Wilson: Projected Odds & Over/Unders College Football Conference Championship Games
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Brian Herrien
A chaotic Week 14 closed out the college football regular season, and the biggest news of the day came from the Iron Bowl, where Alabama look its second loss.
The Crimson Tide have not lost this many regular season games since a Greg McElroy led 3-loss effort in 2010. And while we rejoice over the cashing “Alabama Will Not Make the Playoff” tickets, the College Football Playoff picture got a little more clear.
Now, we turn our attention to conference championship weekend, which will set the table for the College Football Playoff.
The No. 4 seed for the CFP will likely be LSU, Utah or Oklahoma. If you are a Utah and Oklahoma supporter, you should be rooting for LSU to knock out Georgia.
Our Action Network power ratings have been adjusted and can project CFP lines. While some books are beginning to release those spreads, here’s what our ratings make each combination:
- Clemson -1.5 vs. Ohio State
- Ohio State -3 vs. LSU
- Ohio State -10 vs. Georgia
- Ohio State -8.5 vs. Utah
- Clemson -4.5 vs. LSU
- Clemson -11.5 vs. Georgia
- Clemson -10 vs. Utah
- LSU -7 vs. Georgia
- LSU -5.5 vs. Utah
- Utah -1.5 vs. Georgia
Along with Circa Sports power ratings, you can use these numbers to take advantage of any soft opening lines.
But before we get to that, conference title weekend is up. And we are projecting every point spread below in anticipation of Sunday opening lines.
Look here to identity early betting value when opening lines are released on Sunday and follow me in The Action Network App to see when I bet those lines.
Projected Conference Championship Game Odds
Championship Week Notes
Pac 12: As suggested in the Utah team preview, every single future from 10/1 to +350 should have been scooped up to win the conference. Only a date with 2-loss Oregon remains where there should be plenty of hedge room with a projected spread of Utah -6.
An abundance of questions about hedging will surround this game and my personal rule of thumb will never change… always put in a minimum on the other side to ensure profit. A gambler will always win longterm with guaranteed money in the wallet.
From an injury perspective, Oregon offensive lineman Jake Hanson missed the Oregon State game, and his status for the Pac 12 Championship is unknown.
Weather will play a role in this game, not just because of possible rain during the game but the condition of the turf in Levi’s Stadium. Last year’s national title game had a full replacement because of conditions. Rain is forecasted every single day up and through the championship game.
MAC: The biggest news is the injury to quarterback Brett Gabbert for Miami of Ohio. The freshman has thrown for almost 2,000 yards on the season with 10 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.
Sophomore backup quarterback Jackson Williamson has attempted just 19 passes this season.
The Chippewas won just a single game last season before the hire or Jim McElwain. They should have plenty of success on the ground against a Redhawks defense that is outside the top 80 in rushing efficiency.
Big 12: Will the rematch feature the teams that played in the first half or second half in Week 12? The Sooners played turnover-free against Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma has not played mistake free since a 52-14 slaying of West Virginia.
Baylor is top 25 in defensive havoc, a major reason why it led Oklahoma 28-3 a few weeks ago. No significant injuries occurred in Week 14, as Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer had just 25 passing attempts in a blowout of Kansas.
Sun Belt: Appalachian State will host with a better overall record at 11-1.
The Mountaineers may be susceptible to explosive plays on rushing attempts by UL Lafayette. They rank outside the top 100 in opponent 40 and 50-yard rushing plays. Both offenses are top 10 in finishing drives, forecasting plenty of points in Boone.
Speaking of forecasts, there is no precipitation expected in the area in the days leading to kick.
Conference USA: The University of Alabama-Birmingham has done it once again under head coach Bill Clark. A Southern Miss loss to Florida Atlantic left the door open for the Blazers to win the West. A Mason Fine pick six would be the deciding factor in sending UAB to Boca Raton.
4TH AND 1 UNT…
— UAB Football (@UAB_FB) November 30, 2019
Do not expect a rushing attack from either team in this game. Both UAB and Florida Atlantic rank top 10 in defensive rushing success and outside the top 100 in offensive rushing success rate.
The Blazers have played the easiest schedule in FBS, but a defensive havoc and finishing drives rank in the top 20 always have Bill Clark’s team in a position to pull an upset.
AAC: These two teams will meet for a second straight week after Memphis won 34-24 to close out the regular season.
The benching of Desmond Ridder paid off for head coach Luke Fickell, as freshman quarterback Ben Bryant had over 200 yards passing in the loss. More importantly, Cincinnati had multiple offensive drives that went 10 or more plays. Ridder is listed as questionable for the championship game.
SEC: Georgia will be down another receiving target as George Pickens was ejected for fighting with Georgia Tech and suspended for the first half. Pickens is second in receptions and yards for the Bulldogs behind Lawrence Cager, who is doubtful to return this season.
LSU ranks as one of the worst teams in the nation on opponent pass explosiveness, something Jake Fromm and the Georgia offense will not have the ability to expose.
2 really important points regards George Pickens:
1. Fighting and getting kicked out to miss the first half of the SEC champ vs LSU is a terribly selfish move.
2. If you are going to get kicked out go all in like this. Don’t make it for one swing.
— George Wrighster III (@georgewrighster) November 30, 2019
MWC: Jaylon Henderson continued winning games as Boise State’s quarterback, his third straight since Hank Bachmeier and Chase Cord went down with injury.
The weather calls for a 40% chance of rain, but the kickoff time should be noted.
After playing a game well into the Sunday morning hours in Week 14, this game will kick approximately 10 a.m. Honolulu time. This will be the Rainbow Warriors’ sixth trip to the mainland since Sept. 14.
These teams played on Oct. 12, a 22-point victory by the Broncos. The final tally covers a box score that had Boise State leading 52-21 after the third quarter.
ACC: Virginia overcame an extended drought in their series against Virginia Tech only to be rewarded with Clemson. The Tigers are firing on all cylinders at the right time in the season.
— Collin Wilson (@_Collin1) November 30, 2019
Trevor Lawrence started the season searching for an answer to the Hunter Renfrow absence. After spending weeks lobbing the ball to his targets, Lawrence is hitting every target in stride for multiple explosive touchdowns each week.
— Collin Wilson (@_Collin1) November 30, 2019
The defense has been lights out, too. The Tigers are top 25 in every advanced statistical category but special teams. Virginia is outside the top 75 in opponent rush and pass explosiveness. Offensively the Cavaliers are 108th in sack rate, a number that will be in play against Clemson defense that is top 5 in sack rate.
B1G: A rematch from a one-sided Buckeyes victory in October. The biggest question revolves around the effectiveness of the Wisconsin offense, as it was nullified in Columbus. The Badgers will be hard pressed to overcome an Ohio State defense that is top 10 in success rate. The Buckeyes have given up points to Rutgers, Michigan and Penn State in recent weeks.
The Wisconsin defense must get pressure on Justin Fields. The Buckeyes quarterback has left the game with injury the previous two weeks only to return. These are the top two teams in the nation in defensive havoc, and Wisconsin will need every bit of it to cover the number.
Data not updated with Week 14 results