The regular season in college football may be over, but the games go on — this weekend, in the form of conference championship matchups.
There may be just 10 contests on the slate, but there’s still plenty of value for still to be found for fans of college football betting. Here are your five best bets for championship game weekend.
5 Best 2018 Conference Championship Game Bets
Memphis (+148) vs. Central Florida
It’s been oh-so-close for Memphis against the Knights, who prevailed 31-30 over the Tigers earlier this season, and won a double-OT classic in the American championship game last year.
In this season’s title rematch, Central Florida won’t have quarterback McKenzie Milton, who suffered a traumatic leg injury last week. Milton was the reigning American player of the year, and had started 31 of UCF’s previous 32 contests.
Backup Darriel Mack Jr. won his lone career start against East Carolina — a far cry from Memphis, a 3.5-point underdog loaded with offensive skill position players and primed to finally get over the hump. Forget the points and bet the Memphis moneyline.
Middle Tennessee State (-1) vs. UAB
Haven’t we seen this before? Indeed — last week, when Middle Tennessee limited UAB to 89 total yards in a 27-3 rout on the same field that will host the Conference USA championship.
UAB’s dream season suddenly has all kinds of baggage: tailback Spencer Brown left last week’s game with an unspecified injury, and his status for this week is uncertain; two offensive linemen are out with injuries, and another for personal reasons; and quarterback A.J. Erdely was rusty after missing three games with a shoulder injury.
Quarterback Brent Stockstill and a stout defense are enough for the Raiders to complete the two-week sweep. Bet Middle Tennessee State to win.
Washington (-5) vs. Utah
The Huskies last week finally looked like the team everyone thought they’d be, riding tailback Myles Gaskin and defensive pressure to a convincing upset of Washington State that knocked the Cougars out of the playoff picture.
Utah nipped BYU with a furious comeback, but the Utes have been surviving the second half of the season with backups at quarterback and running back after the starters at both spots were lost to injuries. Against a weak Pac-12 South, it was enough; against the talented Huskies and the league’s best defense, it likely won’t be.
We may be in for a repeat of Washington’s 21-7 victory over the Utes earlier this season. Get the Huskies and five the points.
Texas (+7.5) vs. Oklahoma
The Sooners have lingered in the playoff conversation despite a wretched defense that ranks 111th out of 129 FBS teams. Oklahoma has given up 40 or more points in each of the last four weeks, and fired coordinator Mike Stoops after a 48-45 loss to Texas in October.
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger had been battling a shoulder issue for six weeks — it’s “not great,” coach Tom Herman admitted this week — and he hasn’t looked his best the last two games.
But it’s supposedly a pain management issue, and Ehlinger is a go, and the Longhorns have the offensive weapons to push the Sooners again. Bet on the Longhorns and take the points.
Alabama vs. Georgia (Over 63.5)
Alabama and Georgia are ranked third and 10th respectively in the nation in total defense, but both programs have been defined by the points they’ve put up.
Savvy Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm has a star wideout in Riley Ridley, and running backs in Elijah Holyfield and D’Andre Swift who are both closing in on 1,000-yard campaigns.
The Crimson Tide has quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the most dynamic player in the nation. Alabama’s 49 ppg rank second nationally, Georgia’s 40.1 rank 13th. Although the teams combined for 49 points in last season’s national title game, both squads have improved offensively since then — and their results show it.
In this one, bet the over for sure.