Do you sense the holiday season coming? And with it, Championship Week! There is no hope left for our bettors, so let’s check in one last time on how they’ll pick an awful slate of games: it’s their best guess on the best bets with the least stress. Truly. Oh, and with a limited amount of games on the schedule, let’s ask them to go for broke and pick them all!
2021 ATS Record
Blaine Duncan: 24-24-1 (Championship Week: 5-5) – 49% for the year
TD Wood: 20-29 (Championship Week: 4-6) – 41% for the year.
This is dumb. If you’ve made it this far with our column this season, you’ve earned your seat in Heaven or Nirvana.
Conference-USA Championship: Western Kentucky (-3.5) at UTSA — I’m going with the Hilltoppers here for two reasons: they’re winning consistently and it’s hard to beat a team twice in one season.
PAC-12 Championship (Las Vegas): Oregon vs Utah (-2.5) — I’m not so sure that the Ducks didn’t reach their peak earlier in the season; they seem like a team on the decline. Makes me think Utah can win by a field goal.
Big 12 Championship (Arlington, TX): Baylor (+5.5) vs Oklahoma State — Do you know what sort of team Oklahoma State is? The kind that just can’t get it done when it counts the most. They’re not going into the playoffs. Mike Gundy is a man. I’m not sold on the Bears getting on outright win here, but I like them to hang within a field goal.
MAC Championship (Detroit): Kent State vs Northern Illinois (+3.5) — Not only will Northern Illinois hang in there, they’ll win. Just watch. I don’t want it to happen, but that’s the way it is.
Mountain West Championship: Utah State at San Diego State (-6) — I like San Diego State to get a big win here and propel themselves into the Bowl Season with high energy.
Sun Belt Championship: Appalachian State (-3) at Louisiana — I never like it when a coach or coaching staff is changing before the off-season. Plus, App State isn’t some wanker team. They’ll win outright by a touchdown, maybe more.
SEC Championship (Atlanta): Georgia vs Alabama (UNDER 49.5) — I wonder how the rest of the nation feels knowing that the SEC Championship Game, year after year, is truly the opening of the playoffs. I legitimately think Georgia wins and does it convincingly. It’s never good when a team has to come off an emotional win and repeat the results so soon as Bama will have to do. That’s the sort of game we’re looking at here. I think it stays under, and I think Bama loses. Sorry.
AAC Championship: Houston at Cincinnati (-10.5) — The damn Bearcats will win and will definitely make the playoffs after Alabama drops the SEC Championship to Georgia. It’s the sort of year we’re having, isn’t it?
Big Ten Championship (Indianapolis): Michigan vs Iowa (+11) — Guess what? Iowa keeps it cloooooose against the Wolverines.
ACC Championship (Charlotte): Wake Forest vs Pittsburgh (UNDER 71) — Here’s another championship game that’s a bit too high, especially when considering who’s starting at QB now for Wake. Sure, they have a defense that’s looking worse and worse, but I don’t think they get to the end zone that much.
Well, might as well swing for the fences and try to pick all of this weekend’s conference championship games, and see if I can’t get lucky and finish the season with a half-decent record. For the record, I’m doing these Thursday night, before any of the games kick off.
Conference-USA Championship: Western Kentucky at UTSA (+3.5) — The Roadrunners lost their unbeaten season last weekend, but they’ll have a chance for redemption and the C-USA title. The Hilltoppers are white hot, winners of 7 in a row. UTSA won the matchup between these two earlier this season, 52-46, and I think they’ll pull the double at home.
PAC-12 Championship (Las Vegas): Oregon (+2.5) vs Utah — The Utes absolutely boat-raced the Ducks two weeks ago in Salt Lake City, but I like Oregon in a revenge game with a Rose Bowl berth on the line. Why? Eh, beats me.
Big 12 Championship (Arlington, TX): Baylor vs Oklahoma State (-5.5) — Yet another rematch. The Cowboys won the first meeting by 10, in Stillwater. With a possible CFP berth on the line, I don’t see them slipping up here.
MAC Championship (Detroit): Kent State (-3.5) vs Northern Illinois — Nick Saban went to Kent State. Northern Illinois played in Tuscaloosa in 2003, my sophomore year at UA. Alabama scored first, and NIU blocked the PAT and took it back for two points. We laughed. Then NIU, behind future All-Pro and 2-time Pro Bowler Michael “The Burner” Turner, won the whole damn game. Go Kent State.
Mountain West Championship: Utah State at San Diego State (-6) — The Aztecs have a mighty fine defense. That’s about all I got for this one.
Sun Belt Championship: Appalachian State (-3) at Louisiana — The Ragin’ Cajuns have won 11 in a row since losing their opener against Texas, including a 41-13 drubbing of the Mountaineers. But, they just lost their head coach to Florida. The ‘Neers get their revenge.
SEC Championship (Atlanta): Georgia vs Alabama (+6.5) — Everyone and their momma is calling for the Dawgs to roll in this one. That’s red flag number one. Red flag number two is Kirby Smart still coaches Georgia, and will definitely find a way to fuck this one up. Just for reference, the last time Alabama was an underdog? At Georgia in 2015. The Tide won 38-10.
AAC Championship: Houston (+10.5) at Cincinnati — The Bearcats could use the style points, but the Cougars aren’t a pushover. I think Cincy gets their win (and the CFP berth), but it’ll be a close game.
Big Ten Championship (Indianapolis): Michigan (-11) vs Iowa — I just do not see how Iowa scores any points on this Michigan defense.
ACC Championship (Charlotte): Wake Forest vs Pittsburgh (-3) — The Demon Deacons have been a great story this year, but their defense is not good, and now they’re staring at Kenny Pickett and his golden arm.
Note: All games are Against the Spread. Odds are taken from the MGM Sportsbook.