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Underdogs Against the Spread: Best G5 Football Conference Championship ATS Picks

NCAA Football: Sun Belt Conference Championship-UL Lafayette at Appalachian State Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

It’s conference championship week in college football which means we are running out of weeks to build up that bankroll.

Last week was only the second time this season with a losing record which was surprising given the start. Utah State covered the 15.5-point spread on Friday for the first win. Toledo scored 49 points and Akron did just enough to go over the total. Sitting pretty at 2-0 with three games to go.

It went all downhill from there. WKU got off to a slow start, trailing 14-6 at the half. They scored 47 points in the second half, but we needed one more point from either team to get to 75 and give us a push. SMU picked up an early 17-0 lead before Tulsa came roaring back to win outright. And to cap it off, Tulane scored a touchdown with under two minutes to go to hit the over in the loss to Memphis.

With all that said, we’re still sitting pretty at nine games over .500 heading into the Group of Five conference championships. Let’s pick some more winners before we enter the most wonderful time of the year: bowl season.

2021 Record: 25-16

*All lines are according to ScoresAndOdds.com and are accurate at the time this article is published


Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (-3) vs. UTSA Roadrunners

UTSA’s perfect season came to an end last week with a shocking loss to North Texas. UTSA is 11-1 on the year, this game will be played in San Antonio, and they’re still the underdog. That’s because Bailey Zappe and Jerreth Sterns have been unstoppable in conference play, scoring 40-plus in seven of their CUSA games. WKU started the season 1-4, with a 52-46 loss to UTSA to give them that fourth loss. The Hilltoppers haven’t lost since and have been scorching since that meeting in October. WKU gets their revenge in what likely will be the highest-scoring game of championship week.

Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Northern Illinois Huskies (+3)

Northern Illinois is used to being in this position. They have played in seven MAC Championships in the past decade, winning four of them, including a win over the Golden Flash in the 2012 game. Kent State has only been in two conference championship games in their 101 years in college football and their lone conference title came in 1972. These two teams met earlier in the season and Kent State got the win in that one. Similar to the game above, I expect revenge to be served and NIU to claim another MAC title.

Utah State Aggies vs. No. 19 San Diego State Aztecs (Under 50)

San Diego State has been good to me all season and there is no reason to stop putting my faith in them now. The Aztecs are allowing just 15.9 points per game and their games have gone under the total in six of eight Mountain West games this season. The Aggies have gone under the total in six of their last nine games this season. I’m thinking something along the lines of 27-20 which falls under the total.

Appalachian State Mountaineers vs. No. 24 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (+3)

Louisiana lost their regular season opener to Texas but have won every game since under Billy Napier, who is not bailing on his team despite taking the job at Florida. In those 11 wins was a win over App State, and unlike in the CUSA and MAC rematches, this one wasn’t even close as the Ragin’ Cajuns won, 41-13, as a 4.5-point home underdog. Now they’re a 3-point home dog in Napier’s last game at the helm? Give me the home team and the points.

No. 21 Houston Cougars vs. No. 4 Cincinnati Bearcats (Over 54)

Of the five G5 championship games this weekend, this is the only one with a double-digit spread as Cincinnati is a 10.5-point favorite. I think Houston will keep this game close but it’s a bit surprising that the total is a measly 54 points. Sure, each team is elite on both sides of the ball. Cincinnati is second in scoring defense (14.5 ppg), while Houston is 16th (18.3). But both teams can rack up points quickly in what will be an exciting game. Houston is 16th in scoring offense (35.8) and Cincy is 12th (36.5). Houston has scored at least 30 points in eight straight games, and five times they’ve cracked 40 during that stretch. Cincinnati needs a win to keep their College Football Playoff dream alive and the more points the merrier to make sure no one jumps them.

Check back with us next week for more and let me know what you think in the comments below or via Twitter. Until next week, SHOW ME THE MONEY!!