College Football Week 16: Conference Championship Game Lines

Posted By Brett Gibbons on December 19, 2020
college football conference championship game odds Clemson Notre Dame

The strangest college football season in history is beginning to wrap up as most teams’ seasons have already ended or will come to a close this weekend. There will be an abbreviated bowl season over the course of the next couple of weeks, and the College Football Playoff is still on the horizon, but it’s just about curtains for this odd regular season. Here, we will look at the odds for all of the college football regular season and conference championship games set to be played this Saturday.

College football Week 16 odds

Here are college football conference championship odds and more Week 16 lines.

 

Power-5 Conference Championship game betting previews

No. 14 Northwestern vs. No. 3 Ohio State: Saturday, 12 p.m. ET

 

Similarly to USC, Ohio State is holding onto hopes of a CFP berth. However, only having played six games at the time of selection, there will be controversy should the Buckeyes be chosen. Either way, they’re looking for their fifth straight Big Ten Championship against Northwestern, who found themselves in the conference title game just two years ago.

The Wildcats have rode their defense to a near perfect record and the top of the Big Ten West. Northwestern’s D is allowing just 14.6 points per game. Ohio State has the nation’s fourth-ranked scoring offense (46.6 points per game) behind stellar play from Justin Fields. Northwestern hasn’t faced a team inside the top half in scoring and just one team inside the top 100 (Purdue).

No. 11 Oklahoma vs. No. 7 Iowa State: Saturday, 12 p.m. ET

 

It’s a rematch of a game that Iowa State won earlier in the year, and one that kickstarted a two game slide to unranked opponents for Oklahoma. It’s the first time the Cyclones have found themselves in the Big 12 Championship game and they’re looking for their first conference title since 1912. Oklahoma, on the other hand, is seeking their 50th conference title and their sixth straight.

While Iowa State took care of business the first time around, oddsmakers feel that the Sooners are the better team, opening them as 4.5-point favorites at most books. Oklahoma is third in the country in scoring margin over their last three games (+31.3), including a 13-point win over Baylor. Before that game, Oklahoma was second behind only Alabama. Iowa State has also handled their business, posting a +28 average scoring margin over their last three games (fifth in the nation). The winner, unlikely as it is, is clinging to slim playoff chances.

No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 2 Notre Dame: Saturday, 4 p.m. ET

 

It’s another rematch of a regular season upset when Clemson meets Notre Dame. The Irish pulled off an impressive 47-40 overtime win against the Tigers without Trevor Lawrence in early November. This time, Lawrence will play and Clemson is back as a double-digit favorite. The unbeaten Irish have earned their second ranking in the CFP, but doubts do surround their victories and scoring margin. They’ve had close calls with Duke, Louisville, and Boston College this season.

This year, Clemson has been beating the brakes off their opponents. Their +25.3 average scoring margin is fourth in the country. Lawrence makes a significant difference, as the Tigers were 1-1 with a -0.5 scoring margin in games Lawrence was out this year (+30.9 when he played). Should Notre Dame lose big, they could be bounced from CFP consideration, but should they narrowly lose, both Clemson and Notre Dame could find themselves in. If Clemson loses, it could be their first miss in the playoffs since its inauguration in 2014.

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 6 Florida: Saturday, 8 p.m. ET

 

The game that was to have massive stakes now lacks most of them. With Florida’s upset loss to LSU last week, the Gators were removed from CFP consideration. Even with a loss in this game, Alabama is likely in. The Crimson Tide have been the nation’s undisputed best team this season, with no teams coming within 14 points of them. Against currently-ranked opponents this year, the Tide have a +20.7 average scoring margin.

If Florida hopes to stay in this one, Kyle Trask will need to be in top shape. Trask– a serious Heisman contender– leads the nation in passing yards and passing touchdowns. He duels Mac Jones (the current Heisman favorite), who has the nation’s most explosive player, DeVonta Smith, catching his passes. It’s an uphill battle for the Gators, but never say never.

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Brett Gibbons

Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s covered college sports for Fansided, Stadium Journey, and several independent outlets over the past three years. A graduate of BGSU, Brett currently works on-site at Google as a shift lead for content curation products.

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