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Championship Game Previews: Picks and predictions for the Big Ten, ACC, SEC, Pac-12 and Big-12

Michael Penix Jr. - CFB DFS Picks, Daily College Fantasy Football, NFL Draft Rookies

It has all come down to this final week of games.

While the playoffs are not set, unless there are upsets this week, the group of four fighting for the national championship will be coming out of these games.

While some games look to be heading towards a blowout, others look to be far more competitive. Here’s hoping we get at least a few close contests.

 

Conference Championship Games

(5) Oregon vs. (3) Washington

Betting Lines: Oregon -9.5, O/U 66.5

After a memorable 36-33 win by Washington in the regular season, the two best teams in the Pac-12 will face off once again. This time in Las Vegas for a berth in the final four-team playoff field.

While Washington came into the prior meeting as a 3.5-point favorite, it comes in here as a 9.5-point underdog. With the total being the same 66.5 as it was in October.

Oregon has flourished since its only loss of the season in Seattle. Since the game, the Ducks have covered the spread in four of their six games and have not won a game by less than nine points.

In the meantime, Washington has struggled a bit. Despite remaining unbeaten, it has taken a lot of luck to do so. This includes a pick-six needed to beat Arizona State at home and a last-second FG on Saturday to defeat Washington State in the Apple Cup.

If Oregon wins this game, it will move into the top four. Likely at four. Washington, already sitting at three, would remain in that spot depending on the results of the Big Ten and SEC title games.

Betting Prediction: Oregon -9.5 Over 66.5

 

(1) Georgia vs. (8) Alabama

Betting Lines: Georgia -5.5, O/U 54.5

If Alabama defeats Georgia here, it will cause all forms of confusion for the playoffs committee. Will Alabama jump Texas and will Georgia still make it are the two biggest questions that need to be answered if this happens. With the cache of Alabama and Georgia, it is likely although not guaranteed, that both would be in.

Although the Bulldogs did not look great against Georgia Tech on Saturday, this was due to the team playing multiple players to get them reps before the real season starts for Georgia.

Alabama, who pulled out a miracle win against Auburn, has been living on the edge all season. It cost them against its best opponent in Texas. It could also cost them against Georgia. A team coming in on a 28-game winning streak.

Both teams reload rather than rebuild on a yearly basis. For right now and for the near future, Georgia is the Death Star program replacing Alabama.

Betting Predictions: Georgia -5.5, Under 54.5

 

(19) Oklahoma St. vs. (7) Texas

Betting Lines: Texas -14.5, O/U 55.5

Texas comes into this game after dismantling Texas Tech 57-7 in its final Big-12 game before heading to the SEC. It now hopes to finally win a conference title on its way out. To do so, it will need to beat an Oklahoma State team which has gotten better and better as the season went on.

Entering Saturday as a 16.5-point favorite, the Cowboys almost blew their chance to be in this game, almost losing to BYU at home. Lucky for them, Ollie Gordon had another remarkable game with 166 yards and five TDs on 34 rushes.

Texas, normally known to blow at least one game a year, took care of its own business. Something it will look to do again as it attempts to jump the loser of the Oregon/Washington game and Ohio State to make the playoffs. A comfortable win and it just might accomplish this. But is any game ever comfortable for Texas?

Betting Predictions: Oklahoma St. +14.5, Over 55.5

 

(14) Louisville vs. (4) Florida St.

Betting Lines: Florida St. -2.5, O/U 48.5

After losing once again to Kentucky on Saturday, Louisville comes into this game looking to play spoiler for Florida State.

With the injury to Jordan Travis, the Seminoles will be playing at a disadvantage in this game. A disadvantage that almost cost them against Florida. Louisville under Jeff Brohm has been playing solid football in 2023. Unlike the Florida Gators. And this could make the difference in whether the Cardinals can beat the Seminoles on Saturday.

With the loss to Kentucky, Louisville is out of the playoff race. But it is still in line for a New Year’s six bowl game if it can pull off the victory over Tate Rodemaker and the Seminoles.

The key to this game will be the ability of the Louisville offensive line to hold up against the pass rush of the Florida State defense led by Jared Verse. A defense that gets to the QB 3.1 times/game. Ranking No. 10 in the nation. If Florida State can hold Louisville to less than the 16.8 points it has given up on the season, there is a good chance the Seminoles can come out with a win. If Louisville gets near its season average of 33.0, Florida State might be sitting at home wondering what if.

Betting Predictions: Louisville +2.5 Under 48.5

 

(2) Michigan vs. (17) Iowa

Betting Lines: Michigan -23.5, O/U 34.5 

Briefly. With Michigan favored by 23.5 points and an Over/Under of 34.5, the Iowa implied team total is seven points. If you think Iowa can get three FGs against Michigan, they might cover. This is not likely to happen.

And Michigan might hit the over in a shutout. This one will not be close. But as Kirk Ferentz said, “Wouldn’t it be funny?”

Betting Predictions: Michigan -23.5, Over 34.5

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