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Underdogs Against the Spread: Conference Championship Week ATS Picks

We don’t have a whole lot to choose from, but there are still winners out there during championship week

NCAA Football: Central Florida at South Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s still hard to believe that we have gone through 13 weeks of college football already.

The regular season has come to a close, and some might think that we finished on the wrong side of things. Not so fast. We still have conference championship games and bowl season ahead of us.

At this stage of the season, being four games under .500 isn’t that bad. We are running out of games to choose from, but there is still money to be made. Below are my picks for conference championship week.


Last week: 2-3

Overall: 30-34-1

*All lines are according to Scores and Odds and are accurate at the time posted

Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Buffalo Bulls (-3.5)

The first conference championship game of the week comes Friday night from the Mid-American Conference. NIU has historically been the better team in the MAC, but Buffalo has been the best team in the conference all season long. Tyree Jackson and Anthony Johnson - who will see at the next level - have been torching defense through the air and should do the same against the Huskies.

East Carolina Pirates vs. North Carolina State Wolfpack (-23.5)

You might be asking yourself, “why are these two teams playing during conference championship week?” It is one of several makeup games from earlier in the season. ECU fired Scottie Montgomery on Thursday and now his former team has a meaningless game to play a couple days later. Add in that NC State hasn’t beaten East Carolina since 2008, including a 33-30 loss two years ago, and it all adds up to the Wolfpack walking away with at least a four-touchdown victory.

Norfolk State Spartans vs. Liberty Flames (-3.5)

Another makeup game here. You almost never get a FBS vs. FCS matchup this late in the season so I’ll take the opportunity to back the FBS team getting the short number at home.

Memphis Tigers vs. UCF Knights (Over 64.5)

The Tigers have a chance to end UCF’s undefeated run without McKenzie Milton, while the Knights will look to prove they are one of the nation’s best even with their star quarterback out. While it won’t be a repeat of last year’s double-overtime performance in which the two teams combined for 117 points, these are two teams certainly capable of posting 30-plus on each other once again.

Fresno State Bulldogs vs. Boise State Broncos (Under 52.5)

These two teams met just a few weeks ago in Idaho where the Broncos pulled off a 24-17 win, and all the trends point in favor of the under. The under is 4-0 in their last four meetings overall and 5-1 in their last six in Boise. Plus, the under is 4-0 in both team’s last four games of the season. Last year’s meeting in the championship game was a 17-14 game, and that’s the kind of game we can expect again.