2018 CFB Picks: Championship Week

Georgia (+13.5) over Alabama – 3u
Georgia +415 – 0.5u

I don’t feel great about it, but their seasons don’t suggest this much difference outside of how each of them played at LSU. The line is begging you to take Alabama.

If there’s a “weakness” anywhere its Georgia’s run defense. It’s a concern, but the Tide RB’s really haven’t hit that many home runs this year. They’ve been fairly average when they’ve played really good defenses. The Tide have blown out everybody this year, but they haven’t played a team as balanced on both sides of the ball as Georgia.

Every relevant analytical power ranking will tell you that Georgia is a Top 3 team. Out of principle, you should be taking them with this many points in any scenario. Alabama may be one of the greatest teams ever, but they haven’t had to prove it against an elite team yet.

Fresno State (+3, -120) over BOISE STATE – 2u
Fresno +120 – 1u

I’m gonna be honest, this makes me wildly uncomfortable. I leaned toward Boise State three weeks ago when this game happened. But the line was five points different. Yes, it’s across zero, I know. Boise ended up winning that game, but it was far from convincing.

At this point, the fear of playing on the blue turf has to be wearing off for Fresno. This will be their third trip to Boise in less than a calendar year. I think that matters. The Broncos have one of the biggest home field advantages in CFB, but that diminishes with this much repetition.

Fresno has to still be upset with how that game went three weeks ago. They held the lead heading into the fourth quarter and let it slip away. They’ve been the better team this year. It helps that Boise’s defense has been pretty well beat up the past few weeks.

CAL (+3, +105) over Stanford – 2u
Cal +150 – 1u

I took Cal at +2 two weeks ago when this was originally scheduled. Now I get an additional key point and I’m not giving juice based on…Stanford barely escaping a shootout with UCLA and Cal beating Colorado by two scores. I will say the Colorado game was closer than the score indicated, but Cal’s just done whatever it takes to win this year. This game feels like it just means a lot more to the Bears. Stanford has been a disappointment all year, especially defensively, and I’d expect Cal to pull everything out of the playbook to win this one.

Utah (+5.5) over Washington – 2u
Utah +185 – 1u

I’ll start by saying that Washington won at Utah 21-7 back in September. It certainly gives one pause, but that was a couple months ago and the Utes bottomed out in September. Since then, they’ve only played one bad game and that was the game Tyler Huntley broke his collar bone at Arizona State. Jason Shelley was bad in relief, but has been playing at a similar level to Huntley as a starter.

There really hasn’t been much separation between the two teams the past couple months. At the most, you’d say UW should be favored by a point or two. The difference between Huntley and Shelley isn’t much, if any, and certainly doesn’t justify the Utes being close to touchdown dogs. Shelley may struggle to throw the ball against UW’s elite pass defense, but his ability to tuck it and run might be the difference in what should be a low scoring game.

And maybe most importantly, it’s never a bad idea to take Kyle Whittingham as an underdog. The Utes are 13-3-1 ATS as a dog the last five years.

YTD: 69-63 (+8.9u)

 

 

 

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