Conference Championship Picks Against the Spread

The ‘Cats season has officially ended, thankfully. What a downer, hopefully we’ll make some changes going into next year (doubtful).

Now that NU football is behind us, my excitement has turned towards what could be a fun end to the CFB season. This is the first time there is at least some (potential) variety in our playoff final four.

Would be really chill to not see Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Ohio State…but instead some new blood like Cincinnati and Oklahoma State.

It all goes down this weekend, with a slate of conference championship games. The Warriors have been pretty sparse on blog posts this year, so I’ll now attempt to pick every single game this weekend against the spread. Here goes nothing.

Western Kentucky (-2.5) – UTSA

I have no analysis for this game, other than UTSA has had a very good season and beat Illinois. Why would they be an underdog in the title game? Not sure but give me the Road Runners plus the points.

Oregon – Utah (-2.5)

I’ve had very little confidence over Oregon all year, even after they beat Ohio State. They got shellacked at Utah in the first meeting between these two. Technically the Ducks still have an outside shot at the playoff, should chaos reign supreme on Saturday. Sometimes in these rematch games it goes the other way, but I think the Utes may just be a bad matchup for the Ducks. Give me Utah.

Baylor – OK State (-4.5)

Oklahoma State wins this game and they’ve got a damn good shot at making the Playoff. But here’s the thing about college football. Somehow the system always seems to benefit the blue blood, tried and true teams. It’s almost like there’s this universal conspiracy to keep new teams from breaking into the top echelon of the sport. Baylor is good and can certainly beat OK State in this spot. I see this as a tight, low scoring game and Baylor either pulls it out or loses by a FG.

Kent State (-3.5) – Northern Illinois

I’m picking Kent State because Julian Edelman went there. Did you know he played QB in college? My guard also goes up when I see a team favored by a 3.5 or 7.5 point margin. That always makes it feel like a rat line – the bookmakers are adding that extra hook to make the public lean towards the dog, when they think the favorite could win big.

Utah State – SDSU (-6.5)

Give me the Aztecs and their great punter.

Houston – Cincinnati (-10.5)

Cincy wins this and they should be in the playoff. They would be undefeated conference champions, the only team that can say that other than Georgia (if the Bulldogs also win). But, I’m a believer in this chaos conspiracy to keep the G5 teams out of the playoff. It’s bad for business.

Houston is 11-1, but it’s a fraudulent record. They have beaten absolutely no one. You could say the same for Cincy, but you would be wrong – they beat ND. Could Luke Fickell be distracted by all the rumors flying around about him joining XYZ blue blood program? I don’t think so. I see the Bearcats big in this one.

Georgia (-5.5) – Alabama

Alabama has not had a great years, by their insanely lofty standards. They needed a miracle to come back against Auburn last week. Their last four games have been decided by one score. Georgia has looked dominant all year.

So you gotta pick Georgia, right? Absolutely not. I’m never betting against Saban as a near touchdown underdog. This line was 6.5 yesterday and dropped a point already. Bama has the better QB – Bryce Young is really impressive.

Maybe I’ll be wrong and the Bulldogs will roll the Tide…but I don’t see it. I do see a close game that UGA pulls out with a late FG.

Michigan (-10.5) – Iowa

Harbaugh finally got the monkey off his back last week, beating the Buckeyes. I almost couldn’t believe my eyes, it almost seemed like an impossibility that the Wolverines would ever overcome that hump after recent history.

So now Michigan will roll in the B1G Championship game, right? Wrong. Everyone is fawning over Harbaugh this week and absolutely no one is talking about the Hawkeyes. We all talked about Harbaugh couldn’t win the big game – now that he’s won one, why do we think it’s a shoo-in he’ll win two in a row?

This is not a terrible matchup for Iowa – this is a much better scenario than playing a high scoring OSU team. The line is way too high here – this is a TD game or closer.

I see this turning this into an ugly-ass rock fight, as the Hawkeyes keep it close and turn over Michigan twice. The Wolverines ultimately pull it out, but it’s way too close for comfort and Iowa covers.

Pittsburgh (-3.5) – Wake Forest

Both teams have solid QBs – this is a pretty even matchup. I like Wake Forest plus the points in what should be a close but very high scoring game.

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