College Football Conference Championship Lookahead Odds: ACC Championship, SEC Championship, More
Matt Cashore-Pool/Getty Images. Pictured: Notre Dame’s Kyren Williams, Clemson’s Nolan Turner
Conference Title Game Odds
|Northwestern-Ohio State (-21.5)||59.5|
|Iowa State-Oklahoma (-4.5)||58.5|
|Notre Dame-Clemson (-9.5)||60.5|
College football’s conference championship games are still a week away, but early betting lines are out looking ahead to the five matchups that are set.
According to DraftKings’ lines, just one underdog is expected to keep things close. Iowa State opened as a 4.5-point underdog in a rematch against Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game.
The Cyclones (6-2) upset the Sooners (7-2) on in Week 5, 37-30, behind 128 yards and two touchdowns from running back Breece Hall. Oklahoma has run the table since then with six consecutive wins, and Iowa State fell on the road to Oklahoma State in Week 8.
The other rematch is in the ACC where Clemson is a 9.5-point favorite seeking revenge against undefeated Notre Dame. The Irish were 47-40 victors in November over the Tigers, but the key difference is the return of quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who missed the first meeting due to COVID-19. Clemson didn’t lack in the passing game, though, as freshman D.J. Uiagalelei threw for 439 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Travis Etienne was the one bottled up, limited to 28 yards on 18 carries.
There are serious College Football Playoff implications this time around. A win locks either team inside the top four. A loss surely eliminates Clemson (9-1), while Notre Dame (10-0) would have to sweat out the decision.
The biggest spread of the week so far is in the Big Ten, where Ohio State is a 21.5-point favorite over Northwestern. And it’s only because of a rule change the Buckeyes are even allowed to play this game. The conference voted on Wednesday to eliminate its rule that a school must have at least six games to qualify for the title games. Ohio State’s sixth game was cancelled this week due to COVID-19 issues at Michigan. Northwestern plays in-state rival Illinois this week.
No. 1 Alabama is an early 13.5-point favorite over Heisman front-runner Kyle Trask and the Florida Gators. Florida will try to state its case for the Playoff with a win, but needs to jump not only the loser of the ACC game but also idle Texas A&M, which owns a win over the Gators this season.
In the AAC, Cincinnati can cap an undefeated regular season with a win over Tulsa as a 13.5-point favorite.
Most of the early lines are similar to Collin Wilson’s power rating projections, but the biggest disagreement comes in the Big 12.
Wilson’s power ratings make Oklahoma a 1-point favorite over Iowa State. Power ratings should not be followed blindly, but can be used as one resource when researching your bets.
One other resource to consider is our PRO Projections, which will grade each line compared to our projected lines. One game is already seeing lopsided action in the betting market, which can also be seen there.