I went ahead and picked every single games this weekend. Conference Championship games are on the schedule as well as some smaller school games.
Many of the conference championship games are rematches from games that happened early in the season. That is not always the case, so we have some data to study. Study with caution since a lot has changed since the previous game and it’s also pretty hard to beat a team twice-in-a-row.
We at ‘America’s White Boy’ pick every college football games against the spread in Week 14 of the NCAA Football season (December 2nd, 2017). We also pick some smaller conference games.
Stanford vs USC (-4) – My pick is Stanford Cardinal
I’ve noticed a lot of the ‘experts’ have picked USC to cover, but I really don’t see it. USC QB Sam Darnold is having a dismal season after such a standout year in 2016. These two teams faced each other in early-September with USC winning at home 42-21. Darnold threw for 316 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Stanford RB Bryce Love averaged nearly 10 yards per carry with his 17 carries for 160 yards and a touchdown. Since early-October, the Cardinal’s defense has been one of the best in the Pac 12. I highly doubt the Trojan will put up 42 points again. Stanford was able to stymie Notre Dame RB Josh Adams last week and I have confidence in their run defense here. I’m taking the points since they are playing at Levi’s Stadium, almost in Stanford’s backyard.
Memphis at Central Florida (-7) – My pick is Central Florida Knights
These two teams faced off early in the season with UCF beating Memphis 40-13. Memphis just couldn’t stop UCF QB McKenzie Milton in the air or on the ground. The other factor was the Tigers inefficiency to run the ball. An ideal Memphis offense would be 60% run and 40% pass. Memphis is much better now than when these two teams faced. Since that loss, Memphis is 6-0-1 ATS. They have become a good running team and has been able to stop it as well. This game should be closer now, but I still believe Milton will pass and run at-will against the Tigers.
Akron vs Toledo (-21.5) – My pick is Akron Zips
Akron will be without QB Thomas Woodson again since he is still serving suspension. Backup QB Kato Nelson has been pretty good in his absence. Toledo does already own one win over Akron this season when they beat Akron in Toledo 48-21. It’s really hard to beat a team by that amount twice in a season. This game is in Detroit at Ford Field. Even though Toledo is closer, it’s not a full home game like their earlier game. Toledo will most likely win, but I’m taking the points.
TCU vs Oklahoma (-7) – My pick is Oklahoma Sooners
A lot of these conference championship games have been rematches from earlier in the year. This matchup just happened a couple weeks ago. The Sooners beat TCU in Norman 38-20 with QB Baker Mayfield throwing 333 yards and three touchdowns. The Sooners were able to limit TCU QB Kenny Hill to less than 50% passing. Oklahoma’s defense does struggle to stop top offenses, but a lot of Hill’s issues are self-made. I’m taking the Sooners to cover and they will cement their spot in the College Football Playoff.
Georgia vs Auburn (-2.5) – My pick is Auburn Tigers
Here’s another rematch we have some data to research. This one is fresh in our minds since it was a pretty shocking win at the time. Auburn beat Georgia 40-17 and dominated the final three quarters. The Tigers were able to stop running back Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. They had a combined 20 carries for only 48 yards. These two backs usually have multiples of that production from around 20 carries. Auburn’s run defense has been impressive since. The question is will Auburn come into this game with the same intensity as last week’s game versus Alabama? That is a huge game for every player on both team, so can they turn it back up for a team they already smoked a few weeks ago? Luckily, this line isn’t very big and I feel pretty darn confident in the outcome, so I’m taking Auburn to cover at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Fresno State at Boise State (-9) – My pick is Fresno State Bulldogs
This rematch happens JUST LAST WEEK! Fresno State QB Marcus McMaryion had a solid game with 332 passing yards and two touchdowns. The Bulldogs were able to hold Boise State QB Brett Rypien to no touchdowns. The Bulldogs even sacked Rypien for a safety at the end of the game. Boise State is a much better team than what showed up in Fresno last week. The Broncos may end up with a win this week, but Fresno State will be like an annoyance and stay without nine points by the end of the game. I’m taking the points on the blue turf at Albertsons Stadium
Miami (FL) vs Clemson (-9.5) – My pick is Miami Hurricanes
Finally, a game that hasn’t already happened this year. Miami were all lined up to get a spot in the College Football Playoff, but they overlooked Pitt. I actually hinted at the upset last week. There was just something that didn’t sit right with me. Maybe it was a lucky guess, but a team that isn’t used to playing with everything to lose, can be snake-bitten. Miami QB Malik Rosier played like garbage last week and only completed 44% of his passes. He’s not the most accurate passer, but he does make things happen when he’s on the run. Clemson is very good, but the team isn’t as good as the last couple Clemson squads. They have been overvalued in many big games this season and haven’t been bettor-friendly in those contests. I have to take the points. I feel like last week’s loss created a lot of value in a Miami bet.
Ohio State vs Wisconsin (+6.5) – My pick is Wisconsin Badgers
Here’s the only other non-rematch in the conference championship games this weekend. OSU QB J.T. Barrett left last week’s Michigan game after re-aggravating a knee injury during warm-ups. He is expected to start this game. His injury shouldn’t be a huge issue, but still could be a factor if the Badgers front-seven gets to him a few times. The Badgers have a solid defense and their offense is better than expected. They struggled against minimal Big Ten talent earlier in the season, but they’ve been consistently covering games when they hit the meat of their schedule with covers against Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota. This game is in Indianapolis and Ohio State is only 1-1 in Big Ten Championship games and Wisconsin is 2-2 in Big Ten Championship games, so neither team has been dominant in Indy. I think this game could be tight and Ohio State could struggle against Wisconsin’s defense. I have to take the points here.
UL Monroe at Florida State (-27) – My pick is UL Monroe Warhawks
UMass at Florida International (-1) – My pick is FIU Golden Panthers
North Texas at Florida Atlantic (-11) – My pick is FAU Owls
Georgia Southern at Coastal Carolina (+2.5) – My pick is Georgia Southern Eagles
Idaho at Georgia State (-6) – My pick is Georgia State Panthers
UL Lafayette at Appalachian State (-15) – My pick is UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns
South Alabama at New Mexico State (-9.5) – My pick is New Mexico State Aggies
Troy at Arkansas State (-1) – My pick is Troy Trojans
Sweetbob’s college football picks against the spread record in previous seasons:
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.