2017 Conference Championship Games ATS Picks

The College Football Playoff race is neck to neck this year.

This weekend’s conference championship games will have a significant impact on the final four teams selected to participate in the playoffs, which means fans can expect to see some exciting games and bettors should be ready to make the best against the spread picks.


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Conference Championship Week 2017

#1 Clemson vs #7 Miami

When: December 02, 2017, 8:00 PM ET
Where: Bank of America Stadium
Spread: Tigers -9.5
Total: 46
Moneyline: Tigers -350 vs Bulldogs +290

The ACC Championship game will feature two one-loss teams. The Tigers lost a three-point game to Syracuse earlier in the season, and the Hurricanes lost to Pittsburgh last weekend.

If the Tigers win, they will go on to participate in the playoffs. However, if the Hurricanes win, they aren’t guaranteed a spot because they are ranked behind Alabama and Georgia, two teams that the committee will likely put in over the Hurricanes if the Buckeyes defeat Wisconsin and Georgia defeat Auburn.

Back to making the best ATS pick.

It doesn’t matter whether the Tigers win by one point, they’ll still be in the College Football Playoff.

However, it’s not going to be that close.

Miami is a great team that’s having an even better season. But, Clemson has already won against arguably better teams.

Expect Clemson to come out gunning and their defense digging in to limit the Hurricane’s offense.

Can the Tigers win by 9.5 points? I say they can.

Though Clemson has had to replace many of their players from last year’s 14-win team, they’re still underway of probably winning the national championship this year.

Also, the Hurricanes offense may be hobbled because of injuries to key players. In last week’s loss to Pitt, tight end Christopher Herndon was injured and tight end Ahmmon Richards injured himself in practice on Wednesday. Also, the Canes are still missing running back Mark Walton.

This undoubtedly will limit Miami’s passing game against a Clemson defense that’s among the best in the nation.

Under defensive coordinator Brent Venables, the Tigers are a team that shuts down opposing offenses and they’ll be ready to pounce on Miami.

Apart from the above, Clemson’s offense is fantastic. The Tigers are averaging 6.1 yards per play this season and rank second in the ACC by recording 35.2 points a contest.

Even without quarterback Deshaun Watson, the Tigers are still right back up there among the best offenses with junior Kelly Bryant.

Bryant is completing 66.4 percent of his throws for 2,426 yards and 12 touchdowns to just six picks.

Which means Clemson is only 60 minutes away from another trip to the playoff.

ATS Pick: Clemson -9.5

#2 Auburn vs #6 Georgia

When: December 02, 2017, 4:00 PM ET
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Spread: Tigers -2
Total: 48.5
Moneyline: Tigers -140 vs Bulldogs +120

The Bulldogs were embarrassed on the road when they faced Auburn a few weeks ago.

This time around, the SEC Championship game is being played in Atlanta, which makes it a default home game for the Bulldogs, who will be trying to return the favor.

If Georgia wins, they are back in the top four and Auburn stays in the top four with a win as well.

However, if Auburn loses a close game, they might still make the playoffs depending on the results of the other games, thanks to their tough schedule.

Let’s move onward.

The Bulldogs have an edge over the Tigers winning nine of 11 meetings outright and going 5-1 against the spread over the previous six.

Georgia is also 2-0 ATS since that loss to Auburn, covering against Georgia Tech, 38-7, last week and over Kentucky, 42-13, on 23-point chalk.

I believe Auburn will win the day, but Georgia will make them sweat and will cover the spread.

ATS Pick: Georgia +2

#3 Oklahoma vs #11 TCU

When: December 02, 2017, 12:30 PM ET
Where: AT&T Stadium
Spread: Sooners -7.5
Total: 63.5
Moneyline: Sooners -270 vs Horned Frogs +230

This is another rematch of a regular season game, so expect the Horned Frogs to try to keep the Sooners out of the playoffs.

If Oklahoma wins, they will remain in the top four, but a loss will knock them out. However, a win by TCU won’t get them into the top four because they are a lot of teams ahead of them and they aren’t a big enough school to receive preferential treatment.

Since becoming Big 12 rivals, the Oklahoma Sooners are 5-1 in six meetings with the TCU Horned Frogs, including a convincing victory just three weeks ago.

The Sooners are on a roll, finishing the regular season with seven straight wins that include one over West Virginia last week, 59-31, that covered the 23-point spread.

The Horned Frogs will give their best, but Baker Mayfield and Co. will open up the spigots on offense and will burn through TCU’s defense.

Mayfield threw for over 4,000 yards in the 2017 season, among the best marks in college football and he’ll want to make a statement in this game.

Even if Gary Patterson’s defense has troubled a lot of offenses, I doubt they’ll be able to put a lid on Mayfield.

ATS Pick: Sooners -7.5

#4 Wisconsin vs #8 Ohio State, Saturday

When: December 02, 2017, 8:00 PM ET
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium
Spread: Buckeyes -7.5
Total: 63.5
Moneyline: Sooners -270 vs Horned Frogs +230

The Badgers are the only undefeated Power 5 School, but they made their debut in the top four of the playoff ranking last week thanks to the upsets of Miami and Alabama.

Now that they are in, they should be able to remain in the top four if they defeat the Buckeyes on Saturday, but there are no guarantees of that if Auburn loses a close game in the SEC Championship game.

The Badgers will need to beat Ohio State convincingly and hope it is good enough for the committee to keep them in the top four. A loss to the Buckeyes eliminates any chance they have of making the playoffs.

After getting blown out at home by Oklahoma and on the road by an unranked Iowa team, the Buckeyes shouldn’t be in the playoff conversation. But, thanks to the upsets in recent weeks, they have been able to climb back to number eight in the rankings.

If the Buckeyes defeat the Badgers, they will likely find themselves back in the top four. If the game is close, they may end up at number five, with Alabama getting moved up to number four.

The Badgers head into this game as the underdogs, regardless of them being undefeated. However, they’re 8-4-1 against the spread over their last 13 games which gives one confidence in that they can cover.

They’re also 4-0 ATS over their last four games, including last week’s win over the Golden Gophers, 31-0.

Behind a solid running game, led by back Jonathan Taylor, the Badgers will stay close.

Even if I believe the Buckeyes will win, it’s going to be the Badgers that cover.

ATS Pick: Badgers +7.5

 
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