a tight contest. They might be worth taking a chance on against the spread as they are currently on a two-game streak of ATS wins.

Memphis’ win brought them up to 2-1 while the Timberwolves’ defeat pulled them down to a reciprocal 1-2. A couple offensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: The Grizzlies come into the game boasting the second most points per game in the league at 115.6. But Minnesota is even better: they rank first in the league when it comes to points per game, with 115.9 on average. Tune in for what’s sure to be a high-scoring contest.

How To Watch

When: Saturday at 10 p.m. ET Where: Target Center — Minneapolis, Minnesota TV: ESPN Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.) Follow: CBS Sports App Ticket Cost: $76.96

Odds

The Grizzlies are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Timberwolves, according to the latest NBA odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Grizzlies as a 3-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

See NBA picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Memphis have won 19 out of their last 28 games against Minnesota.

Apr 21, 2022 – Memphis 104 vs. Minnesota 95 Apr 19, 2022 – Memphis 124 vs. Minnesota 96 Apr 16, 2022 – Minnesota 130 vs. Memphis 117 Feb 24, 2022 – Minnesota 119 vs. Memphis 114 Jan 13, 2022 – Memphis 116 vs. Minnesota 108 Nov 20, 2021 – Minnesota 138 vs. Memphis 95 Nov 08, 2021 – Memphis 125 vs. Minnesota 118 May 05, 2021 – Memphis 139 vs. Minnesota 135 Apr 02, 2021 – Memphis 120 vs. Minnesota 108 Jan 13, 2021 – Memphis 118 vs. Minnesota 107 Jan 07, 2020 – Memphis 119 vs. Minnesota 112 Dec 01, 2019 – Memphis 115 vs. Minnesota 107 Nov 06, 2019 – Memphis 137 vs. Minnesota 121 Mar 23, 2019 – Minnesota 112 vs. Memphis 99 Feb 05, 2019 – Memphis 108 vs. Minnesota 106 Jan 30, 2019 – Minnesota 99 vs. Memphis 97 Nov 18, 2018 – Memphis 100 vs. Minnesota 87 Apr 09, 2018 – Minnesota 113 vs. Memphis 94 Mar 26, 2018 – Memphis 101 vs. Minnesota 93 Dec 04, 2017 – Memphis 95 vs. Minnesota 92 Feb 04, 2017 – Memphis 107 vs. Minnesota 99 Nov 19, 2016 – Memphis 93 vs. Minnesota 71 Nov 01, 2016 – Minnesota 116 vs. Memphis 80 Oct 26, 2016 – Memphis 102 vs. Minnesota 98 Mar 16, 2016 – Minnesota 114 vs. Memphis 108 Feb 19, 2016 – Memphis 109 vs. Minnesota 104 Jan 23, 2016 – Minnesota 106 vs. Memphis 101 Nov 15, 2015 – Memphis 114 vs. Minnesota 106

Injury Report for Minnesota

No Injury Information

Injury Report for Memphis

Dillon Brooks: Game-Time Decision (Foot) Santi Aldama: Out (Knee) Killian Tillie: Out (Knee)

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