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College Football Picks Against the Spread for Conference Championships

Jack Magruder

by Jack Magruder in College Football

Nov 30, 2022 · 8:00 AM PST

Michigan running back Donovan Edwards runs for a touchdown
Michigan running back Donovan Edwards runs for a touchdown against Ohio State during the second half at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022.
  • Nine college conference championship games will be played in Week 14 on Saturday, December 3
  • No 1. Georgia, No. 2 Michigan and No. 3 TCU can secure CFP Final Four spots with victories
  • Read below for the best ATS picks for the college football conference championship games

College football championship week is upon us — and with the results will come the CFP Final Four and the debate that will ensue, especially if No. 1 Georgia (12-0), No. 2 Michigan (12-0) or No. 3 TCU (12-0) stumble. All are favorites, the Bulldogs and Wolverines by large margins, but that is why they play the games, right?

Georgia is an 18.5-point favorite over LSU in the SEC title game in Atlanta and Michigan is a 16.5-point favorite to handle Purdue (7-4) in the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis. TCU is a 2.5-point choice over No. 10 Kansas State (9-3) in the Big 12 title game in Arlington, Texas. A victory by No. 4 USC over No. 11 Utah in the Pac-12 title game Friday will ratchet up the pressure on the unbeatens. No. 18 Tulane and No. 22 UCF will play in the AAC title game, with the winner in line for the Group of Five bid to a New Year’s Six bowl.

Here are CFB betting odds and three ATS picks to consider for Week 14.

Kansas State vs TCU Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Kansas State Wildcats +2.5 (+110) +118 Over 62.5 (-105)
TCU Horned Frogs -2.5 (-110) -142 Under 62.5 (-115)

All odds from FanDuel on Nov. 30. Get the FanDuel Sportsbook promo code to make CFB ATS picks. 

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ATS Pick #1: TCU (-2.5) vs Kansas State

This game features two of the top spread-busters in college football — TCU is 9-2-1 ATS and Kansas State is 8-3-1. TCU got this far by surviving tough road games at Texas (17-10) and Baylor (29-28) before dominating Iowa State 62-14 the last time out, when quarterback Max Duggan passed for three touchdowns, Kendre Miller ran for two and the defense had a pair of pick-sixes. First-year coach Sonny Dykes knows offense, and Duggan can operate it.

TCU overcame an 18-point deficit in 38-28 victory in the earlier meeting in Fort Worth on Oct.22, a result that came with an asterisk. Kansas State played most of the game without starting quarterback Adrian Martinez, who was replaced by 2021 starter Will Howard after suffering a knee injury on the second drive of the game. Martinez’s later absences have not seemed to hurt. He had two turnovers in 38-28 loss to Texas two weeks after the TCU loss and has not played since an injury early in a 31-3 victory over Baylor three weeks ago. Howard started the 47-27 victory over Kansas the last time out, passing for 213 yards and two touchdowns.

Kansas State is 3-0 SU and ATS since its home loss to Texas. TCU is 5-1 ATS in its last six, failing to cover in a 29-28 victory at Baylor as a 2.5-point favorite. The Wildcats are playing well, and Deuce Vaughn is a dynamic running threat, but this is TCU’s year.

  • Pick: TCU -2.5 (-110)

Purdue vs Michigan Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Purdue Boilermakers +16.5 (-110) +570 Over 51.5 (-112)
Michigan Wolverines -16.5 (-110) -850 Under 51.5 (-108)

ATS Pick #2: Michigan (-16.5) vs Purdue

The Wolverines showed no mercy in a 42-3 victory over Iowa in the Big Ten title game following their huge win over Ohio State last season, and this looks the like a repeat. Purdue won the Big Ten West, the far inferior of the league’s two divisions, basically by default. Illinois stumbled late, Wisconsin and Iowa were far below their usual form, and Minnesota lost quarterback Tanner Morgan at critical times.

Jim Harbaugh’s decision to make JJ McCarthy the starting quarterback early in the season was a smart move, and the Wolverines’ offensive line blows people away — 244.5 yards per game, 5.6 yards per carry.  Even with Blake Corum getting only two carries, Michigan had 530 yards total offense and 252 yards rushing in a 45-23 rout of Ohio State last week. Donovan Edwards had 22 carries for 216 yards.

Purdue has done a nice job against the run this season, giving up only 128 yards per game, and quarterback Aidan O’Connell has thrown for 3,124 yards and 22 touchdowns with has 11 picks. The Boilermakers just do not have enough to slow down Michigan here. The Wolverines have won the last four in the series, 3-1 ATS, although the teams have not met since 2017.

  • Pick: Michigan -16.5 (-110)

Toledo vs Ohio Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Toledo Rockets -1.5 (-115) -128 Over 55.5 (-105)
Ohio Bobcats +1.5 (-105) +106 Under 55.5 (-115)

ATS Pick #3: Ohio (+1.5) vs Toledo

Ohio has been the best team in the Mid-American Conference for the last two months while Toledo has scuffled, only advancing to the league title game in Detroit by winning a tiebreaker against Eastern Michigan among 5-3 teams. Ohio is 7-0 SU and ATS since a MAC-opening loss at Kent State (it also covered that one) and has outscored its last four opponents by 19 points per game, including a 38-18 rout of Bowling Green for the East title the last time out.

This line is all about Ohio’s loss of likely MAC player of the year quarterback Kurtis Rourke to a season-ending knee injury in a 32-18  victory at Ball State two weeks ago. But backup CJ Harris passed for 196 yards and a touchdown and Sieh Bangura rushed for 96 more last week, when the Bobcats limited Bowling Green to 279 yards total offense.

Toledo is 2-3 SU and 0-5 ATS since beating Kent State, losing and failing to cover against Buffalo, Ball State and Bowling Green, all teams Ohio has beaten. Rockets’ quarterback Dequan Finn (ankle) played only five series in a 20-14 loss to Western Michigan the last time out, and his status is unknown. Ohio is 2-1 SU and ATS in the last three played in a series that is played intermittently because the teams are in different divisions. Toledo won the last meeting 35-23 on the road in 2021.

  • Pick: Ohio +1.5 (-105)  
  • Season CFB: 42-43 ATS

 

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