Let's hand out some trophies on Saturday why don't we?
We have eight games on Conference Championship Saturday in college football and plenty of betting action across the board. All week, we've been churning out content over on our college football picks page to get you set, but here are our favorite bets for the conference title games, including a play on the total in the SEC Championship game.
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Best Expert Picks for Conference Championship Saturday
- Oklahoma State vs. Texas OVER 55
- Alabama vs. Georgia OVER 55.5
- Michigan (-21.5) vs. Iowa
Oklahoma State vs. Texas prediction and pick
Texas has struggled to win with margin as a double-digit favorite all season but blitzed Texas Tech last week, maybe the team's finest performance since beating Alabama on the road. Will that keep up?
I'm not in a rush to lay it with the Longhorns as Oklahoma State's offense has been humming across all Big 12 play. The team has scored 27 or more in every game but a wild outlier result at UCF, a 45-3 loss. The Pokes play at a top 30 pace in terms of plays per minute and it has led to plenty of points in league play as the team continues to trend upward.
Further, the Pokes' offensive line has been rock solid all season. The team is top 10 in limiting sacks and can mitigate the strength of the Longhorns' defense which is on the line. Further, Oklahoma State's ability to hit big plays can be impactful against Texas, which is outside the top 100 in both explosive rush and pass rate this season.
While there are avenues to success for the fast-paced Cowboys offense, I expect Texas to hit plenty of big plays as the Cowboys are outside the top 100 in not only yards per play but explosive pass rate as well. If Ewers can the ball down the field, that can lead to plenty of fireworks and also offset the Longhorns' concerning red zone offense (128th in red zone touchdown percentage).
I think there will be big plays on both sides and this game will soar over the total.
Alabama vs. Georgia Prediction and Pick
Alabama's offense has come on over the last few weeks, but it's worth noting who the team has played. The unit scored 42 against one of the worst SEC defenses in LSU, 49 on an overrated Kentucky defense, and 66 on FCS Chattanooga, before struggling in The Iron Bowl against a sturdy Auburn defense.
With that being said, I do believe offensive coordinator Tommy Reese can scheme up some openings for Milroe and the Crimson Tide offense to get the ball moving downfield. Yes, Georgia has an elite secondary, but the run defense has had holes and Milroe has been on point on his deep passes this entire season. It's no longer a fad, he's surgical at getting the ball downfield to the likes of former Bulldogs wide receiver Jermaine Burton.
I don't trust Alabama's offense to stay consistent throughout the game, to beat Georgia, who possesses too much firepower on offense to move the ball at will, but I do believe the team can score a bit.
Georgia has been scoring with ease despite injuries all over during the year, and I see no reason not to side with the Bulldogs' offense yet again.
I think Georgia's efficiency on offense is too much for the sometimes prodding Alabama attack to keep up and that the Bulldogs pull away and punch its ticket to the CFP. With that being said, I see some fireworks in store for Alabama and prefer the over as my favorite bet in this one.
PICK: OVER 55.5
Iowa vs. Michigan Prediction and Pick
Will Iowa score in this one? I'm not so sure with the team down it's best defender in Cooper DeJean and an offense that is inept in all facets. The Hawkeyes check in last in success rate and second to last in EPA/Play. They are set to face a top-five defense in terms of EPA/Play in the nation in the Wolverines.
Iowa has benefitted from playing poor offenses in the Big Ten West for much of this season, but when it played a plus offense in Penn State it got blasted 31-0, and I see Michigan eager to run this one up in a title game atmosphere with head coach Jim Harbaugh back on the sidelines.
Michigan is top 10 in both EPA/Play and success rate and is top 10 in yards per pass attempt. The team has leaned on its ground game often in its impactful games of late, but the team may be able to flip the field with ease against Iowa's somewhat overrated secondary.
The Wolverines are the best passing offense Iowa has seen this season and won't score themselves. Even if some Michigan drives stall, the team will be set up with short fields often as the team plays the field position battle against a poor Hawkeyes often.
It's a matter of time before Michigan finds the end zone and the dam breaks. Further, Harbaugh has scored in each of the last two Big Ten title games in the final two minutes despite being up big. Count on some style points late from the Wolverines.
PICK: Michigan -21.5
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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