It’s conference championship week, which brings a conclusion to the college football regular season and we have plenty of exciting and interesting matchups.
Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio State will be playing this weekend with College Football Playoff aspirations on their minds. For other teams, a win in their conference title game will mean a more prestigious and better bowl game.
I have a few solid betting opinions for the conference championship slate which will hopefully lead to some bigger bankrolls by the time all the dust settles…
Texas (+7.5) vs. Oklahoma (Saturday): The Sooners are as lethal and potent offensively as any team in college football. Oklahoma has been led by dual threat QB Kyler Murray, scoring 45+ points in seven straight games. But their defense remains a problem and that concerns me in this type of price range where Oklahoma is being asked to win this game by more than a TD to cash a ticket.
Oklahoma’s struggling stop unit has surrendered 46+ points in four straight games. These teams played during the regular season and Texas won outright as underdogs, 45-42, catching right around the same number of points they are here. Once again, the incredible track record of Longhorns head coach Tom Herman as an underdog comes into play here. In his head coaching roles at Houston and now currently with Texas combined, Herman is 12-1-1 ATS in 14 tries as an underdog.
Texas is 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings against Oklahoma and the Sooners’ three SU victories in those games all came by identical five-point margins of victory. The points are worth taking here. TEXAS
Memphis (+3) vs. Central Florida (Saturday): UCF is still undefeated and has a chance to complete another perfect regular season with a victory here at home in the AAC Championship against Memphis. But the Knights will be forced to move forward without their awesome senior QB McKenzie Milton, who sustained a season ending knee injury in last week’s game against South Florida. It was a massive blow to the team but I do not believe it is something they are incapable of overcoming here.
QB Darriel Mack Jr. will take over under center for UCF and he’s gotten some playing time this season and I think he has the talent to be able to hold the fort at a reasonable level. There is obviously no replacing McKenzie Milton who was having a season worthy of Heisman Trophy consideration but Mack led UCF to victory when he started for an injured Milton against East Carolina in a 37-10 win back in October. He is a mobile QB just like Milton and is fully capable of making plays with his legs along with his arm so the Knights offense schematically doesn’t have to change all that much going from Milton to Mack which should ease the transition a bit.
Memphis money has been rolling in, but I can only recommend going against that move now with UCF down to as low as -3 in this game. UCF
Pittsburgh (+26.5) vs. Clemson (Saturday): I have cashed multiple tickets betting on the Panthers this season and there is some appeal for me getting this many points with a Pitt squad that is a run-heavy offense that prefers to control clock and time of possession.
However, Clemson’s defense probably matches up very well with Pitt in this ACC Championship game. Pitt wants and needs to run the football effectively to have success on offense.
Unfortunately for Pitt, Clemson’s defensive front is incredible. They have shut down the run all season allowing only 91.8 yards per game on a paltry 2.4 yards per carry.
This is a tough game to handicap. Clemson doesn’t have to win by margin here as just winning the game in any fashion will safely get them into the playoff and there is value in this number on Pitt. PITTSBURGH
Last week: 0-3