Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, seek conference titles as favorites


The Oklahoma Sooners have not covered the last two times that they hosted the Bedlam rivalry game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Ahead of what’s essentially the Big 12 title game, the Sooners are favored by 11 points against the Cowboys at sportsbooks monitored by While the Sooners didn’t cover at home in both 2012 and 2014, they are 11-2 straight-up and 9-4 against the spread in their last 13 games against their rivals from Stillwater.

Each team has a high-flying offense, with the Sooners’ Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook and the Cowboys’ Mason Rudolph and James Washington each being among the country’s top passing combinations.

The Sooners complement the aerial circus by having RBs Joe Mixon and Samaje Perrine tag-team opponents. Oklahoma State has improved on defense, but the likes of DT Vincent Taylor and FS Jordan Sterns might not get much rest while facing two fierce feature backs.

The Washington Huskies are 7.5-point favorites against the Colorado Buffaloes in the Pac-12 Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. On form, Washington is stronger but QB Jake Browning and his receivers are up against CB Chidobe Awuzie and the best secondary they have seen since their lone loss against Southern Cal. Buffaloes QB Sefo Liufau is a playmaker and power runner.

The Alabama Crimson Tide are favored by 24 points against the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. Florida has lost six defensive starters to injuries, but the Gators excel at inducing turnovers and Alabama’s top rushers, QB Jalen Hurts, RB Joshua Jacobs and RB Bo Scarborough, have struggled to avoid fumbles. That might be the only way this one stays close.

Alabama is 4-6 ATS in their last 10 outings where they were favored by 14.5 to 28 points.

The Wisconsin Badgers are favored by 2.5 points against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis. Badgers CB Shelton Sojourn and FS Leo Musso lead a talented pass defense and Penn State QB Trace McSorley has a tendency to force throws, which could be an X factor.

Wisconsin is built on the rushing attack and Penn State runs a spread, so the outcome likely comes down to whose style of game is established early.

And the Clemson Tigers are favored by 10 points against the Virginia Tech Hokies with a 58 total in the ACC Championship Game in Orlando. Deshaun Watson, a likely high NFL pick in 2017, leads a potent Tigers offense. Virginia Tech, behind junior QB Jerod Evans, will score enough to avoid an utter blowout. Ultimately, the Tigers defense has been the stingier of the two throughout the season.