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College Football Predictions: Picks Against the Spread for Championship Games

James BrownSenior Analyst IJanuary 10, 2017

College Football Predictions: Picks Against the Spread for Championship Games

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    It is one of the best weeks of the college football season:

    Championship week!

    This week many of the games will decide the conference champions and will therefore have BCS implications. From the mid-week game in the Big East, to the SEC matchup on Saturday, every game will be worth watching as the college football season comes to a close.

    Here is a prediction on every big game with a pick against the spread.

Big East Title—Kind Of..

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    On Thursday night the Louisville Cardinals and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights will battle for the Big East title.  This is a bit ironic has both teams have announced that they will leave the conference at season end.

    Louisville made their announcement today and that news will provide a distraction for the team heading into its biggest game of the year. The Cardinals also have a concern at quarterback as Teddy Bridgewater was banged up in the loss against UConn.

    Even if Bridgewater plays he will not be at full strength. This leaves Louisville vulnerable against a Rutgers defense that has an excellent turnover streak heading into this game.

    The Cardinals are 1-4 against the spread (ATS) in their last five conference games and will come up short against a Rutgers team at home.

    College Football Prediction: Rutgers -2.5

Stanford Déjà Vu

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    Stanford and UCLA battle for the Pac-12 title less than one week from their last meeting. Stanford dominated the last game and bested the Bruins in every facet of the game.

    Because of that whipping, the latest college football odds have the Cardinal listed as (-8) point favorites. This number may seem steep in a championship game, but in reality it is not big enough.

    There is every reason to believe that Stanford will dominate this game once again.

    Stanford’s defense shredded the Bruins’ offensive line—sacking redshirt freshman Brett Hundley seven times a week ago. That is not something that can be fixed in one week.

    The Bruins also enter this game with a huge penalty problem that will haunt them again in the rematch.

    The Cardinal are 36-15-1 ATS in their last 52 games following a win and blowout the Bruins on Friday night to capture the Pac-12 title.

    College Football Prediction: Stanford -8

Boring Big Ten?

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    The Big Ten Title game is a major buzz kill.

    When the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Wisconsin Badgers battle for the Big Ten crown, many fans will wonder what could have been.

    After all, Ohio State and Penn State seemed much more deserving of a trip to the title game, but sanctions will keep both teams on the sidelines.

    Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema realizes that many people believe his team does not belong in this game and he addressed the media:

    “I appreciate the question and understand it totally,” he said Sunday. “I think there are 10 teams out there in the Big Ten that would love to be in the position Nebraska and we’re in right now. When the two teams take the field on Saturday, neither is going to care how the other team got there or what their record is.”

    In an earlier meeting, the Badgers let a commanding 17-point lead fade to the Cornhuskers in a loss. The Badgers will not let that happen again and will use their experience in the title game to claim another title for the state of Wisconsin. This is one of the best college football picks of the week.

    Wisconsin will become the first team to win a conference title with BCS implications against the spread.

    College Football Predictions: Badgers +2.5

Florida State Wins ACC...but...

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    When Florida State battles the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets for the ACC title, it will be a forgone conclusion that the Seminoles will win the title.

    The Seminoles have the better record and are (-14) point favorites for this game. The Yellow Jackets are only in this game because of Miami’s self-imposed ban.

    That is the reason why it seems like everyone is picking the Seminoles, but don’t be so sure they will cover this number.  

    The Seminoles lost their leading tackler as Tank Carradine is gone for the remainder of the season and are dealing with the distraction of losing defensive coordinator Mark Stoops who took the job in Kentucky.

    The Noles play down to thier level of competition and this game will be closer than most people think. The Yellow Jackets are 4-0 ATS in their last four conference games, while the Seminoles are 2-5 ATS in their last seven conference games.

    Florida State will win the title, but they will not cover this spread.

    College Football Predictions: Georgia Tech +14

Big 12 Championship Game! (Not Really)

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    Okay I get it, the Big 12 does not have a championship game. But when the Texas Longhorns and Kansas State Wildcats play on Saturday night it might as well be a championship game.

    If the Wildcats win they get the title, so in my eyes that makes this a championship game.

    That is not the only reason why the Wildcats want to win and win big. Quarterback Collin Klein is now a Heisman candidate afterthought as everyone is predicting the award will go to either Johnny Manziel or Manti Te'o.

    That could all change if the Wildcats cruise to a Big 12 Championship over the Longhorns. Texas comes limping into this contest with injury concerns and a bruised ego after losing to TCU on Turkey Day.

    The Wildcats have been a football betting dream. The Wildcats are 23-7-1 ATS in their last 31 conference games and 17-5-1 ATS in their last 23 games overall. The Wildcats are a senior laden team that will be ready for an impressive win on primetime television.

    College Football Predictions: Kansas State -11

SEC—The Big One

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    There are some great story lines for this week in college football, but nothing compares to the SEC Championship game.

    The Alabama Crimson Tide will look to book a trip to Miami and play Notre Dame in the National Championship game by beating the Georgia Bulldogs. The Bulldogs would love to pull off the upset and win a big game for this program.

    The odds are already posted for the BCS National Championship game depending on Notre Dame’s opponent.

    Tide coach Nick Saban has been spending the week trading barbs with Florida coach Will Muschamp, but his real concern will be on the field Saturday.

    Alabama’s two most difficult games of the season came against two decent quarterbacks. Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray has the kind of talent that could put the Bulldogs in a position to score in this game.

    On offense, Alabama will be without a key weapon as wide receiver Kenny Bell will miss 5-6 weeks with a broken leg that he suffered against Auburn. The Tide already had depth issues at wide receiver and Bell will be missed.

    Georgia has an experienced team that will bring plenty of experience into this game. The Bulldogs may not pull off the upset but they will keep it close enough to take the points in this game.

    The SEC Championship game will live up to all the hype.

    College Football Predictions: Georgia +7.5


    James Brown is a B/R featured columnist and can be followed on Twitter. Feel free to contact James at jtsneaks@gmail.com. He also is a contributor at Bookie Blitz, a sports picks website.

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