B/R College Football 2022 Betting Locks with Adam Kramer: Conference Championships

B/R College Football 2022 Betting Locks with Adam Kramer: Conference Championships

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 26: Stetson Bennett #13 of the Georgia Bulldogs scrambles in the first half against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Sanford Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

No
matter how many years we do this, the end of the college football season
doesn’t get any easier. It comes quickly, and you can never quite brace for it.

Although we still have much work to do before we hit the dreaded offseason,
conference championship weekend is upon us.

When
it comes to Locks of the Week, our weekly CFB picks against the spread, the
task of picking winners becomes more daunting. We have fewer options, although
make no mistake about it: We will make the most out of what we have.

Last
weekend, we delivered another winning week. A solid 6-3 showing
brought us to 69-49-4 for the season. We have momentum again, and it’s coming
at the opportune time. (Oh, and you better believe we’ll be making picks throughout the
entire bowl season and the College Football Playoff.)

Before
we get to this week’s picks, we must first explore what went right and wrong
about last week.

The
Good: Oregon State (+3) vs. Oregon:
It didn’t look good deep in the third quarter. The
Beavers were down 31-10, and the game felt like it was slipping away. Then,
Oregon State mounted a massive comeback and ultimately won the game outright.
Wonderful game and win.

The
Bad: LSU (-10) vs. Texas A&M:
Well, I can only blame myself. The point spread felt too
good to be true, and it ultimately was. I took the obvious play, and I paid the
price dearly for it. LSU delivered a dreadful performance, and this pick was
dead from the jump.

With
that, here are the conference championship weekend picks.

Odds
courtesy of
DraftKings and accurate as of Wednesday.


TCU vs. Kansas State (Over
61.5)

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 26: TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan (15) takes the snap from center during the game between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Iowa State Cyclones on November 26, 2022 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Against Iowa State last
week, the Horned Frogs scored 62 points by themselves. That is not to say they’ll do so again in the Big 12 Championship Game, although points will be plentiful.

When these two teams met
during the regular season, they totaled 66 points. They did so even though
Kansas State scored zero points in the final 30 minutes of that game.

That likely won’t be the
case this week, as both teams enter this one blazing hot. TCU has yet to lose a game this season. With a win here, the Horned Frogs will be playoff
bound. (Heck, the same could be true even with a close loss.)

Meanwhile, Kansas State has covered
the spread in each of its last three games. More notably, the Wildcats have hit the
over in four of their past six.

This feels like a game that will be competitive until the very end. There will be lots of touchdowns, and Kansas State will likely push for the upset.

Regardless of where they
come from, bring on the touchdowns.


Georgia (-17.5) vs. LSU

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 26: Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts in the second half against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Sanford Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The Bulldogs don’t need to
win this game. Let’s begin there.

No matter the outcome,
Georgia should be in the College Football Playoff. If that situation sounds familiar,
it should. The Bulldogs were in this exact situation last year against
Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, and they promptly lost to Bryce Young. (They also proceeded to win a national championship.)

We can question Georgia’s
motivation in this game if we want. It’s fair and reasonable to do so. But it’s
also unfair to compare this LSU team to Alabama last year. For starters, it
doesn’t have Young, who was magical.

Simply put, Georgia is
better in so many places. And as we assess LSU’s loss to Texas A&M last
week, we must also come to terms with the reality that we (and the committee)
might have overrated the Tigers throughout the year.

LSU is solid, and Brian
Kelly has done a wonderful job. But Georgia, motivated or not, will show it’s
that much better than the Tigers.


Clemson (-7.5) vs. North
Carolina

CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 26: Adam Randall #8 of the Clemson Tigers stands on the field during warm ups before their game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Memorial Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

Eakin Howard/Getty Images

Although
the winner of this matchup will be the ACC champion, the game itself has lost
some juice. No
playoff team will emerge from the ACC Championship Game, regardless of the result.
Still, Clemson is in a solid position to recover.

The
Tigers are coming off a 31-30 loss to South Carolina, a game in which they were favored
by 14.5 points to win. North Carolina, meanwhile, has lost two consecutive
games. They were favored by a combined 28 points in those games.

Sure,
UNC quarterback Drake Maye should find success against a Clemson secondary that has
struggled. On the flip side, Tigers quarterback DJ Uiagalelei is coming off an ugly
performance.

But
the talent on the Clemson sideline is in a position to overwhelm
North Carolina in so many positions. That should ultimately be the
difference.

It
won’t be pretty, and it probably won’t be easy on the eyes. But it will be
effective.


Michigan vs. Purdue (Under
52)

PISCATAWAY, NJ - NOVEMBER 05: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines before a game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at SHI Stadium on November 5, 2022 in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Like
the SEC Championship Game, it’s reasonable to question just how motivated Michigan
will be in the Big Ten title game coming off its emphatic win over rival Ohio State.

Like
Georgia, Michigan should be in the playoff regardless. Even a loss to Purdue won’t change that.
Rather than tackle motivation, however, I am tackling intent. Well, and maybe a
smidge of motivation.

After
last week, Michigan is ready for the playoff. As such, I don’t expect we will see an
elaborate passing attack, which there were glimpses of last week. I also don’t
expect to see wideouts (or running backs) running freely through the open field
like we saw on Saturday.

Seriously,
Ohio State. Woof.

Instead, we’ll see ball
control from Michigan. We’ll also see the Wolverines’ defense, which played a
superb game last week, deliver a worthy encore.

This isn’t a huge number.
It feels about right. Michigan will win by double digits and flirt with a cover,
although the total will be safe.

Michigan
31, Purdue 17.


Tulane
(-3.5) vs. UCF

CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 25: Tulane Green Wave wide receiver Duece Watts (2) and cornerback DJ Douglas (12) celebrate after defeating the Cincinnati Bearcats during a college football game on November 25, 2022 at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Do
not sleep on this glorious football game.

The
American Athletic Conference Championship Game will deliver us one team that will
play in a marquee bowl. That team will ultimately be Tulane.

These two teams met earlier this year, and Central Florida won as a small underdog.
Since then, UCF has looked a bit wobbly. The Golden Knights lost to Navy as a
big favorite and then flirted with a loss against South Florida as an even bigger
favorite.

While
they did win at Tulane—and they’ll be playing on the road again—this does not
look and feel like the same team. Tulane, meanwhile, has won and covered the
spread in both of its games since that point.

The
Green Wave enter with a sparkling 10-2 mark against the spread this fall. While
it won’t be easy, Tulane will add to that total with a conference championship
victory.


Other
Games On the Card

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO - OCTOBER 22:  Quarterback Logan Fife #10 of the Fresno State Bulldogs passes against the New Mexico Lobos during the first half of their game at University Stadium on October 22, 2022 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

Sam Wasson/Getty Images

Fresno
State (+3) vs. Boise State

The
Bulldogs are one of the hottest teams in college football, and that hot streak will continue
through the Mountain West Championship. Quarterback Jake Haener is healthy, playing well
and ready to lead Fresno State to a mild upset.

UTSA
(-9) vs. North Texas

On the topic of hot teams, enter UTSA. The Roadrunners have
won nine consecutive games, and they have the offense to push North Texas in
the Conference USA Championship Game. The point spread is robust, although that’s for
good reason.

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