Normally some friends who have a podcast about this are correct, as generally a “Just Say No” to parlays outlook is the best way to be profitable as a sports bettor. I’d rather stack dozens of bets each weekend and have them come out as positive or negative based on all the outcomes. Finishing just two or three games over .500 equals winning. Granted I won’t hit the lottery ticket, but I will (hopefully) consistently grind out the cash.
And I throw all that out the window for an annual tradition: The College Football Championship Weekend parlay.
The price paid for winning a 10-team parlay is 720-1, with the true odds that treat each side as a coin flip at 1023-1. That means you just need to live long enough to see the Pac-12 get back together again, and you too can hit one of these! Are you setting $100 on fire here? Most likely! But let’s have some fun anyway.
The challenging odds won’t stop us from trying. One side or total from all 10 games this weekend is below, and all odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook.
C-USA Championship: New Mexico State vs. Liberty
The Liberty Flames rank 108th in plays per second out of 133 teams, while the New Mexico State Aggies come in at 129th. Combine that with a pair of defenses that the advanced stats project as much better than average (LU: 43, NMSU: 39), and it’ll likely be a bit of a slog in Lynchburg on Friday night.
Expect the Flames to pull away at home, and then kill the clock to keep things under the total.
Pac-12 Championship: Oregon vs. Washington
If the 9.5-point spread is correct here, expect the backdoor to be wide open for the Washington Huskies on the fast track and perfect conditions of Allegiant Stadium. Stops in this game will be at a premium, as Oregon’s No. 1 offense by SP+ gets Washington’s No. 42, and UW’s No. 5 offense faces a Ducks defense at No. 14.
Oregon can run away and hide here, but the chance of a late TD is the only reason we’re not laying the points here in the first place. You can achieve the same game projection result with a bit more value on the total.
MAC Championship: Miami-Ohio vs. Toledo
After locking up a spot in this game in early November, the Toledo Rockets have had nothing to play for in weeks, leaving them well-rested for the Redhawks.
Don’t expect a ton of points from two teams with very good defenses, a rarity in this age of midweek conference football. Expect the Rockets to run the ball just enough to give DeQuan Finn a chance to make plays with both his feet and his arm on the edge.
Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma State vs. Texas
With every incentive in the world to put an exclamation point on their season for “game control” reasons with the CFP Committee, the Texas Longhorns aren’t expected to take their foot off the gas. Oklahoma State’s defense has very little chance against a team that is getting right at the correct time.
Look for a big game out of Texas QB Quinn Ewers, who should be able to pick apart the Cowboys’ defense outside the pocket as well.
Mountain West Championship: Boise State vs. UNLV
The MWC Championship features two teams going in opposite directions. The Boise State Broncos have been revitalized since firing head coach Andy Avalos while the UNLV Rebels lost to San Jose State at home last week after squeaking by the imploding Air Force.
Expect both coaches to open the playbooks, and with these defenses (Boise State: 71st SP+, UNLV: 89th) well behind the offenses (Boise State: 33rd, UNLV: 30th), expect plenty of points in Paradise (Nevada).
SEC Championship: Alabama vs. Georgia
The Alabama Crimson Tide are playing better despite the near-implosion last week in Jordan-Hare. That being said, the apprentice has become the master in this rivalry. Georgia Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart just has more players who can do more things.
The Dawgs will try to make Jalen Milroe win the game from the pocket, which will be tough as they could be overwhelmed at the point of attack. The problem for Bama has been the leaky O-line all season. And while Carson Beck doesn’t look like a world beater, he won’t need to be with Brock Bowers and Ladd McConkey “down there somewhere.”
Sun Belt Championship: Appalachian State vs. Troy
App State +5.5
The in-form team here is the App State Mountaineers, who ruined James Madison’s NCAA petition and then smoked Georgia Southern on the way to the title game. Troy’s vaunted defense has allowed just 55 points the last three weeks, but to La-Mo, La-La, and Southern Miss(ed) that’s less impressive than it looks.
It’s tough to bet against a team that’s won nine in a row and is at home, but expect App State to put up enough to keep it close behind Joey Aguilar and their gaudy 6.4 yards per play offensively.
AAC Championship: SMU vs. Tulane
The winner of this game is probably the best team in the Group of Five, as SMU has earned this 10-2 on their way out of the league. They’ve averaged 50.3 points the last six weeks, but have “struggled” on the road at Rice and Memphis where they’ve conceded far too many.
But they are without starting quarterback Preston Stone, who suffered an injury that would have made this game a pick ‘em at worst. Michael Pratt and Willie Fritz in what will be a truly sold-out Yulman Stadium should make for the best atmosphere the Garden District has ever seen for football. Expect at least two turnovers from a Green Wave side that’s forced 1.8 per game this season from less generous teams.
ACC Championship: Louisville vs. Florida State
Expect plenty of punts and clock control in this battle of flawed teams limping to the end. The status of FSU QB Tate Rodemaker makes this even more up-in-the-air. Throwing out the advanced stats here makes sense for the undefeated Noles, who need to make an impression on the CFP Committee.
Seminoles WRs Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson can make up for plenty but don’t expect a lot of coaching faith from either offense. Louisville’s Jack Plummer has 11 interceptions on the season, and the Noles have picked off a pass in each of the last four games.
Big Ten Championship: Iowa vs. Michigan
The Iowa Hawkeyes’ first-half total is set at 0.5, which is not a misprint. They simply have no way to score in this game without a turnover, though, they are stout enough up front to force plenty of punts from the Wolverines.
Iowa might not have seven first downs much less seven points, and it’s not like either team intends to go fast here, but expect Michigan to pull away in the second half behind Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards. Even a 24-3 tilt is still a comfortable under.