College Football Trends Report: Champ Week

Desmond Ridder #9 of the Cincinnati Bearcats drops back to pass in the first quarter against the SMU Mustangs at Nippert Stadium on November 20, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Image Credit: Dylan Buell/Getty Images

It’s Championship Weekend in College Football, which means there are playoff spots on the line. Entering this weekend, there are only seven teams with at least a 0.1 percent chance to reach the Playoff, according to ESPN’s Allstate Playoff Predictor. With so much at stake, here are BetPrep’s key trends for the biggest matchups in Week 12.

No. 10 Oregon (+2.5) vs. No. 17 Utah

8:00 p.m. ET, Friday (O/U: 59)

How did Utah reach the Pac-12 Championship? By embarrassing Oregon 38-7 less than two weeks ago in Salt Lake City. The seven points matched the Ducks’ fewest under coach Mario Cristobal. It was also Oregon’s fewest as an AP top-five team in school history and was the Ducks’ worst as an AP top-five team.

Utah is seeking its first-ever Pac-12 title, although this will be the third time in four  years that the Utes reached the conference championship game. As for Oregon, the Ducks are attempting to win their third-straight league title and are 4-0 all-time in conference title games, which is the best in FBS history.

The Over has cashed in seven of the last nine meetings between these two teams, although the Under hit in the November 20 matchup.

Oregon Key Trends

  • The Ducks are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games as an underdog, although one of those losses was to the Utes during the regular-season.
  • Oregon is 4-1 ATS in its last five games against a team with a winning record (you already know who the failed cover came against).
  • The Under is 4-1 in Oregon’s last five games as an underdog.

Utah Key Trends

  • The Utes are 0-4 ATS in their last four neutral site games and are 1-4 ATS in their last five neutral site games as a favorite.
  • That said, Utah is 13-5 ATS in its last 18 games coming off a straight up win.
  • The Over is 6-2 in the Utes’ last eight games overall.

No. 9 Baylor vs. No. 5 Oklahoma State

12:00 p.m. ET (O/U: 46.5)

Oklahoma State won the regular-season meeting with Baylor 24-14 on October 2. The 14 points were the Bears’ fewest this season, while the 10-point loss was also Baylor’s largest this year (only other loss was by two points at TCU).

Cowboys coach Mike Gundy is 9-0 as a betting favorite this season, which was the best mark in the Big 12. The Pokes have also won 11 straight as a betting favorite, which is the longest active streak in the Big 12.

That said, the Bears are 3-1 outright as betting underdogs in 2021 and would tie Michigan State (4-1) for the best record by a Power 5 team as an underdog this season with a win (minimum three games as an underdog).

Baylor Key Trends

  • The Bears are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games versus the Cowboys.
  • That said, Baylor is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games overall and is 13-4-1 ATS in its last 18 games as an underdog.
  • The Under is 4-1 in the Bears’ last five games overall.

Oklahoma State Key Trends

  • The Favorite is 16-6 ATS in the last 22 meetings between these two teams.
  • The Cowboys are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games as a Favorite.
  • The Under is 18-8-1 in the Cowboys’ last 27 games overall.

No. 1 Georgia (-6.5) vs. No. 3 Alabama

4:00 p.m. ET (O/U: 49.5)

If Alabama is going to avoid its second loss of the season, the Crimson Tide will need to do something that few opponents have done against Georgia: Figure out the Dawgs’ defense.

Georgia enters Saturday’s SEC championship allowing just 6.9 points per contest and haven’t allowed more than 17 points in a game all year. They’re the first team to enter a conference championship game allowing under seven points per game and the last FBS team to finish the regular season allowing under seven points per game was Oklahoma in 1986.

Conversely, ‘Bama has scored at least 20 points in each of its past 38 games, which is the second-longest active streak in FBS. The last time the Tide were held under 20 points was against Clemson in the national championship game at the end of the 2018 season.

Georgia Key Trends

  • The Dawgs are 11-4 against the spread in their last 15 neutral site games and are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 neutral site games as a favorite.
  • Georgia is 5-2 ATS in its last seven conference games.
  • The Under is 6-2 in UGA’s last eight games.

Alabama Key Trends

  • The Crimson Tide have covered in four of their last five games when listed as the underdog.
  • ‘Bama is 11-3 ATS in its last 14 games following an ATS loss.
  • The Under is 4-1-1 in the Tide’s last six neutral site games.

No. 21 Houston vs. No. 4 Cincinnati

4:00 p.m. ET (O/U: 53)

Perhaps no team playing this weekend has more at stake than Cincinnati. The Bearcats remained the No. 4-ranked team in the College Football Playoff rankings, but a loss to Houston would essentially eliminate them from the postseason discussion. They have to win.

Under coach Luke Fickell, Cincinnati has won 15 straight games against conference opponents, which is the longest active streak in the FBS according to ESPN Stats & Information Group. The Bearcats have also won 26-straight home games, which is second to only Clemson for longest active streak in FBS.

Enter Houston, which is 6-0 on the road this season but is 1-5-1 ATS in its last seven games against Cincinnati. The Cougars are also just 1-3-1 ATs in their last five road games versus the Bearcats.

Houston Key Trends

  • The Cougars are 20-7-1 ATS in their last 28 games as a road underdog, but are just 1-4 in their last five games as an underdog overall.
  • Houston is 5-2 ATS in its last seven conference games.
  • The Over is 5-1 in the Cougars’ last six road games.

Cincinnati Key Trends

  • The Bearcats are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 home games and are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games as a home favorite.
  • Cincinnati is a perfect 5-0 ATs in its last five games when facing an opponent with a winning record.
  • The Under is 5-1 in the Bearcats’ last six games overall.

No. 15 Pittsburgh (-2.5) vs. No. 16 Wake Forest

8:00 p.m. ET (O/U: 72.5)

Wake Forest will attempt to win its third ACC title, while Pittsburgh has never won an ACC or an outright conference title in any conference. Saturday will be the second conference title game for each program after Pitt lost 42-10 to Clemson in 2018 and Wake won against Georgia Tech 9-6 in 2006.

Saturday will also be just the second meeting between these two teams in program history. The Panthers won the first meeting back in 2018, 34-13.

Pittsburgh Key Trends

  • The Panthers are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games as a favorite.
  • Pittsburgh is 7-2 ATS in its last nine conference games.
  • The Over is 15-5 in the Panthers’ last 20 games overall.

Wake Forest Key Trends

  • The Demon Deacons are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Wake is 1-4 ATS in its last five games after allowing less than 275 total yards in its previous game.
  • The Over is 5-1 in the Demon Deacons’ last six games following a win.

No. 2 Michigan (-10.5) vs. No. 13 Iowa

8:00 p.m. ET (O/U: 43.5)

Michigan and Iowa are both seeking their first-ever win in the Big Ten Championship Game. The Wolverines are appearing in the Big Ten Championship Game for the first time in program history, while the Hawkeyes are making their second appearance after falling to Michigan State in 2015.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz is 7-6 against Michigan in his career. The only school to have played the Wolverines at least five times over that span and have a better record is, of course, Ohio State at 16-5.

The Underdog is 9-4 ATS in the last 13 meetings between these two teams, while the Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings overall.

Michigan Key Trends

  • The Wolverines enter Saturday night’s game on a four-game ATS winning streak.
  • Michigan is 5-1 ATS in its last six games as a favorite.
  • The Over is 39-19 in the Wolverines’ last 58 conference games.

Iowa Key Trends

  • The Hawkeyes are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games as an underdog.
  • Iowa is 11-4 ATS in its last 15 games coming off a win.
  • The Under is 4-1 in the Hawkeyes’ last five games as an underdog.