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College football betting picks: NCAAF Conference Championship rundown and odds

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The final push for the best possible bowl position is here and plenty of teams have statements to make.

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⚡ Quick tips for NCAAF Conference Championship week:

  1. Washington vs.Oregon: Washington +9.5 -110 odds with DraftKings
  2. Michigan vs. Iowa: Michigan -22.5 -105 odds on BetMGM
  3. SMU vs. Tulane: SMU +3.5 -113 odds with BetRivers

🏅 Win odds overview for this week’s matchups

  • #24 Liberty (-10.5) vs New Mexico State (+335 ML) | BetRivers
  • #5 Oregon (-9.5) vs #3 Washington (+275 ML) | DraftKings
  • #7 Texas (-14.5) vs #18 Oklahoma State (+500 ML) | BetMGM
  • Toledo (-7.5) vs Miami OH (+230) | BetRivers
  • Boise State (-2.5) vs UNLV (+114 ML) | DraftKings
  • #1 Georgia (-5.5) vs #8 Alabama (+180 ML) | BetMGM
  • #22 Tulane (-3.5) vs SMU (+135  ML) | BetRivers
  • Troy (-6) vs Appalachian State (+195 ML) | DraftKings
  • #4 Florida State (-2.5) vs #14 Louisville (+115 ML) | BetMGM
  • #2 Michigan (-22.5) vs #16 Iowa (+1000 ML) | BetMGM

NCAAF Conference Championship week overview

With Championship Week upon us, there is plenty that can occur to shake up the College Football playoff picture with no team seeming to have a spot set in stone. Michigan put themselves in the best position possible by defeating Ohio State 30-24 last week, but still sit at #2 in the latest College Football Playoff poll.

Georgia remains the top seed, although they will face off against Alabama in the SEC Championship with the results set to have some massive playoff implications. Oregon and Washington are also set to face off in the PAC-12 Championship with a playoff seed likely on the line as well.

It should be noted that Washington secured a thrilling 36-33 victory when they faced off early on in the season but both have strong cases for why they deserve to be among the top four.

As the current playoff picture sits, Georgia controls the top spot, Michigan sits in second, Washington ranks third, Florida State comes in at fourth, Oregon at fifth, Ohio State ranks sixth, Texas comes in at seventh, and Alabama rounds out the top eight.

There are fair cases to be made for each of these teams deserving a spot in the College Football Playoffs and the results of this week will largely decide which will get the opportunity.

While the playoff expansion next season will make this the last massive crunch, there is plenty of madness set to occur with so much at stake.

Here is a look at the top value on the college football betting board ahead of the Week 14 slate of Conference Championship games.

NCAAF weekly predictions

This is among the most hectic weeks of college football due to all the playoff implications. While most assume Michigan punched their ticket to the playoff with the victory over Ohio State, this could change if they struggle against Iowa’s stingy defense in the Big Ten Championship Game.

There also will be plenty of eyes on the ACC Championship Game as undefeated Florida State takes on 14th-ranked Louisville. While the injury to quarterback Jordan Travis drastically changed the Seminoles’ National Championship outlook, it is still difficult to dispute their resume for why they deserve a spot in the top four.

However, Louisville is not a team that can be taken lightly and a victory by the Cardinals would make life easier for the committee. The SEC Championship between Alabama and Georgia also might as well have a playoff entry at stake. Despite having won the National Championship the past two years and entering with an undefeated record, Georgia is not a lock to get into the final four without a victory considering their lack of notable wins on the season.

This also would be interesting if Alabama were to get the victory as Texas currently sits ahead of them in the rankings and defeated them 34-24 in the second week of the season- which is the Crimson Tide’s lone loss. 

As things currently stand, Michigan and Georgia are the betting co-favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook to win the National Championship at +190 odds. Oregon sits behind them at +500 odds, with Texas at +900, and Alabama at +1000.

Looking deeper, Washington still holds +1800 odds of winning it all, Florida State sits at +2800, and Ohio State holds +6000 odds. As far as the race for the Heisman Trophy goes, Oregon QB Bo Nix continues to be the favorite at -175 odds. LSU QB Jayden Daniels is right on his tail at +140 odds with there being a notable gap beyond these two.

Washington QB Michael Penix Jr holds +1600 odds to win the Heisman while Alabama QB Jalen Milroe sits at +10000 odds. While normally these would be far too large odds to seriously consider taking, things could change quickly if either quarterback is able to lead their team to an upset victory this week and propel them into the college football playoff.

Despite the season coming to a close, these notable races remain wide open and could shift dramatically depending on this week’s results. 

1

Conference Championship week picks for the NCCAF

Championship Week college football betting picks

With plenty on the line this week, here is a look at the best value on the betting slate and a breakdown of each matchup.

✔️ Washington vs.Oregon: Washington +9.5 (-110) at DraftKings

  • Date and time: Friday, December 1st, 8:00 PM EST
  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • TV/Stream: ABC

Set to kick off at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, this will be a neutral site for both West Coast teams. With the Heisman race and a playoff seed on the line, the stage is set for a thrilling matchup with the bright lights shining. Washington has won 19 straight games dating back to last season and controls their destiny for the college football playoff.

However, Oregon enters at 9.5 point favorites with early money coming in on their side indicating this could reach into the double-digits ahead of kickoff. While Oregon is hungry for revenge and is sure to bring their best effort, this simply is too large of a spread for two evenly-matched teams.

Both Oregon and Washington have high-powered offenses capable of putting up points in a hurry. Their first matchup ended 36-33 with the game coming right down to the wire. On the season, Washington is averaging 38.0 points per game which ranks 11th in the country.

Michael Penix Jr has completed 65.6% of his passes and thrown for 3899 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. The Huskies are allowing 23.0 points per game on the season which is the 48th-best rate in the country.

On the other side, Oregon has a similar identity as a team. They rank 2nd in the country in scoring at 45.2 points per game and are holding opponents to just 15.9 points per game which is the 7th-best rate. Heisman favorite Bo Nix has completed 78.6% of his passes this season for 3906 yards, 37 touchdowns, and just a pair of interceptions. They also are coming off a convincing 31-7 victory over 16th-ranked Oregon State last week. 

Expect this to be a high-scoring matchup with both teams making some big plays. But the spread is simply too large for two teams of this magnitude, especially given the stakes behind the game. Expect Washington and Oregon to go blow for blow and for the game to remain within striking distance for both teams throughout.

While this does feel like an ideal spot for Oregon to get its revenge, don’t expect Michael Penix Jr and Company to go down without a fight. For what it is worth, the underdog has won the last four PAC-12 title games outright leading up to this matchup. Take the points and count on Washington to cover the 9.5 spread.

🏈 Bet on Washington to cover the 9.5 spread at -110 with DraftKings 🏈

✔️ Michigan vs. Iowa: Michigan -22.5 outcome (-105) at BetMGM

  • Date and time: Saturday, December 2nd, 8:00 PM EST
  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • TV/Stream: FOX

Michigan picked up arguably the biggest win of the entire college football season last week by taking down Ohio State 30-24. While this matchup held most of the shine, they must continue to take care of business and face the other side of the Big Ten. Jim Harbaugh will be returning to the sideline after serving his suspension over the past three games.

While there was plenty of attention paid to the sign-stealing saga, the Wolverines did a nice job of taking care of business in his absence and their biggest goals remain within reach. Expect them to use this matchup as a tune-up where they expand the playbook more than has been the case the past few weeks. While there seemed to be a simplified gameplan for quarterback J.J. McCarthy without Harbaugh the past three weeks, this will change with the gameday operations returning to normal. 

Lining up and hoping to stop them will be the Iowa Hawkeyes. They are entering this matchup with a 10-2 record and ranked 16th in the college football playoff rankings. However, they average just 18.0 points per game which ranks 124th out of 133 qualifying Division One programs.

While their offense took a notable hit when quarterback Cade McNamara tore his ACL, this is not an unfamiliar identity of Iowa. They have scored over 26 points just once this season and scored under 16 points in five of their last six matchups. While the Hawkeyes have been dominant defensively, ranking 4th in the country allowing 12.2 points per game, Michigan will have the most firepower of any team they have faced this season. 

The only chance Iowa has of winning this game is to turn it into a defensive slugfest. Iowa’s team total is sitting at 6.5 points with their team touchdowns line at 0.5. Michigan has an impressive defense of its own and a roster filled with more NFL talent than Iowa has seen all year. Expect the talent difference to be evident and for Michigan to blow the doors off this matchup.

The Wolverines have gotten through their adversity this season and have their sights set on a National Championship. They will leave no doubts in this one and have a real chance to produce a shutout victory by a massive margin. Take them to cover the 22.5 point spread and don’t expect Iowa to ever feel as if they have a chance in this one.

🏈 Bet on a Michigan -22.5 outcome at -105 with BetMGM 🏈

✔️ SMU vs. Tulane: SMU +3.5 (-113) with BetRivers

  • Date and time: Saturday, December 2nd, 3:00 PM EST
  • Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
  • TV/Stream: ABC

The AAC Championship will not dominate the headlines like some of the other matchups, but they all count the same in the bet slips. Both these teams have been among the top 25 ranked teams in the country throughout the season and currently sit as the 17th and 25th ranked teams respectively. Each team has faced similar conference opponents and had similar success but are constructed differently as teams. 

SMU has had an efficient offensive attack this season averaging 41.8 points per game which ranks 5th in the country, while holding opponents to just 17.7 points- the 13th-best rate. Their defense also ranks 7th in the country in yards per play. However, the biggest storyline to note is SMU quarterback Preston Stone suffering a broken leg to keep him out for the remainder of the year. On the season he completed 59.9% of his passes and has thrown for 3197 yards, 28 touchdowns, and just six interceptions.

Kevin Jennings will step in as quarterback and has received a handful of snaps during blowouts throughout the year. Jennings was a three-star recruit coming into college and has thrown 46 pass attempts in his two years at SMU. It is to be determined how large of a dropoff it will be from Preston Stone, but this will largely dictate the outlook for the Mustangs. 

Tulane has also had an impressive season thus far. They are currently ranked 17th in the AP poll and have hovered around the top 25 all season. The Green Wave are averaging 27.9 points per game which ranks 63rd in the country.

However, they are holding opponents to just 18.3 points per game which is the 18th-best rate. Michael Pratt will start at quarterback and has completed 66.4% of his passes this season for 2168 yards, 21 touchdowns, and four interceptions. They also lean heavily on running back Makhi Hughes who has run for 1246 yards and seven touchdowns on the season. 

If it weren’t for the injury to Preston Stone, SMU would likely be the favorite in this matchup. While Tulane is ranked higher, SMU has played more dominant football this year and its defensive unit is the most dominant group on either team. Kevin Jennings has more experience than most backup quarterbacks due to the number of blowouts the Mustangs have been in and has more talent around him due to the way SMU has attacked the transfer portal.

Take advantage of the +3.5 spread and don’t be surprised if SMU gets the outright victory. Expect Tulane to struggle against the SMU defense and for there to be enough firepower on the other side of the ball for the Mustangs to get the win.

🏈 Bet on an SMU +3.5 spread at -113 with BetRivers 🏈

College football betting weekly highlights

  • Alabama RB Jase McClellan is questionable with a lower-body injury
  • Boise State QB Maddux Madsen is out for the year with a leg injury
  • Florida State QB Jordan Travis is out for the year with a broken leg
  • Georgia WR Ladd McConkey is questionable an ankle injury
  • SMU QB Preston Stone is out for the season with a broken leg
  • Texas RB CJ Baxter is questionable with a hip injury
  • Home teams are 542-315 this year straight up (63.2%)
  • Away teams are 315-542 this year straight up (36.8%)
  • Home teams are 405-430-22 against the spread this season (48.5%)
  • Away teams are 430-405-22 against the spread this season (51.5%)
  • Favorites are 413-422-22 against the spread this season (49.5%)
  • Underdogs are 422-413-22 against the spread this season (50.5%)
  • Home favorites are 272-289-16 against the spread this season (48.5%)
  • Away favorites are 141-133-6 against the spread this season (51.5%)
  • Home underdogs are 133-141-6 against the spread this season (48.5%)
  • Overs are 432-410 on the season (51.3%)
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  • DraftKings (Available in: AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, MD, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, TN, VA, and WV)
  • BetRivers (Available in: AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, LA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA, WV, and WY)
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Big football fan? Check out the best NFL betting sites for the season!

About the author

Sean Barnard

Sean Barnard has worked in sports media for the past five years. He has spent time as the 76ers Lead Writer for Philly Sports Network, Associate Editor at CluchPoints, Eagles Beat Reporter for YardBarker, and more. He also owns and operates his own Podcast Network called Pick Swap Media and is a radio host on Fox 102.5 The Gambler presented by iHeartMedia. Sean has written over 1500 articles and recorded over 500 podcasts and is just getting started. Based out of the Philadelphia region in the United States, Sean is a lifelong passionate sports fan who can be reached on Twitter at @Sean_Barnard1 where he rattles off basketball breakdowns and other news.

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