CFB Picks 12/07: Conference Championship Weekend
College Football Conference Championship weekend is here!
The SEC, Big 10 and Big 12 will all be settled on Saturday as #1 Ohio State battles #8 Wisconsin, #2 LSU faces #4 Georgia, and #7 Baylor takes on #6 Oklahoma in an epic rematch. Here’s a closer look at those matchups:
- Ohio State has a 5-0 W/L record in night games against Wisconsin since 2011.
- The Buckeyes have covered the spread in each of their last four night games. Stats courtesy
Ohio State takes its undefeated record to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship in a rematch with Wisconsin.
The last time these teams met in late October the Buckeyes rolled to a commanding 38-7 win.
In that matchup, defensive end Chase Young dominated with four sacks while running back J.K. Dobbins dashed his way for 163 yards and two touchdowns. Young, a Heisman candidate, leads the FBS with 16.5 sacks.
#1 Ohio State (12-0) rolled over rival #13 Michigan 56-27, led by a huge outing from fellow Heisman candidate Justin Fields who completed 14-of-25 for 302 yards and four touchdowns, adding six carries for 25 yards.
#8 Wisconsin (10-2) won a fourth consecutive game in its biggest win of the year, defeating #8 Minnesota 38-17.
Running back Jonathon Taylor showcased why he is the best back in the nation, rushing for 76 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, adding two receptions for 39 yards and one touchdown.
My pick is Ohio State to cover the spread (-16.5) @ +100, and remain undefeated heading into the College Football Playoff.
The Buckeyes have the best offense in college football, averaging 49.9 ppg, and fourth best defense, allowing only 11.8 ppg. My expectation is a similar result to when these teams first met in Columbus.
- Georgia has cover the spread in each of the last eight games against Top-10 AP ranked teams at neutral venues. Stats courtesy of Statschecker.
The #4 Georgia Bulldogs put their College Football Playoff hopes on the line as they battle arguably the top team in the nation, the #2 LSU Tigers in the SEC Championship.
LSU (12-0) have steamrolled through the competition all season behind projected number one overall pick and Heisman front runner Joe Burrow. Behind quarterback Burrow, the Tigers have the second best offense in the FBS averaging 48.7 ppg.
Last time out, the Tigers dominated the Texas A&M Aggies 50-7. Burrow completed 23-of-32 for 352 yards and three touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Georgia (11-1) took care of business on the road with a blowout win of their own by defeating the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 52-7.
Quarterback Jake Fromm played well throwing for four touchdown passes and 254 yards on 14-of-29 attempts.
The Bulldogs’ defense has been elite this season, allowing the second fewest points in the FBS (10.4 ppg).
Take Georgia to cover the spread (+7) @ -110.
The Bulldogs have the luxury of essentially hosting the SEC Championship with this game being played in the Georgia Dome. My expectation is that homefield advantage and a stout defense will be enough to keep this game within a touchdown.
- Baylor has a 2-6 W/L record as an away underdog since 2016. Stats courtesy of Statschecker.
#7 Baylor and #6 Oklahoma meet for the second time in four weeks in a rematch of what was an instant classic in Waco, Texas.
Back in mid-November, the Sooners trailed 31-10 at half-time but managed to outscore the Bears 24-0 in the second half to win 34-31.
Oklahoma (11-1) wrapped up the regular season by taking down rival #21 Oklahoma State Cowboys 34-16.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts ran, threw and caught a touchdown in a monster game for the Sooners. Hurts completed 13-of-16 for 163 yards and a touchdown, adding 16 carries for 61 yards and one score, and a four-yard reception for his third touchdown.
Baylor (11-1) went on the road and forced six turnovers en route to rolling over the Kansas Jayhawks 61-6. Running back JaMycal Hasty contributed three rushing touchdowns and 92 yards on 14 carries.
Oklahoma is my play to cover the spread (-9.5) @ +100.
The Sooners offense average the fifth most points in the FBS (44.3 ppg), and although the Bears can put up points too (36.2 ppg), anticipate Oklahoma to outlast Baylor behind a huge outing from the former National Champion Hurts.