Welcome to college football's conference championship weekend! The conference title games on Friday and Saturday carry a ton of implications for the College Football Playoff with as many as eight teams still alive. It all starts up on Friday night with Oregon vs Washington in the Pac-12 championship. Then on Saturday, the Georgia vs Alabama matchup in the SEC championship headlines a whole day of games. It's time to make some CFB picks and college football bets for this weekend's conference title battles. We'll make Oregon vs Washington predictions and Georgia vs Alabama picks ahead of those two matchups. Be sure to check out Thursday's Bettor Sports Betting show for more CFB conference championship bets and picks. Good luck!


College Football Conference Championship Best Bets

Oregon vs Washington

Pac-12 Championship – Friday, 8 pm ET

Oregon and Washington are set for a huge matchup in the Pac-12 Championship on Friday night in Las Vegas. The winner of this game all but locks up a spot in the College Football Playoff. The oddsmakers suggest Oregon could win this by double-digits and that’s where we’re going with the pick.

Washington beat Oregon at home back in Week 7, but it was a game that the Ducks easily could have (and probably should have) won. They missed on multiple fourth-down conversions and a late fourth-quarter TD by the Huskies ultimately decided the outcome. Since that matchup, we’ve seen both teams trend in opposite directions. 

Oregon has since gone on to beat every opponent by double digits, looking like a juggernaut on both sides of the ball. Meanwhile, Washington has remained unbeaten but barely survived a few times. The Huskies could have suffered a loss or two in this recent stretch, winning by an average of just 6.5 points per game with five of their last six wins coming by less than 10 points. 

The Washington defense has been a worry all season and has continually let average offenses put up points to hang around. The Huskies’ struggles on defense are bound to cost them at some point and Oregon has the offensive firepower to exploit it – as they partially did back in that first meeting. The Ducks offense has looked like a well-oiled machine with elite production in the run game led by stud RB Bucky Irving and a dangerous downfield passing attack highlighted by Heisman frontrunner Bo Nix.

On the other side of the ball, the Washington offense hasn’t been as high-scoring and unstoppable as it was earlier this season. Michael Penix Jr. isn’t lighting up defenses on a consistent basis like we were used to seeing a couple of months ago. In fact, Penix has just a 57.9% completion rate while averaging 7.2 yards per attempt in the month of November compared to his stellar 74.7% completion rate and 11.2 yards per attempt back in September. Those struggles could rear its ugly head in this spot vs Oregon. 

Simply put, Oregon is the more complete team with the much better defense. On a neutral field in this rematch, expect the Ducks to prove it’s the better squad and punch a ticket to the CFB Playoff. 

This is a big spread, but it’s that big for a reason. Oregon could prove it’s a tier above Washington with a convincing double-digit win this weekend. Plus, even if Oregon has a sizable lead late in the game, it should still be motivated to get some “style” points to continue scoring. There are CFB Playoff scenarios where Oregon gets left out with a win, so it should look to put up a big point total and leave no doubt in the committee’s mind. Furthermore, the Ducks offense will likely want to score plenty to pad Bo Nix’s stats as he tries to lock down the Heisman.

Finally, here’s an interesting stat pointing us to Oregon to cover the spread. If you think an undefeated top-5 team being an underdog of more than a touchdown in the conference title game is rare – you’d be right. It’s only happened twice before. No. 1 undefeated Alabama lost to Florida in the SEC Championship back in 2008 as a 10-point underdog. In 2020, No. 2 undefeated Notre Dame lost to Clemson in the ACC Championship as an 11.5-point dog. In both instances, the underdog failed to cover the spread. 

PICK: Oregon -9.5 (-110 BetMGM)

Georgia vs Alabama

SEC Championship – Saturday, 4 pm ET

Saturday’s SEC Championship game between Georgia and Alabama is not only for conference bragging rights but also features plenty of CFB Playoff implications. Alabama might jump into the top four with a win while Georgia could potentially be left out with a loss. That debate is for another time, though. No matter who wins this game, let’s root for points on either side by grabbing the over. 

In recent history, these SEC Championships have been on the higher-scoring side more often than not. Since 2005, the SEC title games are 13-4-1 to the over. That includes last year when Georgia beat LSU, 50-30. It also includes the 2021 matchup when Alabama beat Georgia, 41-24. In fact, Bama and UGA have faced off in the conference championship three times over the previous 10 years and each one featured 60+ total points. 

It’s interesting because we usually get great defenses from SEC teams, especially when the Crimson Tide or Bulldogs are involved. However, we also get elite-level offenses and top-tier athletes on the offensive side who can create explosive plays on the turf field of the Atlanta Falcons’ dome stadium (the site of the SEC title game). Since 2010, the average combined points in the SEC championship is 64.8 total points with nine of the past 13 matchups seeing over 54.5 points (this year’s total).

The history of these high-scoring matchups is all well and good, but let’s get down to why this year’s game will hit the over. Both Georgia and Alabama boast defenses among the best in college football this season. Yet, both offenses are also very good and loaded with high-end talent to rip big plays and create a higher-scoring game flow. 

Georgia teams of years past have featured elite defenses being the clear best unit and controlling games. This season, though, that narrative has switched over to the Bulldogs offense setting the tone while the defense hasn’t been quite as dominant. The Georgia offense is led by future NFL QB Carson Beck, who’s been slinging it around all season and has gotten more and more confident under center as the year has progressed. Beck has a number of top targets to dish it around to with stud tight end Brock Bowers and wideout Ladd McConkey expected back after sitting out last week. 

The ‘Dogs should pass the ball well this weekend as they’ve done all year. Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide defense has only faced two top-tier passing quarterbacks this season and could get carved up by Beck and Co. Back in Week 2, Quinn Ewers threw for 349 yards and 3 TDs as Texas put up 34 points. About a month ago, LSU scored 28 points on Bama’s D as Jayden Daniels had success both through the air and on the ground. 

On the other side, the Alabama offensive attack with dual-threat QB Jalen Milroe can keep pace and hit big plays to push the total. The Tide can use Milroe’s dangerous legs and big arm to exploit some small weaknesses in the UGA defense. The Bulldogs have had slight issues with some running QBs this season and Milroe will be the toughest test of them all. Earlier this year, Auburn used its dual-threat quarterbacks and the run game overall to rack up 219 rushing yards against Georgia. Expect Bama to use the run game with Milroe headlining to open up deep balls and longer downfield completions. Georgia’s secondary is very good but don’t be surprised if Alabama connects on a long TD or two.

Finally, here are a few other trends to consider when taking the over here. Alabama games have hit the over in five straight and seven of the past nine this season. The Georgia vs Alabama matchups are 6-2-1 to the over in the last nine meetings. 

PICK: Georgia/Alabama Over 54.5 (-110 BetMGM)


Other CFB Conference Championship Bets:

  • Miami (OH) +7.5
  • Boise State/UNLV Over 58.5