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Betting Against the Spread: College Football Championship Week Picks

Ohio State Buckeyes

Like it or not, Las Vegas rarely gets it wrong, so tracking betting lines should always be a big part of each football weekend — even if there are no bets on the line. Last week was not a happy holiday for my picks. I let you all down in a big way by taking more than a few rivalries to be blowouts. As it turns out, only the Florida Gators were bad enough to give me a cover. Normally, I would stay away from all picks this weekend due to lack of options. But since I know some of you are looking for any and all advice on what should be some great championship games, below are the spread picks for Week 15.

2013 Record Against the Spread: 39-32-1 (1-3 last week)

Week 15 Picks of the Week:

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Texas (+14.5) at Baylor
These two teams appear to be heading in opposite directions. Baylor struggled to survive against TCU and needed two defensive touchdowns to beat a team that was supposed to have a tough time scoring points. Texas crushed Texas Tech in extremely impressive fashion. This could be Mack Brown’s final game as the head coach, and the Horns can still win the conference championship. Look for a motivated Texas team to keep it close, if not win outright. Prediction: Texas +14.5

Utah State (+3) at Fresno State
The Aggies enter Saturday's matchup with a five-game winning streak. Fresno State is at home and coming off a loss. To me, this explains why the line seems to be too small this weekend. With the championship on the line in the Mountain West title game, fans can expect both teams to play up to their potential. Fresno State’s Derek Carr is on a tear right now, throwing for 1,041 yards and 12 touchdowns with just one interception in his last two games. Prediction: Fresno State -3

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Title Game Picks (if I have to):

Stanford (+3) at Arizona State
Defense wins championships and despite being on the road, I like the Cardinal to smother an ASU offense missing its top playmaker in Marion Grice. Stanford was up 29-0 at halftime and 39-7 after three quarters against ASU back in September. Prediction: Stanford +3

Ohio State (-5.5) vs. Michigan State
This should be a very close game between two excellent coaches and physical football teams. Trick plays will abound, and I like the Spartans' defense to keep them in the game. Braxton Miller makes a big play at the end to win it - but MSU covers. Prediction: Michigan State +5.5

Auburn (-2.5) vs. Missouri
The entire world (and maybe the Almighty above) is picking the Tigers of Auburn. But Mizzou is the more complete team. The Tigers of Missouri have a dramatically better defense and healthy James Franklin. When the entire herd is taking one team, I like to go the other way (especially with the line growing by the day). Missouri has the best record in the nation against the spread this year: 10-1-1. Prediction: Mizzou +2.5

Duke (+29) vs. Florida State
We are all rooting for David Cutcliffe and Duke in general. It's virtually impossible not to love the Blue Devils story this year. But Florida State is operating in a different stratosphere. With Jameis Winston now cleared of any wrong-doing, all eyes are focused on a championship (or two). The Noles are one of four teams with 10 wins against the numbers this year (10-2) Prediction: Florida State -29

Championship Game Previews: ACCBig TenPac-12SEC

Top 25 Picks Against the Spread:

Note: games with FCS opponents won't be included each week

Top 25 Games

Mitch Light

Braden Gall

Steven Lassan

David Fox

No. 20 Duke (+29) vs. No. 1 Florida State

No. 2 Ohio St (-5.5) vs. No. 10 Michigan St

No. 5 Missouri (+2.5) vs. No. 3 Auburn

No. 17 Oklahoma (+10) at No. 6 Oklahoma St

No. 7 Stanford (+3) at No. 11 Arizona State

No. 25 Texas (+14.5) at No. 9 Baylor

Bowling Green (+4.5) at No. 14 N. Illinois

No. 16 UCF (-7) at SMU

Utah St (+3.5) at No. 23 Fresno St

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