College football Conference Championship week best bets from the T Shoe Index

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Conference championship game college football best bets

While “Rivalry Week” delivered from an entertainment standpoint, the chaos was kept pretty much at bay. Alabama escaped Auburn, thanks to a late touchdown on 4th and 31; Ohio State came up short in the Big House as 3.5-point underdogs, and Florida State managed to outlast Florida in The Swamp without QB Jordan Travis, who is lost for the season with a leg injury. Louisville provided the only chaotic moment of the week, losing to Kentucky ahead of the ACC championship matchup with the Seminoles. So, with postseason destinations and conference titles on the line this weekend, let’s take a look at some angles that my T Shoe Index indicates are valuable from a numbers perspective. 

 

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Alabama vs Georgia (-6), O/U 53.5

Let’s kick the betting off with the biggest heavyweight fight of the weekend. Nick Saban rarely gets points as an underdog, so the opportunity to bet on “angry Bama” catching points is not something that comes around all that often and therefore must be capitalized on when the opportunity presents itself – and the number is right, of course. While the college football world, including the College Football Playoff committee, has salivated over Georgia as the 2x defending national champions, my TSI ratings have been less bullish on the ‘Dawgs. 

I project Georgia is a 2.5-point favorite in this championship clash, pitting the Bulldogs’ 8th-rated offense and 8th-rated defense against the Tide’s 17th-rated offense and 7th-rated defense. Georgia was far and away my preseason #1 in my power ratings, but have not held that title since after week 3. These are the top two teams in my four-year, weighted recruiting rankings, with Alabama having the slight edge. I expect another classic in the lineage of these teams duking it out in Atlanta, and I think that keeps the Tide inside the number.

Pick: Alabama +6 (Play to +4.5)

SMU vs Tulane (-4), O/U 47

This game won’t have the casual fan’s attention like the SEC championship, but this game is extremely meaningful to both of these teams from a pride and postseason destination standpoint. SMU has been a team power rated in my top 30 pretty much all season long, while Tulane has flirted with that threshold but hasn’t played consistently enough to be a mainstay. The wet blanket on this game is that SMU QB Preston Stone is out with a leg injury, which hurts SMU and dampens the star power here, but if you’ve followed my work long enough you know that I think the market generally overreacts to injuries and that appears to be the case here, as Tulane is out to a 4-point favorite in a game I project (healthy) SMU as a 7.5-point favorite. 

As well as Stone has played this season and in his career, I respectfully don’t think he’s worth 11.5 points to a point spread, so I show real value on the Mustangs in this game. SMU has the 9th-rated offense in TSI this season and the 17th-rated defense; on the other side, Tulane’s offense is merely 86th, but the defense is 9th nationally. Even without Stone, I’m going to trust the season-long data and know that I’m betting on the better team with quite a bit of cushion on the number even accounting for the injury.

Pick: SMU +4 (Play to +3)

To learn more about who I am or what my T Shoe Index is, be sure to read my introduction on VSiN.com and check out my free CFB guide with ratings, projections and win probabilities for every single game this season and follow me on X, @TShoeIndex.

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