Football Forecast Dec 1-3

Volume 19, Edition 13… December 1-3, 2017

100-Unit College Conference Championship Game Highlights 4-0 Football Saturday
Complete Betting Rundown For Championship Weekend

Going For 3rd Straight Winning 150-Unit NFL Parlay Sunday

College Basketball Betting Lines Have All At Once Become So Tight One Must Find Hidden Edges To Win

Celtics 17-4-1 Against Spread, Covering 81% Of Time Pistons 2nd At 73.7%, 76ers 3rd At 70%

By Kelso Sturgeon

This is one of the most important weekends of the football season with eight college conference championship games, the outcome of which will determine the four teams that will be chosen to compete in the playoffs to determine the national championships. In the NFL there is a full schedule of 16 games and while the Philadelphia Eagles are ruling the league with an iron fist at least a half-dozen teams are battling for wild-card spots in the post season.

In college basketball bookmakers have obviously got their heads together and are now posting betting lines that challenge the best of handicappers. The lines are so tight on most games, one must find a hidden edge, or the right situation, to win a bet. Neither underdogs nor favorites seem to have any edge.

There is not a lot of room at the top but my top five college basketball teams are Duke (9-0), Michigan State (5-1), Wichita State (5-1), Texas A&M (6-0) and Notre Dame (6-0). The bottom line says in games played thus far there are 15-20 teams with enough talent to make it to the Final Four.

In the NBA the Boston Celtics are ruling the betting roost, covering 81% of the time at 17-4-1 against the spread (ATS). The Detroit Pistons are 14-5-1 (73.7 ATS), followed by the once lowly Philadelphia 76ers at 14-6-0 (70%). For those who still have a love affair with the Golden State Warriors, you are in the red thus far as they are 9-13-0 ATS (40.9% ATS).

The NBA bettors go-against teams are the Memphis Grizzlies (6-13-1...covering 31.6% of the time), followed by Dallas, Miami and Oklahoma City who are getting it done in the range of 36% of the time. If you are an NBA totals better the Brooklyn Nets and the Phoenix Suns standout, with Nets games going under 38.1% f the time and the Suns going under 39.1% of the time.

But let's get to first things first and that is the eight college championship games that will be played tis weekend. Here is a rundown of each of the 16 teams and it hopefully will offer enough insight to help you pick a winner. It all begins Friday night when Southern California (10-2) and Stanford (9-3) meet in the PAC-12 title contest

Bettor's Rundown Of College Championship Games
(Home Teams In CAPS)

Friday, December 1

PAC-12 Championship
USC Trojans (10-2) vs. Stanford Cardinal (9-3)
Played at Levi's Stadium (68,500), Santa Clara, CA
USC -4, Total 59...8:00 Eastern...ESPN
Regular Season Game
9/9...SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (-3.5) 42, Stanford 24
The Trojans are just 4-8 against the number this season and just 5-11 ATS in their las 16 games away from Coliseum. Stanford has covered in 10 of the last against USC and is 10-3-1 as an underdog dating back to 2011. The PAC-12 North is 6-0 in first six championship games and three of those wins were by Stanford.

Saturday, December 2

American Athletic Conference Championship
Memphis Tigers (10-1) at Central Florida Knights (11-0)
Played at Spectrum Stadium (45,323), Orlando
Central Florida -7, Total 82...12:00 Noon Eastern...ABC
Regular Season Game
9/30...CENTRAL FLORIDA (-5.5) 40, Memphis 13
This is just the third AAC championship game. Central Florida has won 10 straight in this series. Games played by these teams have gone "over" the total by a margin of 13-7-1. Memphis was 5-0 against the number in its last five regular season games while UCF was 1-4 ATS in its last five

Mid-American Conference Championship
Toledo Rockets (10-2) vs. Akron Zips (7-5)
Played at Ford Field (65,000), Detroit
Toledo -21.5, Total 57...!2:00 Noon Eastern...ESPN2
Regular Season Game
10/21...TOLEDO (-15) 48, Akron 21
Toledo stands 6-2 in last eight meetings with Akron and five of those wins came by double-digits. The Rockets went 6-1 SU and ATS in their last seven games.

Conference USA Championship
North Texas Mean Green (9-3) at Florida Atlantic Owls(9-3)
Played at FAU Football Stadium (29,419), Boca Raton
Florida Atlantic -11, Total 74...12:00 Noon Eastern...ESPN2
Regular Season Game
10/21...FLORIDA ATLANTIC (-3.5) 69, North Texas 31
This will be the 13th C-USA championship game and the host team is 9-3 SU in the first 12. North Texas is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games as a road underdog.

Big 12 Conference Championship Game
Oklahoma Sooners (11-1) vs. TCU Horned Frogs (10-2)
Played at AT&T Stadium (80,000), Arlington, TX
Oklahoma -7, Total 63.5...12:30 Eastern...FOX
Regular Season Game
11/11...OKLAHOMA (-5.5) 38, TCU 20
In the last five meetings between these teams, before this season, were decided by 7 or less points. TCU is 10-5 in its last 15 as an underdog while OU went just 1-4 ATS in five regular season road games. The "under" has prevailed by an 8-2 margin in their last 10 games.

Southeastern Conference Championship
Georgia Bulldogs (11-1) vs. Auburn Tigers 10-2)
Played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (75,000), Atlanta
Auburn -2.5, Total 48...4:00 Eastern...CBS
Regular Season Game
11/11...Auburn (+2.5) 40, Georgia 17
This is the 26th SEC championship game and underdogs have gone 12-12-1 in the first 25. Both Georgia and Auburn have each been to the title game five times with the Bulldogs going 2-3 in those contests and Auburn 3-2. The SEC West has won eight straight title games and seven of those victories were by double digits. Georgia is on a 9-4 ATS run, dating back to last season, and is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games away from Athens. This matchup is one of the most heated rivalries in all of football and neither team takes any prisoners.

Mountain West Conference Championship
Fresno State Bulldogs (9-3) at Boise State Broncos (9-3)
Played at Albertsons Stadium (36,387), Boise
Boise State -8.5, Total 50...7:45 Eastern...ESPN
Regular Season Game
11/25...FRESNO STATE (+6.5) 28, Boise State 17
Even though Fresno State won this season's regular season game, it must be noted Boise State was 16-0 in the previous 16. In the first four MWC championship games, the favorites have gone 4-0 SU but the underdogs have prevailed 3-1 against the number. Fresno has had a huge around year under under turn-around yea coach Jeff Tedford, having gone 1-11 last season and 3-9 the season before. The Bulldogs are 8-2-2 ATS this season while Boise is 2-12-1 in its last 15 home games as a favorite.

Big Ten Conference Championship
Wisconsin Badgers (12-0) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2)
Played at Lucas Oil Stadium (63,000), Indianapolis
Ohio State -6.5, Total 52...8:00 Eastern...FOX
Teams Did Not Meet In Regular Season
This is the seventh Big Ten championship game and the first six saw the underdogs go 4-2 SU and 5-0-1 against the number. The over has prevailed by a 5-1 margin. Ohio State is 5-0 SU against Wisconsin in the last five meetings, including a 59-0 win over the Badgers in 2014. The Badgers are on a 20-7-1 ATS run in their last 28 games and are 8-1 ATS in their last nine as an underdog. Ohio State is just 5-10 ATS in its last 15 games.

Atlantic Coast Conference Championship
Miami Hurricanes (10-1) vs. Clemson Tigers (11-1)
Played at Bank Of America Stadium (73,778), Charlotte
Clemson -9.5, Total 46.5...8:00 Eastern...ABC
Teams Did Not Meet In Regular Season
This is the 13th ACC title game and the favorites went 8-4 SU and 6-6 ATS in the first 12. While this is the first appearance for Miami in the title game, Clemson has been here four times and stands 3-1 in those games. It also is of note Clemson has won in this spot the past two seasons and ended up playing Alabama for the national championship. The Tigers are 8-1 ATS in nine conference championship games and bowl games since 2012. The last time these two teams played was in 2015 and Clemson won 58-0 as an 8-point favorite.

Week's Preliminary Betting Menu
I have not yet finalized the betting menu for the weekend but here is where I am heading.

Friday, Dec. 1
50-Unit Play On USC-Stanford PAC-12 Championship Game
College Basketball TV Doubleheader, Purdue at Maryland, Creighton at Gonzaga

Saturday, Dec. 2
100-Unit Winner Tops 4-0 College Championship Day
50-Unit College Basket Ball Blowout Winner Gets It Done
Syracuse-Kansas ESPN Game Highlights 3-0 Best Bets Basketball Club Day
25-Unit Play NBA Bet On Pistons At 76ers

Sunday, Dec. 3
Going For 3rd Straight Winning 15-Unit NFL Parlay
25-Unit NFL Underdog Winner
50-Unit NBA Game Of The Week

Monday, Dec. 4
Side/Total Parlay On Steelers At Bengals
50-Unit 2-Team NBA Parlay

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(These Selections Were Made A Few Days In Advance I Reserve The Right To Change Them if Any Later Situation Occurs - Home Team In CAPS) 


Massachusetts Minutemen (4-7) +1 by 8-9 over FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL GOLDEN PANTHERS (7-4) - Massachusetts arrived late in the season and comes into this make-up game having won four of its last five games, including a 16-10 win in the high-mountain air at BYU. Its only loss in its last four games came at Mississippi State, 34-23, as a 31.5-point underdog. FIU has had a solid season and will not be a pushover at home. That said, my figures say UMass is the play in this spot and should dominate from start to finish.

Troy Trojans (9-2) -1 by 13-14 over ARKANSAS STATE RED WOLVES (7-3) - Arkansas State has for years been the dominate team in the Sun Belt Conference but my figures say that reign will end today in the league's championship game. Troy has an outstanding team on both sides of the wall and should be able to take advantage of all of Arkansas State's weaknesses. Troy's two losses this season came at the hands of South Alabama, 19-8, and at Boise State, 24-13, in its season opener. Arkansas State has a strong home field bias but my numbers say it won't be enough this time around. For the record, the Red Wolves three losses all came on the road - at Nebraska, SMU and South Alabama.


MIAMI DOLPHINS (4-7) +1.5 by 6-7 over Denver Broncos (3-8) - Both these teams are an absolute mess because they lack a legitimate offense. Miami averages 15.8 points per game, Denver 17.9. Jay Cutler, who has been out with a concussion, starts and quarterback again today and that gives the Dolphins a big edge over Denver which will return Trevor Siemian to the starting QB spot and it must be noted he was a complete failure earlier this season.

ATLANTA FALCONS (7-4) -3 by 7-9 over Minnesota Vikings (9-2) - I just have a gut feeling Atlanta will prevail in this game, despite the fact Minnesota will be going for its seventh straight win and cover. Atlanta got off to a slow start but seem to have regained its form and stands 3-0 SU and ATS in its last three games. For the record, the numbers predict an "over" in this game. Maybe a parlay?

Los Angeles Rams (8-3) -7 by 14-17 over ARIZONA CARDINALS (5-6) - The first time these teams played this season the Rams were a 3-point favorite on a neutral field in London and prevailed 33-0. There has nothing happened in the meantime to suggest a different outcome. The Rams, who beat red-hot New Orleans 26-20 as a 3-point favorite are 5-1 SU and ATS in their last six games. The Cardinals upset Jacksonville 27-24 as 6-point underdogs last week but still stand 3-7-1 ATS this season and are just 6-14-1 ATS in their last 21 games.