Championship Weekend doesn't look quite like the usual Championship Weekend this year. Generally, at this time of year, The Six Pack would be limited to picking the conference championship games because they're the only ones on the board. That's not the case this season.
Sure, it's not a full weekend of games, but there are a lot more options available to choose from, and I'm taking advantage of that. While I've got three conference title games on the board this week (with a fourth over at SportsLine), I've got three regular games as well because they're providing excellent value.
I'm looking to finish the regular season strong before the crapshoot that is bowl season arrives.
Games of the Week
There's nothing quite as terrifying as betting against Alabama right now, but it's the right play in this spot. It's worth repeating here: since halftime of the game against Georgia, Alabama's defense has leveled up, and this team has gone back into Death Machine mode. It's truly the best team in the country, and I'm not sure anybody else is on the same tier right now. That said, 17.5 points is a lot of points to be laying against a Florida offense as potent as the one the Tide will face in Atlanta.
If we look at Alabama this season, the only offense it faced that comes close to Florida's in terms of style and production is Ole Miss. That Rebels offense put up 647 yards and 48 points against Alabama. Now, I don't think Florida will match those numbers, but there's too much talent on the Gators offense to think they won't find any success. Also, Dan Mullen's too good at scheming against opponents not to put up points in this spot, so Florida will score. The question is whether or not Florida's defense gets any stops. If it can manage a few, I'm confident the Gators keep this closer than the number. Alabama 45, Florida 31 | Florida +17.5
No. 2 Notre Dame vs. No. 3 Clemson
When these two first met, Clemson didn't have Trevor Lawrence and was still favored by five or six points depending on where and when you did your shopping. Notre Dame won outright 47-40 in South Bend. Now we're at a neutral site with Lawrence playing, and the Tigers are 10.5-point favorites. That makes sense! Lawrence is important! But the problem Clemson had in the first game wasn't D.J. Uiagalelei. Notre Dame was better than it was at the line of scrimmage for most of the night. That's not a situation Clemson is accustomed to dealing with, nor is it a situation that has changed going into the rematch.
It's only natural to want to write off Notre Dame in these spots because, historically, it has failed in them so many times this decade. But this Irish team is different. Previous Irish teams were overmatched just about everywhere you looked in games like these. That's not the case here. I look at these two teams and don't see a whole lot of differences. So I think Clemson wins this time because Lawrence is a difference-maker, but it's going to be a whole lot closer than the spread suggests. Clemson 31, Notre Dame 27 | Notre Dame +10.5
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Lock of the Week
Ole Miss at LSU
This line initially opened with LSU as a favorite against the Rebels, and I jumped on it when it did. As you can see, it's since moved to the Rebels being favored by 2.5-points, and I'm still good with it. LSU is coming off an upset win nobody saw coming, and it was one of those upsets where the better team in the game probably didn't win. So we've got ourselves a little combination of fluke win affecting the line and a natural letdown following the victory. Meanwhile, the Rebels have been sitting around since Nov. 28, just waiting for a game. A trend I've tracked this season shows that teams who have had 15 days off or more between games like the Rebels have here are 29-19 ATS when facing a team that played the week before. Also, this is a Lane Kiffin team we're dealing with here. Do you think Lane isn't going to do everything he can to get a win over his friend Ed Orgeron? Think of how badly you want to beat your friend when you're going against them in a video game. Now imagine that it's real life. Ole Miss 45, LSU 34 | Ole Miss -2.5
Service Academy Under of the Week
We are truly blessed to have Service Academy Unders two weeks in a row! Last week some of you were scared to take the under in Army-Navy because it was in the high-30s. Well, we never even broke a sweat waiting for it to crash. Now this game has a similar total, and we're going back again. Air Force's offense has shown more potency than Navy's this season, but the Falcons' best performances have come against Navy, New Mexico and Utah State. Those three are a combined 6-15 this year. Army has a much better defense than they do, and it's accustomed to dealing with an option offense. There will be more points in this game than in The Army-Navy Game, but not enough to get past the total. Air Force 21, Army 14 | Under 37.5
Underdog of the Week
Buffalo has laid waste to its MAC opponents this year. The Bulls are 5-0 and winning games by an average of 30.8 points per week. The Bulls offense is scoring 3.79 points per drive, which ranks third nationally. It's a terrific team. It's just not as good as the numbers suggest. When you look at Buffalo's schedule, you'll find five teams that are a combined 6-18. The respectable wins have come against Miami (OH) and Kent State. The Bulls put up 70 points on Kent State, which is incredible, but they also allowed 41. That same Kent State team is ranked 94th nationally by SP+, and it's the highest-ranked team of any the Bulls have faced. Now, this Ball State team isn't a whole lot better (it's 83rd), but by all accounts, most advanced metrics and power ratings have Buffalo being between seven and 10 points better than the Cardinals. Buffalo's reputation is earning it more than a field goal here, and that presents plenty of value to us. Buffalo 37, Ball State 27 | Ball State +13.5
Equine of the Week
No. 24 San Jose State vs. Boise State
San Jose State has been a terrific story this season, but I can't help but believe the fairy tale is going to end on Saturday. The Spartans are playing a Boise State team that's been very impressive this season. The Broncos are 5-1, but their lone loss came to a BYU team that was in consideration for a New Year's Six spot only a couple of weeks ago. And that loss came when the Broncos were reduced to their third-string quarterback early in the game. In five games against Mountain West opponents, the Broncos are winning by an average of 19 points per game. Boise State 31, San Jose State 24 | Boise State -6.5
SportsLine Pick of the Week
No. 6 Iowa State vs. No. 10 Oklahoma: You didn't think I ran out of games to pick, did you? Nope, I just ran out of room here. I've got a play for the Big 12 Championship I like a lot too, but you'll have to head to SportsLine to find out what it is.
Games of the Week
Lock of the Week
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 16, and which team will pull off a shocking upset in a conference title game? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned over $3,500 in profit over the past four-plus seasons -- and find out.