Our Week 14 college football picks and best bets include an ATS selection in the Pac-12 Championship, a lean on the Sun Belt title game total, and more.
After more than three months of jam-packed college football schedules, the slate is greatly reduced in Week 14. This is because only a handful of teams will be in action as all 10 FBS conferences determine their respective champions.
While it may be Conference Championship Weekend, there will be more on the line than league supremacy. From the four teams who will take part in the College Football Playoff to deciding which Group of 5 school will earn a New Year’s Six bowl bid, there is still plenty hanging in the balance on the national level heading into Week 14.
Check out all of our top college football picks for Week 14!
College Football Championship Weekend Schedule and Odds
(Odds via DraftKings)
- North Texas vs. UTSA (-8.5)
- Utah vs. USC (-3)
- Kansas State vs. TCU (-2.5)
- Toledo (-3) vs. Ohio
- Coastal Carolina vs. Troy (-8.5)
- LSU vs. Georgia (-17.5)
- Fresno State vs. Boise State (-3)
- UCF vs. Tulane (-3.5)
- Clemson (-7.5) vs. North Carolina
- Purdue vs. Michigan (-17)
College Football Best Bets for Championship Weekend
- Moneyline: Toledo (-125 via BetMGM)
- Spread: Utah +3 (-115 via DraftKings)
- Total: Coastal Carolina-Troy Under 48.5 (-110 via BetMGM)
- Upset: Fresno State (+140 via PointsBet)
- Prop: TCU team total Under 31.5 (-120 via DraftKings)
Top College Football Picks for Championship Weekend
Moneyline: Toledo (-125)
Admittedly, the MAC Championship Game is somewhat tough to handicap this week given that both teams are dealing with injuries at quarterback. While Ohio’s Kurtis Rourke has already been ruled out for the remainder of the season, the status of Toledo’s Dequan Finn remains in limbo heading into Saturday.
The Rockets have lost two straight games after Finn was injured in a division-clinching victory over Ball State. The sophomore returned to action last week but was hardly himself. With the ankle injury thoroughly compromising Finn’s ability to make plays with his legs, Toledo actually opted to play backup Tucker Gleason for the majority of the game.
Despite Finn’s questionable status, oddsmakers were still willing to open Toledo as a 4.5-point favorite for the conference title game. Even if Gleason draws the start, there is little to suggest that Ohio’s defense can slow the Rockets down. The Bobcats finished the regular season ranked 101st out of 131 FBS teams in adjusted defensive efficiency.
Ohio’s offense has been the backbone of the team all season long. However, without Rourke, the Bobcats could find themselves overly reliant on running back Sieh Bangura. MAC title game history also favors Toledo as representative of a West Division that has won five of the last six conference championships.
Spread: Utah +3 (-115)
USC finished with the best record in the Pac-12 Conference this season, but the defense has yet to prove trustworthy. The Trojans have consistently relied on generating takeaways to escape what otherwise might have been losing outcomes. USC’s plus-23 turnover margin led the country by a long shot.
As for Friday night’s Pac-12 Championship Game, a rematch with Utah is arguably the last thing USC could have hoped for. Utes QB Cameron Rising and the offense already proved capable of lighting up the Trojans for 43 points in a mid-October matchup. In addition, Utah turned the ball over only 15 times all season.
There’s no denying that the Utes’ offensive philosophy differs greatly from other Pac-12 frontrunners like Washington and Oregon. The Utes are more than willing to punish opposing defenses via the run and project to have a physicality advantage over the USC defense in the trenches.
Total: Coastal Carolina-Troy Under 48.5 (-110)
Coastal Carolina football has found itself in the news for reasons beyond the fact that it is playing for a Sun Belt Conference title this Saturday. Head coach Jamey Chadwell has been linked to several job openings, with South Florida looking like the frontrunner to hire him. As such, there is a growing belief that this could be his final game with the program.
If the above proves to be true, Coastal Carolina will be in a similar situation to Louisiana a year ago. The Ragin’ Cajuns won the Sun Belt Championship despite already knowing that head coach Bill Napier would be leaving for Florida after the game. Unlike Louisiana last year, however, CCU does not have the luxury of hosting this year’s title game matchup against Troy.
The other major headline for the Chanticleers is the health of star quarterback, Grayson McCall. Chadwell was non-committal on whether or not the two-time SBC Player of the Year would play against Troy on Saturday. The Chanticleers’ offense was a no-show against James Madison last week in McCall’s absence and could struggle regardless against one of the Group of 5’s best defenses.
Upset: Fresno State (+140)
The first meeting between rivals Fresno State and Boise State this season came just three weeks after Bulldogs quarterback Jake Haener sustained an ankle injury that ultimately kept him sidelined for over a month. Given how the Bulldogs’ offense struggled in his absence, simply being competitive for three quarters in the battle for the Milk Can Trophy was quite impressive.
Boise State finished the regular season ranked 38th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency. However, one could reasonably argue that the Broncos haven’t faced an offense yet this season that is as capable as that of Fresno State with Haener under center. Injuries along the defensive front could also hurt BSU in its bid to slow down Jordan Mims and the Bulldogs’ rushing attack.
It should also be noted that Fresno State has not lost since being defeated on the blue turf at Albertsons Stadium in early October. The Bulldogs enter the Mountain West title game on a seven-game winning streak. In addition, four of their last six wins were by 27 or more points.
Prop: TCU team total Under 31.5 (-120)
Combine the consensus game total of 62.5 with a spread of just two points and both Kansas State and TCU have individual team totals sitting north of 30 for Saturday’s Big 12 Championship Game. As this will be the second time the teams meet this season, it seems a lower-scoring affair seems quite reasonable, specifically in regard to the unbeaten Horned Frogs.
Aside from Texas (who held TCU to a season-low 17 points) and Iowa State, Kansas State is the top-ranked team in adjusted defensive efficiency that TCU has faced all season. The Wildcats allowed 38 points in the first meeting between the teams, but there are reasons to believe Saturday’s rematch will be different.
One has to assume that the Wildcats won’t lose both Will Howard and Adrian Martinez to injury as they did in the first meeting. K-State’s inability to move the chains late in that game was a big reason why the Horned Frogs were able to pull away on the scoreboard.
Where to Bet on College Football
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College football best bets made on 12/1/2022 at 6:18 p.m. ET.