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B/R College Football 2021 Betting Locks with Adam Kramer: Week 14

Adam Kramer@kegsneggsNational College Football Lead WriterDecember 2, 2021

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 18: The Spike Squad cheers for their team before a game between South Carolina Gamecocks and Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 18, 2021 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Steven Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images

There's a lot going on.

Look, I understand. Your college football-centric brain can only consume so much.

By the time you read this, Nick Saban will have been named the head coach of the New York Mets for an annual salary of $65 million per season. Oklahoma and Notre Dame will both hire Bob Stoops to lead their programs, and it'll all make perfect sense. Somehow.

While college football's hiring and firing craze has captured the attention of the sport, there are conference championships at stake and College Football Playoff spots to be determined.

Oh, and money to be won.

Locks of the Week finished 5-5 last weekend, which simply will not suffice. As the season winds down, we have limited opportunities to pick winners. Our record stands 63-65-2, and I am confident that we will enter bowl season with a winning record.

Speaking of, Locks of the Week will be plenty active in December with bowl picks, playoff picks and more. So, don't go anywhere. (Sorry for the shameless plug.)

Before we dive into this week's picks, here is what went right and wrong with the previous week.

The Good: LSU (+6.5) vs. Texas A&M: Ed Orgeron was not going out quietly. That much we knew. The Tigers responded with an outright winner against the Aggies. Godspeed, Coach O.

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The Bad: Nebraska (+1.5) vs. Iowa: At this point, perhaps I shouldn't be surprised when Nebraska blows a massive lead in the second half. Well, I was. And they did. Woof.

Here are this week's picks.

      

Appalachian State (-2.5) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

BOONE, NC - OCTOBER 20: Appalachian State Mountaineers quarterback Chase Brice (7) celebrates with fans following a college football game against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers on Oct. 20, 2021 at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone, North Carolina. (Photo by
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One can't help but wonder where Louisiana is emotionally right now.

Head coach Billy Napier has been officially tabbed as the next head coach of the Florida Gators. Napier will coach his soon-to-be-former team one last time in the Sun Belt Championship Game before heading to Gainesville.

This could be a distraction, although that is not why I like Appalachian State.

If you have ever bet on a bowl game with an interim coach, you know that handicapping "motivation" in this sport is challenging.

My angle is much simpler: I believe App State is better.

To be fair, the Ragin' Cajuns have won 11 games in a row. That's mighty impressive. The Mountaineers have nearly matched by winning 9 of the past 10. They've also covered the spread in five of the last six outings, and they were a half-point away last week from making that a perfect six in a row.

App State has also allowed a grand total of 17 points in the last three games. And although they will play this championship game on the road, I am undeterred.

       

Oregon (+3) vs. Utah

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 27: Oregon Ducks RB Travis Dye (26) scores a touchdown during a PAC-12 conference football game between the Oregon State Beavers and Oregon Ducks on November 27, 2021 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Brian Murphy/Icon S
Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

It wasn't terribly long ago that Utah made me (and hopefully you) money in this exact matchup.

I loved Utah at home against Oregon back on November 20, and the Utes responded with a dominating 31-point win as a three-point favorite.

Weeks later, and that line hasn't budged. Utah is still a three-point fav, which is likely to generate a lot of one-sided action on the Utes.

What has changed, however, is the location. In a sport like this, it cannot be overstated how much this impacts a game of this magnitude—especially for a team like Utah that thrives at home.

I like what I saw from the Ducks last week against Oregon State, winning outright and covering the spread.

This weekend, with the Pac-12 Championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl up for grabs, they deliver a bit of sweet revenge.

       

Houston (+10.5) vs. Cincinnati

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 04: Houston Cougars head coach Dana Holgorsen watches his Cougars warm up before the football game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and University of Houston Cougars at NRG Stadium on September 4, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo b
Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

The Bearcats are going to win this game. Let's start there.

To take it a step further, Cincinnati will also make the College Football Playoff with a victory.

With that out of the way, Houston is going to make them earn it. The Cougars have won 11 consecutive games after dropping the opener against Texas Tech. Perhaps the most impressive part, at least in recent weeks, is how much defense a Dana Holgorsen-coached team has played.

As a whole, however, I think Houston has the pieces that can match up well against Cincinnati.

The Bearcats have been much more polished the past two games against SMU and East Carolina—two quality teams. They also covered both spreads after not covering a spread over a month.

But Houston will not be scared. This group is not competing for a playoff spot, and that mentality could translate well.

The American Athletic Conference Championship Game has a chance to be one of the finer games of the weekend, although it is a mouthful to both say and type.

Bearcats prevail. Cougars cover.

        

Georgia (-6.5) vs. Alabama

John Bazemore/Associated Press

Seeing Nick Saban's team catching points is certainly different.

Alabama has not been an underdog in the past 92 games, which is astonishing and a testament to this program's staying power.

But the reality entering the SEC Championship Game is that Georgia, at least in the moment, is better. In fact, the Bulldogs look and feel like a team Alabama would appreciate.

The defense is historic, and the offense is plenty good. It has been a long, long time since Alabama squared up against a team with better athletes. It will on Saturday.

While I normally shy away from popular selections, I simply cannot here. After such a lackluster showing against Auburn in the Iron Bowl, the issues with the offensive line and at the skill positions are likely to be amplified in this game.

And it wasn't just Auburn. We've seen Alabama look un-Alabama-like against LSU and even Arkansas. We've been building toward this.

That said, it feels weird betting against 'Bama in a big spot. It feels even weirder that it's the popular thing to do. But that is precisely what's going to happen.

Georgia wins an outstanding football game.

       

Wake Forest vs. Pittsburgh (Over 72.5)

Adrian Kraus/Associated Press

There are bigger games on the docket this weekend, that much is certain. But if you like fun and touchdowns and scoreboard explosions, do yourself a favor and give the ACC Championship Game your attention.

Two of the nation's top-five scoring offenses will go head-to-head, and I think the end result could be outstanding entertainment.

While Pitt QB Kenny Pickett is the biggest star in the game—and he still might have an outside shot at winning the Heisman—Wake Forest's offense has been both constant and explosive all season long.

The Demon Deacons currently are the No. 91-ranked scoring defense. The Panthers, while better, check in at No. 44.

There will be points, and I don't believe we'll have to wait long for them. With no playoff spot to be won, I expect both teams will let it fly.

Can we crack 80? I believe so.

        

Other Games on the Card

Ashley Landis/Associated Press

Western Kentucky (-3) vs. UTSA

The Hilltoppers have won seven in a row and covered the spread in the last five. With UTSA suffering its first loss of the year against North Texas, it feels like momentum is swinging in the other direction.

Kent State (-3) vs. Northern Illinois

The MAC Championship Game could feature plenty of points, and I expect Kent State to do much of the heavy lifting. This matchup was a thriller last time, and it could be again.

USC (+4) vs. Cal

It's not a championship game, although USC-Cal will take place this week after being originally postponed. Will the excitement of a thrilling week carry over to the field for the Trojans? Yes, I believe it will. 

      

Odds via DraftKings and accurate as of Tuesday.

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