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  • College Football Conference Championship Picks – Week 16

College Football Conference Championship Picks – Week 16

All projected scores are based on 1,000 simulations of each game in the CSD Prime computer model

2020 Prediction Stats

Straight Up: 389-131 (75%)
ATS Best Bets: 44-41-2 (52%)
ATS Total: 239-240-41 (50%)

Best Bets

#13 USC (-3) vs Oregon – 8 PM ET, Fri, Fox
Washington State (+10.5) @ Utah – 1:30 PM ET, FS1
Missouri (-1) @ Mississippi State – 3:30 PM ET, SEC Network Alternate

Friday, December 18th

UAB (5-3, 3-1 C-USA) @ Marshall (7-1, 4-1 C-USA)
Conference USA Championship
7 PM ET, CBSSN
Vegas Line: Marshall -6

CSD Pick: Marshall 27, UAB 21

Ball State (5-1 MAC) vs Buffalo (5-0 MAC) in Detroit, MI
MAC Championship
7:30 PM ET, ESPN
Vegas Line: Buffalo -12

CSD Pick: Buffalo 43, Ball State 30

Nebraska (2-5 Big Ten) @ Rutgers (3-5 Big Ten)
7:30 PM ET, BTN
Vegas Line: Nebraska -6

CSD Pick: Nebraska 23, Rutgers 22

Oregon (3-2, 3-2 Pac-12) @ #13 USC (5-0, 5-0 Pac-12)

Pac-12 Championship
8 PM ET, FOX
Vegas Line: USC -3

If there’s one thing to be sure of in college football’s conference championship week, its that the Pac-12 Championship will be a fun game. Oregon’s last three contests have been decided by an average of three points, and USC has needed a late game comeback to win in over half of their games this year. As for the winner, USC is at home here, and the Trojans are the better team. Kedon Slovis is heating up at the QB spot, and I don’t trust Oregon’s incredibly turnover-prone offense. Give me USC, and the Trojans should cover the three points.

CSD Pick: USC 33, Oregon 26

☆Crazy Sports Dude Best Bet Alert☆ – USC -3

Saturday, December 19th

#14 Northwestern (6-1 Big Ten) vs #4 Ohio State (5-0 Big Ten) in Indianapolis, IN

Big Ten Championship
12 PM ET, FOX
Vegas Line: Ohio State -20.5

A Northwestern win over Ohio State would blow the college football playoff race wide open, and while I would love to see it, the result just doesn’t seem feasible. Ohio State is one of the most talented teams in the country, and they will be playing angry here after last week’s game against Michigan was canceled. The last time we saw the Buckeyes play, they played their best game of the season, and I’d expect a similar result here.

CSD Pick: Ohio State 38, Northwestern 21

#5 Texas A&M (7-1 SEC) @ Tennessee (3-6 SEC)

12 PM ET, ESPN
Vegas Line: Texas A&M -12.5

Texas A&M has a great chance to make the playoff with a Clemson or Ohio State loss, but the Aggies need to get through Tennessee first. I think they’ll do it, but an upset isn’t out of the question. Tennessee is still a talented team, and they are at home, but A&M just has so much more to play for.

CSD Pick: Texas A&M 34, Tennessee 18

#10 Oklahoma (7-2, 6-2 Big Ten) vs #6 Iowa State (8-2, 8-1 Big 12) in Arlington, TX

Big 12 Championship
12 PM ET, ABC
Vegas Line:
Oklahoma -4.5

Ok, the Big 12 champ has a shot now. If a spot opens up in the playoff, will the committee put Alabama up against a Texas A&M team it already blew out on the road, or the Big 12 champion? I tend to think the latter isn’t an absurd option, and a Texas A&M loss would almost certainly put the winner of this one front in line.

Now, that task is a lot easier for Iowa State, as the Cyclones would only have to move up two spots to make the top four, but it isn’t out of the question for Lincoln Riley’s Oklahoma Sooners either. OU is firing on all cylinders right now. Spencer Rattler is improving, and the defense is the best that Oklahoma has had in years. I’ll take OU.

CSD Pick: Oklahoma 35, Iowa State 30

Florida State (3-6, 2-6 ACC) @ Wake Forest (4-4, 3-4 ACC) – CANCELED
12 PM ET, ACC Network
Vegas Line:
Wake Forest -9.5

CSD Pick: Wake Forest 33, Florida State 29

Washington State (1-2, 1-2 Pac-12) @ Utah (2-2, 2-2 Pac-12)
1:30 PM ET, FS1
Vegas Line:
Utah -10.5

In the Pac-12, it seems like every team is of roughly similar quality, so I’ll take Washington State getting 10.5. Oh yeah, also Utah’s hype is way overinflated after beating an undefeated Colorado team that was not truly top-25 quality.

CSD Pick: Utah 30, Washington State 25

☆Crazy Sports Dude Best Bet Alert☆ – Washington State +10.5

Air Force (3-2) @ Army (8-2)
3 PM ET, CBSSN
Vegas Line:
Air Force -2.5

CSD Pick: Air Force 25, Army 20

#19 Louisiana (9-1, 7-1 Sun Belt) @ #12 Coastal Carolina (11-0, 8-0 Sun Belt) – CANCELED

Sun Belt Conference Championship
3:30 PM ET, ESPN
Vegas Line:
Coastal Carolina -4.5

A Coastal Carolina win would give the Chants a great shot at a New Year’s Six bowl, and I think with Coastal’s home-field advantage and dangerous passing attack, the Chanticleers will squeak out a close one against the Ragin’ Cajuns. This will be a high-scoring, offensive battle, but I expect CCU to come out on top.

CSD Pick: Coastal Carolina 36, Louisiana 34

Missouri (5-4 SEC) @ Mississippi State (2-7 SEC)
3:30 PM ET, SEC Network Alternate
Vegas Line:
Missouri -1

Missouri got killed last week by a rapidly improving Georgia team, but the Tigers are still a very good squad. They take on a Mississippi State team that has one of the worst offenses in the country here, and should pick up the win to close out a successful year one for Eli Drinkwitz.

CSD Pick: Missouri 29, Mississippi State 19

☆Crazy Sports Dude Best Bet Alert☆ – Missouri -1

Ole Miss (4-4 SEC) @ LSU (4-5 SEC)
3:30 PM ET, SEC Network
Vegas Line:
LSU -2

CSD Pick: LSU 40, Ole Miss 37

#3 Clemson (9-1, 8-1 ACC) vs #2 Notre Dame (10-0, 9-0 ACC) in Charlotte, NC

ACC Championship
4 PM ET, ABC
Vegas Line: Clemson -7.5

This is the biggest game of the year to date, as Clemson will be fighting for their playoff lives against Notre Dame. The Irish defeated Clemson 47-40 earlier this year, but that game was in South Bend, and Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence was unavailable. On a neutral field, and with Lawrence (and a few defensive stars) back for this one, I expect Clemson to win a close, exciting game, potentially setting up a round three in the College Football Playoff.

CSD Pick: Clemson 35, Notre Dame 30

Minnesota (3-3 Big Ten) @ Wisconsin (2-3 Big Ten)

4 PM ET, BTN
Vegas Line:
Wisconsin -11.5

The Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe will have much lower stakes than I expected coming into the season, but this should be a fun game between two teams that fell short of expectations but hope to end their year on a positive note. Wisconsin has the home edge and I think the Badgers are the better team, so I’ll side with them, but this will be a fun rivalry game to have on your third screen during the ACC title game.

CSD Pick: Wisconsin 28, Minnesota 18

Boise State (5-1, 5-0 MW) vs #24 San Jose State (6-0, 6-0 MW) in Las Vegas, NV
Mountain West Championship
4:30 PM ET, FOX
Vegas Line:
Boise State -9

CSD Pick: Boise State 27, San Jose State 25

Illinois (2-5 Big Ten) @ Penn State (3-5 Big Ten)
5:30 PM ET, FS1
Vegas Line:
Penn State -14.5

CSD Pick: Penn State 35, Illinois 17

Stanford (3-2, 3-2 Pac-12) @ UCLA (3-3, 3-3 Pac-12)
7 PM ET, ESPN
Vegas Line:
UCLA -7

CSD Pick: UCLA 27, Stanford 25\

#1 Alabama (10-0 SEC) vs #7 Florida (8-2 SEC) in Atlanta, GA

SEC Championship
8 PM ET, CBS
Vegas Line:
Alabama -14

Alabama and Florida will square off Saturday night in what will likely be one of the highest-scoring SEC Championship Games in history. As for the winner, you almost don’t need to know the teams. The proof is in the pudding, the West champion has beaten the East champion in 10 of the last 11 SEC title games, and to add to that Florida hasn’t won the crown since 2008 when Tim Tebow was their quarterback. This Alabama team is up there with the best Nick Saban teams ever, and I expect them to control this game from start to finish en route to a two touchdown victory.

CSD Pick: Alabama 49, Florida 35

#23 Tulsa (6-1, 6-0 AAC) @ #9 Cincinnati (8-0, 6-0 AAC)

American Athletic Conference Championship
8 PM ET, ABC
Vegas Line:
Cincinnati -13

It is hard to get motivated to write about Cincinnati. I said in the preseason that the Bearcats had a great shot of being the first G5 team to make the College Football Playoff. They’ve won all of their games, seven of the eight by two touchdowns or more, with an average margin of victory of 26. And yet, they still have no hope of making the playoff. Even if the playoff expanded to eight teams suddenly they still would have little chance. As for the game this Saturday, the Bearcats should roll yet again, with Desmond Ridder and the talented, efficient offense leading the charge. I don’t expect it to matter to the selection committee.

CSD Pick: Cincinnati 34, Tulsa 21

Arizona State (1-2, 1-2 Pac-12) @ Oregon State (2-4, 2-4 Pac-12)
10:30 PM ET, ESPN
Vegas Line:
Arizona State -7

CSD Pick: Arizona State 33, Oregon State 27

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