It’s conference championships week in college football, but thanks to COVID-19 it’s a much busier schedule than usual.
We’ll start with a look at the opening odds in the championship games for the major conferences. In the Big Ten the Ohio State Buckeyes opened as a 19.5-point favorite against the Northwestern Wildcats. Ohio State has won eight straight against Northwestern with a 7-1 record against the spread.
In the ACC the Clemson Tigers opened as a 7-point favorite against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Earlier this season Notre Dame upset Clemson 47-40 as a 4.5-point underdog. It’s important to remember that Clemson was missing starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence in that game.
In the SEC the Alabama Crimson Tide opened as a 14-point favorite versus the Florida Gators. Alabama has owned this matchup with six straights wins and a 5-1 ATS, record.
In the Big 12 the Oklahoma Sooners are in the championship game again and they opened as a 4-point favorite versus the Iowa State Cyclones. The Sooners have won the last four Big 12 title games, and eight of the last 10. Earlier this season Iowa State upset Oklahoma 37-30 as a 7.5-point underdog.
Finally, in the Pac-12 the USC Trojans opened as a 6-point favorite versus the Washington Huskies. Washington is 4-3 SU and 5-2 ATS in their last seven versus USC.
Outside the conference championship games the largest spread on the board this week was in the Vanderbilt Commodores and Georgia Bulldogs matchup. The Bulldogs opened as a 33.5-point favorite against the winless Commodores. When favored by 30 points or more the Bulldogs are 27-0, but only 8-19 ATS.
A few other notable opening lines on the odds list this week include Texas A&M at Tennessee (+13), Mississippi at LSU (-2), Boise State vs. San Jose State (+8), Michigan at Iowa (-13.5), and Minnesota at Wisconsin (-11.5).
Here are a few standouts trends ands states from some of those games. Texas A&M is 6-2 ATS in their last eight road games. LSU upset Florida 37-34 as a 23-point underdog last week. Michigan is 1-4 SU in their last five and 1-7 ATS in their last eight. Wisconsin has lost three straight as the favorite.