The Six Pack: Alabama vs. Georgia, Oklahoma vs. Texas among top college football picks
Trust The Process through Championship Weekend
The Six Pack's hot streak came to an end last week, posting a 2-4 record. Still, even with a down week, I've gone 15-8-1 here over the previous month, and I'm planning to carry that over into the final weekend of the regular season.
While a few extra games are being played this weekend as teams look to replace games lost to hurricanes earlier this season, I'm sticking to conference championship games. I mean, who wants to bet on South Carolina and Akron when they can bet on Alabama and Georgia?
So let's get to it.
Games of the Week
No. 4 Georgia (+13) vs. No. 1 Alabama: Alabama is a juggernaut, and it's clearly the favorite to win yet another national title this season. I know that, and you know that, and the fact everybody knows it is why this spread is just too big. I understand that Alabama is 12-0 and has won its games by an average of 35.25 points per game, and it has outscored SEC opponents by 32.6 points per game. But Georgia is better than most SEC teams this season.
Let's not forget that Georgia took Alabama to overtime in the title game last season. While I don't think this Bulldogs team is capable of doing the same, I don't think it should be nearly a two-touchdown underdog either. I'd have this line around 7 points at the least, and 10 points at the most. So there's plenty of value on the Dawgs here. I'm going to take it. Alabama 34, Georgia 24
No. 5 Oklahoma (-8) vs. No. 14 Texas: I know all about Tom Herman as an underdog. Ever since Herman became a head coach at Houston, his teams have been an underdog 12 times and he's 10-1-1 ATS in those games. That includes a 2-0-1 mark this year, including an outright win over these same Sooners. But you know what Herman has never done? Played the same team twice as an underdog in one season.
I typically prefer teams that lost the original game in the rematch, and that's certainly the case here. Yes, Oklahoma lost to Texas 48-45 earlier this season, but I think the Longhorns were somewhat lucky to get that win. In fact, using the S&P+ metric's postgame win expectancy, Oklahoma had a 92 percent chance of winning that game, and the adjusted final margin was Oklahoma +13. There is most definitely a part of me that is downright terrified of trusting the Oklahoma defense to cover a spread this big, but you can't accomplish anything without facing your fears. Give me the Sooners. Oklahoma 45, Texas 31
Lock of the Week
No. 17 Utah (+5.5) vs. No. 11 Washington: Utah just does not get enough respect. It never does. I know this is the same Utes team that lost to Washington 21-7 in Salt Lake City this September, but that was a long time ago, and this team has played much better football over the last two months. Utah has won seven of eight games since, and the offense has been much more effective. Washington isn't a pushover or anything, and it has the better defense in this matchup, but Utah's defense is good too. Plus the Utes offense is better than Washington's and their special teams are a lot better. At a neutral site, I think this is a much closer game than the original meeting, and even if Utah doesn't win, its going to keep things close. Washington 24, Utah 23
Resume Booster of the Week
No. 6 Ohio State (-14) vs. No. 21 Northwestern: Ohio State enters the Big Ten Championship Game in a peculiar situation. Simply beating Northwestern won't be enough. If Ohio State wants to pass both Oklahoma and Georgia in the rankings, it can't just beat Northwestern, it's going to have to demolish it. Much like it destroyed Michigan last week. The problem Ohio State faces is that nobody has been able to demolish Northwestern this season. We're talking about a Wildcats team that hasn't won or lost a game by more than 14 points this season, and now it enters this game as a 14-point dog. Well, it's about to lose big for the first time. Northwestern has done everything it needed to reach this game, but this team isn't on Ohio State's level. The Buckeyes will roll in Indianapolis ... and end up in the Rose Bowl. Ohio State 38, Northwestern 14
Under of the Week
Memphis at No. 8 UCF (Under 64.5): This spread terrifies me. I'm not sure what to make of UCF still being favored by three points over a Memphis team that nearly beat it earlier this season, and to be favored after its best player suffered a devastating leg injury last week. So I don't want any part of the spread. Instead, I'm thinking the absence of McKenzie Milton will affect UCF's offense in a way that will see the Knights take fewer big shots and try to keep it conservative against a Memphis team that's capable of putting up points itself. I think we see a lower-scoring affair than most would expect from these two. Memphis 31, UCF 24
Other Under of the Week
No. 25 Fresno State at No. 22 Boise State (Under 52.5): These two teams met earlier this season with Boise State beating Fresno State 24-17 on the blue turf. I'm expecting a similar kind of game the second time around, and if these two combined for 41 points in the first game, and you're giving me a total of 52.5 in the rematch, well, it seems like an obvious choice, doesn't it? The fact the under has gone 4-0 in the last four meetings, and 5-1 in the last six meetings in Boise doesn't hurt either. Boise State 27, Fresno State 20
SportsLine Pick of the Week
No. 2 Clemson vs. Pittsburgh: This season the ACC Championship Game sees Clemson as a 26.5-point favorite over the Panthers, with the total set at 52.5 points. I have a play available for this game, and if you want to find out what it is head over to SportsLine.
Game(s) of the Week
Lock of the Week
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