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Tyler’s Take: Championship Weekend Betting Preview

Who should you be looking to bet in the various conference championship games this weekend?

NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Northwestern at Ohio State Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

It’s officially conference championship weekend and we’ve got a whole big slate of great games to bet on starting on Friday night with Conference USA and the PAC-12 Championship games. It’s hard to believe we're already to this portion of the season, but it should set us up for a fun finish. Let’s take a look at the best bets for this weekend’s action!

Western Kentucky (-3.5) vs UTSA

NCAA Football: Western Kentucky at Marshall Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Early in the season, I wrote up some conference championship future bets, and one of my favorites then was Western Kentucky to win Conference USA (+1200). Early in the season UTSA beat Western Kentucky, so this would be a good hedge spot, but instead, I am double dipping and betting the Hilltoppers again to cover the spread and cash that early-season future.

If you look back to that first meeting between these two teams you’ll see that Western Kentucky really should have won that game. They dominated offensively as the Hilltoppers had 100 more yards than UTSA offensively and had the ball late to win the game. By a lot of different metrics, you’d think WKU won the game handily. They didn’t, but now they have a chance to redeem themselves. I like them to do so. Additionally, WKU is playing their best football.

They started 1-4 on but are winners of seven in a row coming into this week. UTSA, on the other hand, is 11-1 but they are coming off a loss to North Texas and the defense looked the worst it’s looked all year long. I like Zappe and Company to bring home the cash for us here.

Georgia (-6.5) @ Alabama

Georgia v Florida Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Speaking of double-dipping, my one national championship future was the Georgia Bulldogs at +500. That ticket is looking pretty good right now, but I have seen a lot of people thinking this might be the game where Georgia falters. Some folks think because Georgia is in the playoff no matter the result that they might be overlooking this SEC Title Game. Bologna.

Georgia has been the best team in football by a wide margin this Fall, and I don’t think that changes here. I understand it’s the Crimson Tide and that their brand goes a long way in people’s minds, but this is not the same Alabama team that we are used to seeing.

This Alabama team comes in 11-1 but they very easily could be more like 9-3. They shoulda lost last week to Auburn, they got a dog fight from Arkansas, and LSU had the ball with a chance to win late in their meeting. The Tide just doesn’t have the same presence they normally do, and I think that sets up for Georgia to come out and win a statement game here. I’ll gladly lay under a touchdown with the much better, proven team.

Iowa vs. Michigan Under 43.5

NCAA FOOTBALL: NOV 12 Michigan at Iowa Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last week Michigan answered the call and knocked off arch-rival Ohio State. Now the Wolverines are just one game away from a college football playoff berth. Who stands in their way? The Iowa Hawkeyes (puke).

For me, I look at this game and see two offenses that like to keep the ball on the ground. This Michigan team looks more like the traditional Harbaugh teams of old, and they love to pound the rock and play defense. I think that will once again be the case here. They’re strong upfront, and they can win football games just leaning on you that way. On the other side, Iowa is Iowa. The offense is inept and frankly, I am disgusted I have to watch it at all. Michigan should be able to keep this Hawkeye offense contained like pretty much every other team has.

Another thing that I think will factor into the under is the lack of turnovers that Michigan has had. They have a recipe to win in running it, but they’ve also done a good job hanging onto the football. If you don’t give Iowa a short field, they can’t score. If Michigan keeps that same methodology working then they should be fine keeping this score in check. I leaned laying the points here, but I think some nerves could be in the works early so I prefer the under in the racetrack of Indy.

Quick Hitters

Pac-12 Championship Game - Oregon v Utah Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Oregon (+3) vs. Utah: Clear revenge spot here, makes sense to lean with the dog.

APP State (-2.5) vs. Louisiana: App State got rolled by Louisiana early in the year, but they’ve bounced back from then. Another clear revenge spot, plus Billy Napier is gone. I like App State to cover here.

Wake Forest (+3) vs. Pitt: These two teams seem incredibly even, so getting three points is something I have to take in this spot.