It’s Championship Week across college football, and here at Bankroll Sports, we’re paying attention to all of the great Championship Game odds and Week 14 odds for what should be a remarkable finale to as good of a season as we have seen in quite some time.
The week starts off on Thursday with the de facto Big East Championship Game. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are three point favorites to win the Big East outright, but the Louisville Cardinals are going to try to make a big time mess of the standings if they can pull off the upset. The atmosphere in Piscataway should be electric, and these two teams are very hard to separate. Neither has played well, and both are coming off of brutal losses, so the only tiebreaker that the oddsmakers really have is home field advantage, and that field goal is exactly the margin that Rutgers is favored by. This game also features one of the lowest ‘totals’ of the week at just 43 points, though the other Big East game of note between the Connecticut Huskies and the Cincinnati Bearcats on Saturday is even lower at 39.
From the world of defense to the world of offense in the MAC, where the MAC Championship Game odds are going to be as tightly contested as we have seen in years and years. The last time that the conference had this much of a buzz, the Ball State Cardinals were on the verge of busting the BCS, only to get knocked off by the Buffalo Bulls. Since then, this conference has been looked at as one of the worst in America, only just in front of the Sun Belt, but it has been a banner year for the MAC. Both the Kent State Golden Flashes and the Northern Illinois Huskies have a chance of going to the BCS. Kent State is almost a lock with a win, while Northern Illinois will clearly need a win and some big time help. There are actually three 1,000+ yard rushers in this game, so the points could be flying on the scoreboard in a hurry in spite of the fact that these two defenses are both quite stout. NIU is laying five thanks to QB Jordan Lynch, one of the most dynamic players in the country, though that number has already started dropping from the outset of the weekend with still plenty of time to go until kickoff.
The other clash on Friday is the Pac-12 Championship Game, where either the UCLA Bruins or the Stanford Cardinal will be celebrating with roses in their mouths. Yes, the trip to the Rose Bowl will be handed to the winner of this game. This is a rematch of last week’s game at the Rose Bowl Stadium, a game which Stanford won handily to move on to this spot and to host the conference title game. It’s one of the biggest games in the last 30 years of Stanford football, and it is also a chance for UCLA to prove that it is back on the map as a team to beat out West. Still, this is expected to be a one-sided blowout, with the Cardinal favored by nine on “The Farm.”
The Big XII has itself a big mess to try to work out this week, as there is at least one, and possibly two BCS bowl bids to hand out. The Kansas State Wildcats are in the driver’s seat right now, as they know that a win removes all doubt that they’ll be in the Fiesta Bowl. It’s Senior Day as well, and there will be a lot of emotion surrounding QB Collin Klein in his final game of his potential Heisman Trophy winning season. Klein needs a huge game to catch up to QB Johnny Manziel, but he has a chance to make the final statement in the final week of the campaign. Kansas State is one of the bigger favorites of this Championship Weekend, laying 10 tothe Texas Longhorns, who also have an outside shot of going to the BCS.
The biggest favorites though, are the West Virginia Mountaineers. They’re giving 20 to the Kansas Jayhawks in what should be the only game that has very little to no doubt as to who the victor truly will be.
That’s definitely not all from the Big XII, though. The Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Baylor Bears are involved in what might be the wildest game of the season. The ‘total’ in this one is already set at 81.5, and we expect that that number is going to only go up as the week rolls on, as these are two of the best offenses (and worst defenses) that the conference and the nation have to offer. It’s the team that beat Oklahoma State last week though, the Oklahoma Sooners, that are under the most pressure. The Sooners are squaring off with the TCU Horned Frogs in Fort Worth, and they have to win this game to have any chance to get into the BCS. Lose this one, and it’s off to the Cotton Bowl at best. Win it, get some help, and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl is in the cards. Oklahoma is giving 6.5 to TCU, but the Horned Frogs have their sights set on a Senior Day victory in what has been an emotional first season in the Big XII full of ups and downs.
But of course, there are some big time conference title games to talk about as well. We’ll start in the ACC, where the Florida State Seminoles and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are going to do battle in Charlotte. This date has been set for two weeks, but Florida State still has to have its work cut out for it after losing last week to the Florida Gators. The Noles are giving two touchdowns to the Jackets in spite of the fact that Head Coach Paul Johnson is one of the few coaches to have massive degrees of success against the garnet and gold in the ACC.
The Wisconsin Badgers are in a familiar spot in the Big Ten Championship Game, and they’re going to be trying to get back to an even more familiar situation with a third straight trip to the Rose Bowl if they can win this game. However, they’re in a very unfamiliar situation of being an underdog in the biggest game of the year in the Big Ten. The Nebraska Cornhuskers are trying to lock down their first ever Big Ten title, and if they can do that, they’ll be going to the Rose Bowl instead. Wisky is 2-0 ATS in this series, but it is going to have to figure out how to avenge the loss earlier this season in Lincoln to cover this one, as the Badgers are only +2.5.
Two smaller conference titles will be handed out on Saturday as well. In the Sun Belt, the Arkansas State Red Wolves are favored by 10 in what amounts to be the conference title game against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders. Over in Conference USA, the UCF Knights and Tulsa Golden Hurricane meet for the second time in five years in the C-USA Championship Game. In this battle to go to the Liberty Bowl, the game is poised well at a pick ’em in spite of the fact that the Knights lost to Tulsa here at Skelley Field just two weeks ago.
And then there’s the tiny little matter of the SEC Championship Game dab smack in the middle of the day. The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs withstood the toughest and deepest conference in America, and now, they are just one win over the other away from playing for the BCS National Championship. Either way, the SEC team will be favored over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in another month and a half in Miami, but this is clearly as big of a game as there has been in years in this conference. Georgia is considered the heavy 7.5-point underdog in this one, but this is as close of a point spread as the Crimson Tide have faced (and will face) this year. The ‘total’ in this game is lined at 50.5, a very average number all things considered. Remember that QB Aaron Murray will probably make himself a Heisman Trophy finalist by winning this game, while the Tide have scored at least 33 against most of their foes this year. Remember though, that both of these defenses are top notch. It’s been over 128 minutes since Alabama has allowed a single point and over a month and a half since UGA has allowed more than 14 in a game.
Week 14 College Football Betting Lines for Thursday, 11/29/12
303 Louisville Cardinals +3
304 Rutgers Scarlet Knights -3
NCAA Football Lines for Week 14 for Friday, 11/30/12
305 Northern Illinois Huskies -5
306 Kent State Golden Flashes +5
307 UCLA Bruins +9
308 Stanford Cardinal -9
Week 14 NCAA Football Odds for Saturday, 12/1/12
309 Cincinnati Bearcats -5.5
310 Connecticut Huskies +5.5
311 Pittsburgh Panthers -6
312 South Florida Bulls +6
313 Oklahoma Sooners -6.5
314 TCU Horned Frogs +6.5
315 Texas Longhorns +12.5
316 Kansas State Wildcats -12.5
317 Oklahoma State Cowboys -4
318 Baylor Bears +4
319 Boise State Broncos -9
320 Nevada Wolf Pack +9
321 Kansas Jayhawks +20
322 West Virginia Mountaineers -20
323 New Mexico State Aggies +13
324 Texas State Bobcats -13
325 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders +10
326 Arkansas State Red Wolves -10
327 Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns -9.5
328 Florida Atlantic Owls +9.5
329 South Alabama Jaguars +5
330 Hawaii Warriors -5
331 UCF Knights pk
332 Tulsa Golden Hurricane pk
333 Alabama Crimson Tide -7.5
334 Georgia Bulldogs +7.5
335 Florida State Seminoles -14
336 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets +14
337 Nebraska Cornhuskers -2.5
338 Wisconsin Badgers +2.5