College Football Conference Championship Week Upset Picks

Matt Campbell celebrates

FILE – Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell, center, reacts with other team mambers during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Texas in Austin, Texas, in this Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, file photo. The Cyclones, who at No. 8 have their highest ranking ever in The Associated Press poll, play No. 12 Oklahoma on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
  • Conference Championship week of the season features a packed slate of exciting games
  • Last week’s Upset Picks were a perfect 3-0
  • See the odds and the best upset picks for Friday and Saturday within the story below

Conference championship week is finally here. Looking for some upset picks? Look no further than the Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC.

Three big time programs should be on high alert and so should the College Football Playoff committee members.

Pac-12 Championship Oregon vs USC Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Oregon +3.5 (-118) +123 O 61.5 (-114)
#13 USC -3.5 (-108) -152 U 61.5 (-107)

All odds taken Dec. 16th at DraftKings

Oregon Would Be Unlikely Pac-12 Champion

Washington was originally slated to face USC in the Pac-12 championship but had to withdraw due to COVID-19 issues within the program. That thrust the Oregon Ducks back into the picture for Friday night’s conference championship. Despite being unranked and finding out about their participation with less than a weeks notice, the oddsmakers are still giving the Ducks respect.

They are only 3.5-point underdogs and are only +123 on the moneyline. Those numbers show the odds makers have a real belief they could win this game.

They have had almost two full weeks of rest and are in unfamiliar territory as underdogs under head coach Mario Cristobal. The last game they were getting points? The Rose Bowl last year.

The good news is they have won back-to-back games as underdogs under their current head coach. This game should have plenty of scoring and it’s never a bad idea to side with Oregon in a track meet. The odds makers believe this will be a one score game, so take the plus money with the more explosive offense.

The Pick: Oregon Moneyline (+123)

ACC Championship Clemson vs Notre Dame Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
#2 Notre Dame +10.5 (-109) +275 O 60.5 (-110)
#3 Clemson -10.5 (-112) -360 U 60.5 (-110)

Can Notre Dame Beat Clemson Twice?

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has spent an awful lot of his time worrying about Ohio State and their chances of making the College Football Playoff. He should probably be more focused on making sure his Tigers don’t suffer a second loss to Notre Dame this year.

Another defeat to the new top dog in the ACC would surely spell an end to Clemson’s run of consecutive trips to the CFP.

Here’s the case for Notre Dame to beat Clemson for a second time this season. Yes, quarterback Trevor Lawrence is back but the Tigers offense wasn’t the issue the first time around, it was the defense. The offense was able to score 40 points in the loss, it was a series of defensive lapses that cost them the game.

The reality is, Clemson isn’t used to facing competition like Notre Dame during the year. The Fighting Irish put up 518 total yards in their 47-40 victory. Will Brian Kelly and his coaching staff be able to do the same a second time around? It’s certainly possible.

One reason to be bullish on Notre Dame’s chances is quarterback Ian Book. He has 15 touchdowns and only two interceptions on the season. He has at least 275 passing yards in four straight games, including the win over Clemson. Expect him and the offense to do enough to keep this one close. Considering the Irish are +275 on the money line, take the crazy value and bet them to make it two straight against Clemson.

The Pick: Notre Dame Moneyline (+275)

2020 Heisman Trophy Odds Tracker

Big 12 Championship Oklahoma vs Iowa State Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
#10 Oklahoma -5.5 (-112) -200 O 58 (-108)
#6 Iowa State +5.5 (-108) +160 U 58 (-113)

Iowa State Aiming to Make Big 12 History

Much like Notre Dame, Iowa State is an underdog this weekend despite already having a win over their opponent this season. The Cyclones beat Oklahoma 27-24 this year, and could make history if they do so again on Saturday.

Iowa State has never won the Big-12 championship and haven’t won any conference title in 108 years. They have a great chance of re-writing the history books this weekend for two key reasons.

The first is their head coach Matt Campbell. There is a reason he’s at the beginning of every “who should they hire?” article you read. Campbell is an incredible coach that will receive job offers from top college programs this offseason – and possibly NFL teams. His ability to creatively scheme has Iowa State in this rare position.

The other reason to like their chances is running back Breece Hall. He has compiled an NCAA leading 1,357 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. Hall is one of the most electric backs in all of college football, and will be a key factor in this one.

Hall had 137 yards and two touchdowns against Oklahoma earlier this year. In fact, Hall has multiple touchdowns in seven of the Cyclones 10 games this season. Expect Hall and Campbell to be the deciding factors in Iowa State’s historic victory on Saturday.

The Pick: Iowa State Moneyline (+160)

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