Conference Championship Saturday is one of the most anticipated days on the sports betting calendar. Following a crazy regular season – we have a variety of fantastic contests to wager on again this year. This betting feature is focused on the Big Ten Championship, the Big 12 Championship and the ACC Championship.
With odds posted at DraftKings Sportsbook – here is a breakdown and picks for those matchups that are slated for Saturday, December 19th.
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The Vegas Whispers sharp information continues to dominate the sportsbooks with a 202-138-3 overall record. The information received from Frankie Taddeo, Sports Illustrated’s Vegas Gambling Insider, is currently 22-18 ATS on NCAA College Football for all SI PRO members. Follow Frankie on Twitter @Frankie_Fantasy.
No. 14 Northwestern vs. No. 4 Ohio State (-20) | TOTAL: 57
The Big Ten Conference Championship features No. 14 Northwestern as heavy underdogs against No. 4 Ohio State. Playing out at a neutral location, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, kickoff is slated for 12:00 p.m. ET. The Wildcats won the Big Ten West while the Buckeyes were champs in the East. Established in 2011, when the Big Ten expanded to 12 teams, Ohio State is 4-1 in this game while Northwestern lost to the Buckeyes during their lone appearance back in 2018.
After Northwestern finished last in Big Ten West last year, with a 3-9 overall record, Northwestern played above expectations this season. Defense led the way during their 6-1 run as the Northwestern outscored their opponents by a 177-102 margin. The Wildcats posted signature wins over No. 16 Iowa (21-20), who finished with a 6-2 record, and Wisconsin (17-7) who were ranked No. 10 in the AP Top 25 at the time. Since 1972, Ohio State is 32-1 versus Northwestern.
Despite playing just five games, due to COVID-19 issues, Ohio State is representing the Big Ten East division after league officials waived the six-game eligibility requirement. The Buckeyes rolled over everyone in their path, outscoring their opponents by a 233-116 margin, and finished with a 5-0 record. Their signature win was a 42-35 victory over Indiana who was 4-0 and ranked No. 9 in the AP Top 25 at the time. Ohio State has won the last three Big Ten Championship games.
These teams played two same opponents this season. Northwestern lost 29-20 to Michigan State who the Buckeyes blasted 52-12. The Wildcats scored 14 second half points to defeat Nebraska 21-13 who Ohio State crushed 52-17. The Buckeyes need “style points” to move up in the College Football Playoff rankings and avoid a first round matchup with Alabama. Ohio State defeated Northwestern 45-24 in the Big Ten Championship two years ago. Expect a similar result here.
Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes (-20) at DraftKings
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No. 10 Oklahoma (-5.5) vs. No. 6 Iowa State | TOTAL: 58
The Big 12 Conference Championship game features No. 10 Oklahoma as favorites against No. 6 Iowa State. Kickoff is slated for 12:00 p.m. ET at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Sooners are 10-1 in championship games have won five straight Big 12 titles. The Cyclones haven’t won a football conference championship in the last 108 years. They are playing in the Big 12 title game for the first time in school history. Both teams are riding long winning streaks.
Iowa State finished the regular season 8-1 in conference play and 8-2 overall. Their No. 6 AP Top 25 ranking is the highest in school history. The Cyclones are riding a five game winning streak and outscored their opponents by a 200-79 margin in those contests. They are looking to defeat Oklahoma for the second time this year after posting a 37-30 victory back on October 3. The Cyclones averaged 34.0 points per game on offense and allowed 21.3 PPG on defense.
After opening the season with a 41-0 blowout win against Missouri State, Oklahoma stumbled during losses to Kansas State (38-35) and Iowa State (37-30). The Sooners got back on track with a 53-45 four OT win against bitter rival Texas in the annual Red River Shootout. They went on to victories during their final five games to finish 6-2 in conference play and 7-2 overall. Oklahoma averaged 43.4 points per game on offense and allowed 22.0 PPG on defense.
Oklahoma was without two key players during the first meeting against Iowa State as RB Rhamondre Stevenson and DE Ronnie Perkins both sat out due to suspensions. Stevenson racked up 557 total yards and six touchdowns while Perkins recorded four sacks during the last four games. The Sooners have won the last three Big 12 Championship games by seven points or more. Iowa State has been a great story this season but my money is on Oklahoma.
Pick: Oklahoma Sooners (-5.5) at DraftKings
No. 3 Clemson (-10.5) vs. No. 2 Notre Dame | TOTAL: 60.5
A much-anticipated rematch is on tap when Clemson and Notre Dame battle in the ACC Conference Championship game. Kickoff is schedule for 4:00 p.m. ET at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Tigers have won five straight ACC title games and they are 6-1 overall in this series. The Fighting Irish are playing in their first ACC Championship game as they joined the conference prior to the start of the 2020 NCAA season. Which team wins the rematch?
Fighting through a rash of injuries, plus COVID-19 issues, Clemson finished with an 8-1 record in conference play and 9-1 overall. Tigers’ quarterback Trevor Lawrence missed two games due to COVID-19. Clemson defeated Boston College (34-28) and lost to Notre Dame (47-40 OT) in the games he missed. The Tigers’ defense battled through injuries but returned to form during wins against Pittsburgh (52-17) and Virginia Tech (45-10) to close out the regular season.
Notre Dame Notre currently sits second in the College Football Playoff rankings after they finished 9-0 in conference play and 10-0 overall during the regular season. Playing at a high level, on offense and defense, the Fighting Irish defeated their opponents by a 325-171 combined final score. Following the victory against Clemson, Notre Dame posted wins against Boston College (45-31), No. 19 North Carolina (31-17) and Syracuse (45-21) during their final three contests.
Bookmakers at DraftKings posted Clemson as -5.5 point favorites in the first game and the line has jumped to -10.5 points in the rematch. Clemson may drop out of the top four with a loss while Notre Dame will likely still earn a playoff berth if they lose but keep this game close. With Lawrence back under center, and the defense at near full health, Clemson is in good shape to win this epic rematch. While it’s a lot of points – I am laying the line and backing the Tigers.
Pick: Clemson Tigers (-10.5) at DraftKings
2020 NCAA Football Record: 10-4 ATS
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