What ten games appear to be the best bets and the best picks against the spread going into Championship Week? Here you go. Enjoy.
After going 9-1 two weeks ago, it was to build on the momentum, and then … 3-7.
But that was Rivalry Week. Like Miami, it was an unfocused effort and not the best work. It was all building up to this, and now that there’s a championship to play for, these ten are all correct.
10 Best ATS Picks So Far: 56-47-1
Click on each game for the game preview and fearless prediction.
Championship Week: 10 Best Predictions ATS
Line: Florida State -26.5, o/u: 64.5
Pick: Florida State
There are two ways this can go. Either Florida State can come out rocking and rolling to show the world that it’s more than Jimbo Fisher – and the team that remains is loyal – and everyone is fired up to try to go bowling. Or, the Noles are just done and they go through the motions. Guess the former.
Line: Auburn -1, o/u: 48
The line has gone down, even though it wasn’t exactly rocking before for Auburn. The investing public seems to be getting scared off by the Kerryon Johnson injury – even though he’ll play – and getting skittish over the idea of the Tigers pulling this off twice in a few weeks.
And that’s probably right.
It’s not quite a home game for Georgia, but it’ll feel a bit more like a road date for Auburn – if that makes any sense – and the Dawgs should be far stronger on both lines. This is a straight-up pick, obviously – Georgia is really good enough to get to the College Football Playoff.
Line: Appalachian State -14.5, o/u: 58
Appalachian State isn’t all that big on blowing out teams with only one win over an FBS team by more than 14 points. It pulled off a 31-10 win over Georgia State last week, but Louisiana needs this. This is a fight for a bowl game moment for the Ragin’ Cajuns, and at the very least, they’re going to be well motivated. Also, don’t mess with a streak. ULL has alternated win-loss-win-loss-win-loss. It’s due.
Line: UCF -7, o/u: 82
Yeah, the Tigers were blown out 40-13 the first time around, but that’s their only loss on the year and it’s the only time the offense sputtered. The UCF defense that got lit up last week by the USF passing game might have a slew of problems against a red-hot Riley Ferguson and an O that put up 41 points or more in each of the last five games. MU might win this outright, much less cover.
Line: USC -4, o/u: 58.5
Speaking of never messing with a streak, the Pac-12 North is 6-0 in conference championship games. However, USC really is the better team with far more firepower than a Stanford team that has Bryce Love, but doesn’t have the passing game to do anything more. The four isn’t that big a deal – the Trojans will win. Covering won’t be a problem.
Line: Oklahoma -7, o.u: 63.5
Can the TCU defense get its groove back now that Oklahoma is away from Norman? It’s a rematch game from just a few weeks ago, and it should be a different Horned Frog team that comes out hot from the start on both sides of the ball. OU will get enough out of Baker Mayfield late to pull this out, but TCU will cover the seven, much less win it outright.
Line: Georgia Southern -2, o/u: 52
Pick: Georgia Southern
Everything changed for the Eagles after they worked on the coaching staff. The running game is working like it’s supposed to, destroying a South Alabama team that needed the win 52-0, and rumbled by a Louisiana team that also had to win to stay alive for a bowl game. Coastal Carolina doesn’t have the offense to keep up if the Georgia Southern attack stays hot.
Line: PICK, o/u: 60
Pick: Arkansas State
There’s no reason to make this any harder than it needs to be. It’s a battle for the Sun Belt title – or, at least, part of it – and Arkansas State is at home. Both teams are about dead even, but the Red Wolves have a better offense, a better pass rush, and again, being at home matters.
This is just the fifth home date of the season, going 5-0 so far. None of the other four teams are close to as strong as Troy, but all four of those games were ugly blowouts.
Line: Ohio State -6.5, o/u: 52
Most of the pundits out there are believing in Wisconsin, but the public doesn’t seem to care. The line hasn’t moved from the start, even with the news that J.T. Barrett underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee. Even if Barrett was 100%, the Badgers still might be the call.
They have the right defense and the right formula to keep the Buckeyes from getting into a groove, and a less-mobile Barrett doesn’t help. Wisconsin should win this outright, and it’s getting six points.
Line: Clemson -9.5, o/u: 46.5
Does Miami have the offense? It’s all about relying on a defense that can force a ton of Clemson mistakes and capitalize on them. Unfortunately for the Canes, they’re missing a few too many key pieces against a defense that’s playing up to the national title level of the last few years.
If the Tigers get up fast, this could be over in a hurry. Score early, rely on the defense to slow down the middling Hurricane attack, win without a problem. The line went up fast, came down a little bit, and has settled in. A ten-point Tiger win isn’t asking for the world.