The 2018 College Football National Championship will be decided by two teams from the school’s best conference. Alabama and Georgia will square off Monday night in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, proving which team is truly the best in the SEC.

The Crimson Tide have been considered the best team in college football for most of the year. That’s why they were favored over No.1 Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, and it’s why the betting odds favor them in the title game. Georgia is a 4.5-point underdog, per OddsShark, and the game’s over/under is 45.5.

But it wasn’t Alabama that won the 2017 SEC Championship. That was Georgia, who defeated Auburn handily in the title game a month ago. The Bulldogs won the SEC East by going 7-1 in the conference, and the Crimson Tide finished second in the SEC West because of their loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl.

Both teams suffered just one loss in 2017, but they advanced in the CFP final by competing in very different semifinal games. Alabama topped defending national champion Clemson 24-6 in a largely uneventful Sugar Bowl. Georgia and Oklahoma went into overtime for the first time in Rose Bowl history, scoring a combined 102 points.

The national title game should look a lot more like the Sugar Bowl. The two teams have gotten this far on the strength of their defenses, which are among the best in the country.

Alabama is first in the country, giving up 11.5 points per game. Georgia ranks fourth by allowing 13.2 points per contest. The Crimson Tide have the nation’s No.3 rushing defense, and the Bulldogs are second against the pass. Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick was named college football’s best defensive back (Jim Thorpe Award) and the defensive player of the year (Chuck Bednarik Award). Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith was named the best player at his position (Dick Butkus Award).

Jalen Hurts Alabama Jalen Hurts #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide and Da'Ron Payne #94 celebrate with player of the game trophies after the AllState Sugar Bowl against the Clemson Tigers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Jan. 1, 2018 in New Orleans. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

If Monday’s game is going to resemble anything like the Rose Bowl, Georgia might have the advantage. The Bulldogs have the contest’s best offensive weapons in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Not only did the two running backs both rush for at least 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns this season, but they set an FBS record against Oklahoma by combining to total 326 yards on the ground.

Jake Fromm passed a major test in the Rose Bowl. The true freshman completed 20 of 29 passes for 210 yards and two scores, failing to commit a turnover in the biggest game of his life. Jalen Hurts didn’t put up big numbers against Clemson, completing 16 of 24 passes for just 120 yards.

Georgia’s offense, of course, won’t put up those types of numbers against Nick Saban’s defense.

The biggest key for the Bulldogs will be having success against the Crimson Tide’s run defense. The unit allows just 2.8 yards per carry, and they limited Clemson to just 64 yards on 33 attempts.

Having success against an Oklahoma pass defense that ranked 86th in opponents’ passer rating is one thing. Let’s see what Fromm can do when facing the unit that’s second in opponent’s passer rating.

Hurts might not put up big statistics, but he’ll avoid big mistakes that could cost Alabama the game. The quarterback played in the national championship game as a freshman last year, and he’s been picked off just once this season.

Alabama looked like the national title favorite for the first two months of the season. After suffering several injuries on defense, the team had a few close calls before finally losing in the regular-season finale.

The Crimson Tide are healthy, and they are college football’s best team. Georgia should make it interesting, but it’s hard to bet against Alabama in their third straight trip to the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Prediction: Alabama over Georgia, 26-16