College Football Picks Against the Spread for Conference Championship Week

Kyle Koster
Wisconsin v Ohio State
Wisconsin v Ohio State / Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Season records: Koster 72-63; Giuffra 69-57; McKeone 64-71; Phillips 62-73

Utah (-6) vs. Oregon

Koster: Justin Herbert was a shell of himself against Arizona State a few weeks ago and the Ducks lost hope of a national title as a result. The Utes' defense is far superior to that Sun Devils' side, and may be the best in all of the country. I like Utah to do what needs to be done and be impressive in its last audition for the selection committee. Utah 33, Oregon 17

McKeone: I've cooled significantly on Justin Herbert as the season has progressed. He's still a quality QB prospect, but doesn't have the skills right now to solely drive his team to victory-- and that's what Oregon needs to overcome one of the best defenses around in Utah. I don't think the Utes' offense will be productive enough to run away with this, but Utah will walk away with the Pac-12 title and perhaps a CFP berth. Utah 28, Oregon 24

Phillips: Oregon is faltering down the stretch, while Utah just seems to get stronger every week. The Utes have a chance to make the playoff if they can just sneak by the Ducks. I think they'll do it and do it in emphatic fashion. Utah 38, Oregon 20

Giuffra: Will the real Oregon Ducks please stand up? Against Utah, despite having a great defense, I can see that happening. Utah 27, Oregon 25

Baylor (+8) vs. Oklahoma

Koster: The Sooners needed a wild comeback to win the first go-around. They've appeared beatable in recent weeks, totally indifferent to playing complete games. But last week's curb-stomping of Oklahoma State has me believing that the ship's been righted and they won't fall down big early. Totally different this time around. Oklahoma 39, Baylor 20

McKeone: This is tough. It seems crazy to me that Baylor is an eight-point underdog after walking all over Oklahoma for three quarters not one month ago, but the Sooners have been ramping it up since then and did win that game, after all. Conventional logic would suggest trusting Lincoln Riley and Jalen Hurts, but conventional logic has done exactly nil for me in these picks, so I'll go with Baylor and the upset in a wild Big 12 showdown. Baylor 56, Oklahoma 49

Phillips: Oklahoma managed to come back and win after a great game when these two met earlier in the season. I think the Sooners will jump out ahead and lead the whole way in the rematch. Oklahoma 45, Baylor 34

Giuffra: Oklahoma has one last chance to prove it deserves a spot in the CFP. It's been playing much better down the stretch, including a comeback win over Baylor four weeks ago, which was at Baylor. I'm going to roll with the hot hand. Oklahoma 34, Baylor 24

Louisiana-Lafayette (+6) at Appalachian State

Koster: No real idea here but one of my kid's names is Monroe, and I am disappointed whenever UL- isn't followed with Monroe. Nothing personal. Or maybe that's the definition of personal. Appalachian State 34, Louisiana 21

McKeone: App State has been steamrolling conference opponents for all of the second half of their season. A tough decision, but the Mountaineers are the clear choice. Appalachian State 31, Louisiana 21

Phillips: This is going to play out as most of Appalachian State's conference games have. The Mountaineers are rolling and will beat the Ragin' Cajuns this week. Appalachian State 37, Louisiana 24

Giuffra: App State's offense faces a tougher defense in LA-Lafayette, which comes into the game giving up just 18.9 PPG. I see this being closer than the rest of my co-workers. App State 29, LA-Lafayette 24

Cincinnati (+9) at Memphis

Koster: The Bearcats held their own last week and I expect them to do it again. Luke Fickell was like a velociraptor testing an electric fence for weaknesses. Cincy wins the turnover battle and the war. Cincinnati 28, Memphis 24

McKeone: These teams played each other less than a week ago. In that matchup, Memphis came out on top by 10 points, which explains the spread. They've played well all season. But this time, Cincinnati will correct their mistakes and pull off the upset. Cincinnati 37, Memphis 35

Phillips: Memphis beat Cincinnati less than a week ago in Memphis and the Tigers get to host again this week. It's really hard to beat a team twice, so I'm leaning towards a Cincinnati upset. Cincinnati 31, Memphis 30

Giuffra: I went with Memphis last time and won. Always tough to beat a team twice this close in time. I still like Memphis to win, but not by 10 or more. Memphis 30, Cincinnati 27

Georgia (+7.5) vs. LSU

Koster: Joe Burrow has been incredible all year but this is the best defense he's seen. The Bulldogs have been collecting service-like wins while Jake Fromm underachieves. I truly believe this will be a 60-minute game and the Tigers will need some late heroics. LSU 23, Georgia 17

McKeone: The marquee matchup of the week. It should be a fantastic game that will showcase elite NFL talent on both sides. The 'Dawgs seem to have a slight edge defensively, but the Tigers have a clear advantage offensively thanks to that guy Joe Burrow. He'll be the difference, but Georgia will be far more competitive than the seven-and-a-half point spread suggests. LSU 31, Georgia 28

Phillips: Obviously all eyes will be on this game, as Georgia has a chance to earn a spot in the playoff and knock off an undefeated LSU steamroller. It's not going to happen. The Tigers are too dang good and the Bulldogs have underperformed all season. LSU 38, Georgia 28

Giuffra: The first question here is can Georgia's defense stop LSU's offense? The second is can Georgia run on LSU? And the third, and most important is can LSU live up to the hype on offense get out of the SEC with a perfect record? No, yes (won't matter), yes. LSU 30, Georgia 20

Hawaii (+14) at Boise State

Koster: The Broncos hung 59 on Hawaii earlier this year. They'll do it again. Boise State 59, Hawaii 29

McKeone: Boise State should run away with this one, as fun as Hawaii has been this season. Boise State 42, Hawaii 21

Phillips: Hawaii has had a great season but beating Boise State in Boise is a bridge too far. Boise State 37, Hawaii 21

Giuffra: Hawaii has gotten bodied by good teams in two trips to the mainland this year, once against Boise State and once against Washington. Its two wins on the mainland were against mediocre UNLV and New Mexico. Away from the sweet smell of paradise, I don't see Hawaii competing. Boise State 50, Hawaii 30

Virginia (+28.5) vs. Clemson

Koster: According to Dabo Swinney, if Clemson loses this game it's forever banned from the playoff. Virginia finally got a victory over its rival and is riding high. Have a funny feeling about this not being a total cakewalk. Clemson 38, Virginia 20

McKeone: Hoo, boy. Dabo Swinney is still working himself up over the perceived disrespect for Clemson and the ACC. Whether or not you think that's deserved, Clemson won't have trouble with the poor Cavaliers, and will be pouring it on in preparation for the CFP. Clemson 62, Virginia 14

Phillips: Clemson is the best team in the ACC by miles and has all but wrapped up a spot in the playoff. This will just be icing on the cake. Clemson 56, Virginia 24

Giuffra: Clemson is out for blood and Virginia is coming off an emotional home win against Va Tech. Just being happy to be there, Virginia won't compete, but I think the line is pretty spot on. Clemson 49, Virginia 20

Ohio State (-16.5) vs. Wisconsin

Koster: The Badgers will be going with eyes wide open. I believe it will be a much better showing. And yet Ohio State is that damn good. Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 20

McKeone: The last time these two teams met, it did not go well for Wisconsin. They've managed to bounce back in recent weeks, and are coming off an emotional win against Minnesota on the road. Ohio State is too good to stumble at this stage, but I do think this will be a better game than many think. Ohio State 35, Wisconsin 30

Phillips: This will wind up being closer than their first matchup, but Ohio State is still going to roll and take its spot in the playoff. Ohio State 56, Wisconsin 34

Giuffra: Wisconsin has played better the last few weeks, but the talent level on OSU is too high. Unless Wisconsin scores points on defense or special teams, and forces some turnovers, this game will get out of hand early. Ohio State 42, Wisconsin 20