What’s going to happen in the five biggest games during Championship Week?
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5. Pac-12 Championship: Oregon vs. Utah
BetMGM Line: Utah -6.5, o/u: 46
Why You Should Bet On Oregon: It has more talent on both sides of the ball. Utah – as good as it has been – has yet to beat a team ranked in the College Football Playoff top 25, beating up on a whole slew of mediocre teams and struggling over the second half of the season against the one team – Washington – at its level. The Utes played the 92nd-best schedule in college football, and now they have to deal with Justin Herbert and the best offense they’ve faced so far.
Why You Should Bet On Utah: The weather isn’t going to be pretty. It’s supposed to be cold, rainy, and it should fit what Utah likes to do a little bit better. The defensive front is the real deal, and the offensive line has the ability to pound away better than Oregon can. This has to be the Zack Moss game – the ground attack needs to take over.
Prediction: The weather and Oregon’s talent will keep this close, but Utah is fighting for a playoff spot and will do what it can to pile on if there’s a chance. As long as the line stays at 6.5, expect the Utes to win this, cover, and then hope the CFP will give them a break for the fourth spot.
– CFN Full Oregon vs. Utah Game Preview & Prediction
4. ACC Championship: Virginia vs. Clemson
BetMGM Line: Clemson -28.5, o/u: 57
Why You Should Bet On Virginia: There’s enough of a pass rush to knock Trevor Lawrence off of his rhythm just a bit. Virginia is second in the ACC in sacks helped by six against Virginia Tech last week, and now it’s going to throw everything at the Tigers backfield. Add in QB Bryce Perkins and his ability to control games, and the Cavaliers should be able to do enough on third downs to stay in this.
Why You Should Bet On Clemson: Lawrence has been awesome. After a rough start, he has thrown 16 touchdown passes with no interceptions while averaging close to 12 yards per throw over his last five games. He’ll keep bombing away for a team that wants to continue to make a statement – Dabo Swinney is serious; he wants the College Football Playoff committee to love this team.
Prediction: Clemson will get out fast and put this away with an impressive performance, but Virginia will come up with just enough points in the fourth quarter – Perkins and the O will keep on trying – to barely cover the 28.5.
– CFN Full Clemson vs. Virginia Game Preview & Prediction
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3. Big 12 Championship: Baylor vs. Oklahoma
BetMGM Line: Oklahoma -9, o/u: 64.5
Why You Should Bet On Baylor: Turnover margin. Baylor doesn’t have the firepower to keep up in any sort of a shootout, but it’s efficient enough offensively to stay in the game. The defense has to continue to do what it does and make big plays. Oklahoma is minus-8 in turnover margin in its last eight games, and Baylor’s D has generated two takeaways or more in eight of the last nine games.
Why You Should Bet On Oklahoma: There’s a defense here, too. QB Jalen Hurts might be the star of the show with an offense leading the nation in yards per play, but it’s the D making the biggest difference. The Sooners lead the Big 12 in total defense with the big key being third-down stops – there are lots of them this season. Baylor struggles in pass protection, and OU should be able to get to QB Charlie Brewer just enough to be a problem.
Prediction: It’s Oklahoma in a Big 12 Championship – it’ll win. However, Baylor will get just enough takeaways and control the clock just enough to cover the nine points and make this a fight.
– CFN Full Baylor vs. Oklahoma Game Preview & Prediction
2. Big Ten Championship: Wisconsin vs. Ohio State
BetMGM Line: Ohio State -16, o/u: 56.5
Why You Should Bet On Wisconsin: The Badgers might have been whacked around in the first meeting, but the defense got into the backfield and knocked around QB Justin Fields a bit. The UW lines got manhandled and shoved around – that never happens to this team. They’re going to blast away for RB Jonathan Taylor, who was held to just 52 yards by the Buckeyes – the line he’s working behind is playing better. But …
Why You Should Bet On Ohio State: The Buckeyes’ lines really are dominating. The O line blasted a Michigan run defense that came into last week’s game on a roll, and Chase Young and the defensive front isn’t going to slow down. OSU needs this game for the No. 1 seed, and it’s going to try making a statement. It starts with a D topping in the nation in total defense, and second in pass defense, sacks and tackles for loss.
Prediction: Wisconsin keeps this close for a half, and then the Buckeyes turn it on. This won’t be a total wipeout, but Ohio State will get the passing game going to pull away and win by more than the 16.
– CFN Full Wisconsin vs. Ohio State Game Preview & Prediction
1. SEC Championship: Georgia vs. LSU
BetMGM Line: LSU -7, o/u: 54.5
Why You Should Bet On Georgia: The Georgia lines are good enough to keep this from getting out of hand – Bulldogs games don’t become shootouts. This isn’t a sexy team offensively, but QB Jake Fromm hasn’t thrown an interception outside of the three given away against South Carolina. The defense takes care of the rest – the Gamecocks were the only team to score more than 17.
Why You Should Bet On LSU: Get up quickly, and it might be over. All QB Joe Burrow has to do is score early and all should be fine – Georgia doesn’t have the firepower to keep up. RB D’Andre Swift has a shoulder injury to play through, WR Lawrence Cager is done for the year with an ankle injury, and WR George Pickens is suspended for the first half. This isn’t an O that can keep up in a firefight.
Prediction: Georgia’s defense will be just good enough to keep this from getting out of hand, but Burrow wins the SEC Championship – and the Heisman – with two big scoring plays in the second half to finally get a little breathing room as LSU wins and covers the seven.
– CFN Full LSU vs. Georgia Game Preview & Prediction
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