Scully’s College Football Conference Championship Free Picks

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November 29th, 2018

Scully concluded the regular season with a very strong 32-19-1 ATS record (62.7%) and rolls in to a major weekend with his Conference Championship free picks! Enjoy and good luck!

*ATS (Against the Spread) / SU (Straight Up) * PK indicates pick *home team in caps

PAC-12 Championship

Utah Utes (+5.5) vs Washington Huskies (Friday 8 p.m. ET)

Both teams play solid defense but Washington’s (-5.5) offense will prove too much for a rival missing a pair of star players. Huskies endured brutal 0-6 ATS stretch during conference play but defense toughened up during last five weeks of regular season, holding three teams to 15 or less as no foe scored more than 23 points since mid-October. Love how defense forced three turnovers while keeping high-octane Washington St. in check last week and the offense finally starting to hit its best stride as well, with RB Miles Gaskin rushing for 170 yards and QB Jake Browning an efficient 11-for-14 despite terrible conditions. Look for the seniors to deliver another strong showing as Washington pulls away to a convincing win.

Kudos to Utes for winning three straight since the loss of QB Tyler Huntley and RB Zack Moss, but reality sets in Saturday. Utes able to capitalize upon poor defensive play from BYU and Oregon in narrow home victories, mixing in a road win over hapless Colorado, but they lost 21-7 to Washington while at full strength earlier this season and won’t have the firepower to match points this weekend. Lay the points!

Pac-12 Conference Championship Free Picks – Bet Washington -5.5 over Utah!

Big 12 Championship

Texas Longhorns (+8.0) vs Oklahoma Sooners (Saturday 12 p.m. ET)

Oklahoma’s defense took another step back in Morgantown last weekend, with receivers running wide open all over the field as they surrendered a season-worst 56 points. It’s an historically bad secondary in Norman and backers have been licking their wounds of late, with the Sooners going 0-3-1 ATS despite winning every game straight up in November.

With all that being said, Oklahoma (-8.0) is still the play this weekend. Sooners sustained their only loss this season when Texas entered the Red Rivalry Showdown on the upswing, but that won’t be the case Saturday. Longhorns no longer playing with the same confidence on offense, struggling to score in a 24-17 win over Kansas last week. And the defense has faltered as well in the second half of the season, with Oklahoma St., Texas Tech and West Virginia scoring at will in games that came down to who had the ball last.

In a revenge setting, Kyler Murray will be the difference. Oklahoma QB still making a case for the Heisman, tied for first by completion percentage (70.6%) and second by TDs (37), and Texas won’t be able to keep up with the nation’s most potent offensive attack. Look for a blowout win from Oklahoma!

Big 12 Conference Championship Free Picks – Bet Oklahoma -8.0 over Texas!

SEC Championship

Georgia Bulldogs (+13.5) vs Alabama Crimson Tide (Saturday 4 p.m. ET)

The underdog has dominated this series of late (5-0 ATS) and give me Georgia (+13) with a near two-TD spread. Alabama certainly hasn’t played an opponent this season near the caliber of Georgia, who is 12-3 ATS in last 15 games outside of Athens, and Kirby Smart 5-2 ATS as an underdog since taking the helm as coach.

Bulldogs young but talented to begin the season and playing their best football presently. In fact, Georgia following same pattern from last year when a lopsided loss to Auburn paid dividends as they made a run to the national title game in the aftermath. LSU provided a similar spark when punching them in the mouth six weeks ago (36-16), ending all talk of an unbeaten campaign and refocusing Georgia’s efforts upon the second half of the season, and Bulldogs responded with improved offensive production as they’ve averaged more than 41 points per game since.

Bulldogs have the best defense outside of Tuscaloosa and catching an opponent who may have peaked a few weeks earlier when recording back-to-back blowout road wins over Tennessee and LSU. Alabama has been sluggish in the first half of three games since and shown a tendency in recent years not to finish the year strong from a betting perspective, compiling a 5-7 ATS (10-2 SU) mark from the final four lined games from 2015-17. Tide 4-6 ATS in bowl/playoff/SEC title games since 2013.

Smart, a longtime Saban assistant, knows how to attack the Bama defense, devising a brilliant game plan as Georgia went toe-to-toe with the Tide in last year’s national title game, and up-and-coming Georgia capable of staying within this lofty number in Atlanta!

SEC Conference Championship Free Picks – Bet Georgia +13 over Alabama!

ACC Championship

Pittsburgh Panthers (+27.5) vs Clemson Tigers (Saturday 8 p.m. ET)

Clemson 6-6 ATS this season, failing to cover big numbers in the last two games against South Carolina and Duke and recording a putrid 2-5 ATS mark when favored by 20+ points. Pittsburgh (+27.5) handed Clemson their lone loss during 2016 national championship campaign (as 22-point underdog) and Panthers finished this season on 6-1 ATS run, the lone setback coming when they had nothing to play for last week.

Love the progress Pittsburgh has made during the second half of the season the last two years for coach Pat Narduzzi, compiling a 7-2 ATS record from November/December games. Since a lopsided loss to Central Florida in late September, QB Kenny Pickett has made plays and Hall and Ollison provide a solid one-two punch out of the backfield. Pitt defense stepped up nicely down the stretch, allowing only 18 points per game over final four contests, and Panthers provided blueprint for Clemson game plan when controlling clock in a 19-14 setback to Notre Dame this season.

Clemson gave up 610 yards of offense to South Carolina last week and injury-riddled Duke had more than 100 yards rushing two weeks ago. The defense didn’t develop as expected, with the relationship between coach Swinney and D-coordinator Venerable deteriorating according to reports, and QB Trevor Lawrence still shows signs of being a true freshman as he struggles from time to time. Tigers will remain unbeaten but not the offensive juggernaut this line suggests. Take the points!

ACC Conference Championship Free Picks – Bet Pittsburgh +27.5 over Clemson!

James Scully is a professional handicapper who hails from the great state of Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @JamesScully.