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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:52 AM

Championship Game Matchups, Odds, Trends, History

Week 16 of the 2020 College Football season will be highlighted with 10 conference championship games.

2020 College Football Championship Matchups

  • C-USA - Marshall vs. UAB
  • MAC - Buffalo vs. Ball State
  • Pac-12 - Oregon vs. USC
  • Big 10 - Northwestern vs. Ohio State
  • Big 12 - Oklahoma vs. Iowa State
  • Sun Belt - Louisiana vs. Coastal Carolina
  • ACC - Clemson vs. Notre Dame
  • AAC - Tulsa vs. Cincinnati
  • SEC - Alabama vs. Florida
  • MWC - Boise State vs. San Jose State 

The betting action begins on Friday Dec. 18 with three matchups before the remaining seven games are played on Saturday, Dec. 19.

Listed below are all of the matchups, odds and betting notes for the 10 title games.

(Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS)

Conference USA Championship

Marshall (7-1 SU, 5-3 ATS) vs. UAB (5-3 SU, 2-6 ATS)

  • Date: Friday, Dec. 18
  • TV-Time: CBSSN, 7:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Joan C. Edwards Stadium
  • Location: Huntington, West Virginia

Betting History

-- Marshall is playing for its first C-USA title since 2014, when the Thundering Herd edged Louisiana Tech, 26-23 as nine-point favorites. UAB is back in the C-USA Championship for the third straight season as the Blazers edged Middle Tennessee, 27-25 to win it in 2018, but was blown out by Florida Atlantic last season, 49-6.

-- Favorites are 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS the last six years in this championship game. Marshall and UAB are meeting in the Conference USA title game for the first time ever.

Opening Odds: Marshall -7, Total 40.5

Betting Notes & Trends

-- Marshall put together a perfect 7-0 record this season before suffering its first loss in a 20-0 shutout at the hands of Rice as -24.5-point favorites. The Herd finished 4-1 in conference play and 5-3 ATS overall, as all three of the non-covers came as favorites of 20 points or more.

-- UAB posted a 5-3 record on the season, while going 3-1 inside the conference. Although the Blazers were tied with UTEP for the second-fewest games played in C-USA action, UAB owned a higher winning percentage than UTSA (5-2) to capture the West division title.

--The Blazers covered in only two of seven opportunities this season, while going 0-2 SU/ATS in the underdog role. However, both losses came outside of the conference to Louisiana and Miami (Florida), as the Blazers are 2-6 SU/ATS since 2018 as a ‘dog.

Quick Hits

-- Marshall has won three of its last four games when facing UAB.

-- Marshall has won seven of its last eight games.

-- Marshall has failed to cover the spread in three of its last four games.

-- UAB has failed to cover the spread in three straight games.

Mid-American Championship (MAC)

Buffalo (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS) vs. Ball State (5-1 SU, 3-3 ATS)

  • Date: Friday, Dec. 18
  • TV-Time: ESPN, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Ford Field
  • Location: Detroit, Michigan

Betting History

-- The Bulls and Cardinals are meeting for the MAC title for the second time. Buffalo shocked Ball State as a +15-point underdog, 42-24 in 2008, marking the only MAC championship for the Bulls.

-- Underdogs have dominated in the MAC title games over the years by covering nine of the past 12 years, including each of the last four seasons.

-- Buffalo is making its third appearance in the MAC Championship, while Ball State is playing in this game for the first time since the 2008 defeat to the Bulls.

Opening Odds: Buffalo -14, Total 64.5

Betting Notes & Trends

-- Buffalo finished as the only undefeated team in MAC play at 5-0, while the Bulls’ offense ran over the competition by scoring at least 42 points in all five victories. The Bulls covered in four of five games with the lone non-cover coming as -31.5-point favorites in a 42-17 rout of Bowling Green.

-- Ball State dropped the season opener to Miami (Ohio) in the final seconds, but the Cardinals bounced back with five consecutive victories. The Cardinals covered their last three games, including outright underdog wins over Toledo and Western Michigan by three points each.

-- The last time Buffalo and Ball State hooked up came in 2017 as the Bulls knocked off the Cardinals, 40-24. However, Ball State managed the home cover as +17.5-point underdogs in a season that the Cards went 0-8 in MAC play. 

Quick Hits

-- Buffalo has covered the spread in four of its last five games.

-- Buffalo has gone OVER the point total in four of its last five games.

-- Buffalo has scored 42 points or more in five straight games.

-- Ball State has seen the underdog cover the spread in four of its last five games.

Pac-12 Championship

Oregon (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS) vs. USC (5-0 SU, 3-2 ATS) 

  • Date: Friday, Dec. 18
  • TV-Time: FOX, 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: L.A. Memorial Coliseum
  • Location: Los Angeles, California

Betting History

-- The Trojans and Huskies are hooking up for the first time in the 10th installment of the Pac-12 Championship game. USC is making its first appearance since edging Stanford, 31-28 in 2018, while Oregon is seeking its second straight Pac-12 title and fourth overall.

-- Oregon takes the place of Washington, who could not participate in this game due to COVID issues. The Ducks rolled past Utah in the 2019 edition, 37-15 as +6.5-point underdogs, marking their third Pac-12 title victory by 18 points or more.

-- The loser of the Pac-12 Championship has gone 0-9 SU and 1-8 ATS in its bowl game, so that is something to keep an eye on when the bowls are announced.

Opening Odds: USC -8, Total 58.5

Betting Notes & Trends

-- USC rallied past rival UCLA, 43-38 to finish the regular season at 5-0, while covering its final three games. The Trojans’ offense basically increased its production as the season went on with its two highest-scoring outputs in the last two games for a total of 81 points.

-- Trojans’ quarterback Kedon Slovis threw five touchdown passes in each of the past two wins against Washington State and UCLA, while USC hit its first OVER of the season against UCLA following a string of four straight UNDERS.

-- Oregon started this shortened season with a 3-0 record, but lost its final two games to Oregon State and California as a substantial favorite. The Ducks were listed as a favorite of nine or more points in all five games.

-- The teams didn't meet this season, but Oregon blasted USC 56-24 at the L.A. Coliseum last season as +3.5-point favorites. The Ducks' defense intercepted Slovis three times as Oregon overcame a 10-0 deficit by scoring 28 second quarter points, which included a kickoff return for a touchdown and an interception returned for a score. 

Quick Hits

-- Oregon has won three of its last four games when facing USC.

-- The point total has gone OVER in four of the last five games played between both schools.

-- The favorite has covered the spread in four straight games played between both schools.

-- USC has gone UNDER the point total in four of its last five games.

Big 10 Championship

Northwestern (6-1 SU, 5-1-1 ATS) vs. Ohio State (5-0 SU, 3-2 ATS)

  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 19
  • TV-Time: FOX, 12:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium
  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Betting History

-- This is the 10th installment of the Big 10 Championship game, all of which have taken place in Indianapolis. Ohio State is playing for the conference title for the fourth straight year and the sixth time overall since the game was introduced in 2011.

-- The Buckeyes have won each of the past three seasons with victories over Wisconsin in 2017, Northwestern in 2018, and Wisconsin in 2019. In the 2018 triumph over the Wildcats, Ohio State cruised to a 45-24 win to cover as -16.5-point chalk, marking only the second cover by a favorite in the Big 10 Championship in nine opportunities.

-- Northwestern is making only its second appearance in the Big 10 title game as the Wildcats are looking to hand the Buckeyes only their second loss in the conference championship. The lone defeat for OSU in this game came back in 2013 in a 34-24 setback against Michigan State.

Opening Odds: Ohio State -20, Total 59.5

Betting Notes & Trends

-- The Buckeyes have the fewest wins ever to reach a Big 10 championship with five, as COVID issues with opponents limited Ohio State to only five contests.

-- OSU scored 42 points or more in four of five victories this season, while its lowest output came in a 38-25 triumph at Penn State. The Buckeyes went 3-2 ATS, capped off by a 52-12 rout of Michigan State as -21.5-point favorites.

-- Northwestern is coming off a loss at Michigan State following a 5-0 start in Big 10 play. The Wildcats picked up impressive victories over Iowa and Wisconsin, while posting a 4-0-1 ATS mark in its five wins. 

Quick Hits

-- Ohio State has covered the spread in three of its last four games when facing Northwestern.

-- The point total has gone OVER in three of the last four games played between both schools.

-- Northwestern has gone UNDER the point total in six of its last seven games.

-- Northwestern has covered the spread in five of its last seven games.

Big 12 Championship

Oklahoma (7-2 SU, 6-3 ATS) vs. Iowa State (8-2 SU, 6-4 ATS)

  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 19
  • TV-Time: ABC, 12:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: AT&T Stadium
  • Location: Arlington, Texas

Betting History

-- The Big 12 Championship took a break from its championship format for seven years, from 2010 to 2016. 

-- Iowa State is making its first appearance in the Big 12 Championship.

-- Since returning in 2017, Oklahoma has played in all three finals and it has captured the last three Big 12 Championships since the game returned.

-- Oklahoma has gone 2-1 ATS in this span for bettors as the Sooners held off Baylor in overtime last season, 30-23 as -9.5-point favorites, but failed to cover.

-- Including the aforementioned three appearances and wins, this will be the 12th overall apperance in the Big 12 title game for Oklahoma. 

Opening Odds: Oklahoma -6, Total 58.5

Betting Notes & Trends

-- Iowa State (+7.5) defeated Oklahoma on October 3 in Ames, 37-30. The game sailed OVER the total of 62.5 to mark the fourth straight OVER in these team’s matchups. Also, the Cyclones have covered in five consecutive meetings dating back to 2016.

-- After starting the season at 0-2 in the Big 12, Oklahoma rebounded for six consecutive wins to reach the title game, while covering five times in this span. The defense was shredded in the first three Big 12 games by allowing 38, 37, and 45 points (the last came in a triple-overtime win at Texas), but OU limited opponents to 14 points or fewer in four of the last five games.

-- The Cyclones were surprised by Louisiana in the season opener as -13.5-point favorites, 31-14, but stormed back to win eight of nine conference games. The lone hiccup for Iowa State came in a 24-21 defeat at Oklahoma State, but ISU went 6-3 ATS inside Big 12 action, as one of the ATS losses came at TCU after allowing a meaningless touchdown with no time remaining.

Quick Hits

-- Iowa State has covered the spread in five straight games when facing Oklahoma.

-- The point total has gone OVER in four straight games played between both schools.

-- Iowa State has won eight of its last nine games.

-- Iowa State has held opponents to six points or less in two of its last three games.

-- Oklahoma has held opponents to 14 points or less in three straight games.

Sun Belt Championship

Louisiana (9-1 SU, 5-5 ATS) vs. Coastal Carolina (11-0 SU, 8-2-1 ATS)

  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 19
  • TV-Time: ESPN2, 12:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Brooks Stadium
  • Location: Conway, South Carolina

Betting History

-- Louisiana is making its third consecutive Sun Belt Championship appearance seeking its first title.

-- The Ragin’ Cajuns lost each of the past two seasons to Appalachian State in the conference title game, including a 45-38 setback to the Mountaineers in 2019.

-- Coastal Carolina is coming off its best season of football on the FBS level at 11-0 and is playing for its first ever Sun Belt title.

Opening Odds: Coastal Carolina -4, Total 53.5

Betting Notes & Trends

-- The Chanticleers posted an impressive 8-2-1 ATS record as Coastal Carolina held off Troy, 42-38 in the finale as -12-point road favorites. Coastal won all three games in the role of a single-digit favorite by 10 points or more this season, including an 11-point triumph over defending Sun Belt champ Appalachian State.

-- The Ragin’ Cajuns started the season with a 2-5 ATS mark before picking up covers in their final three games. Louisiana put together a 2-0 SU/ATS ledger in the role of an underdog, including a season-opening victory over Iowa State and a season-finale win against Appalachian State.

-- Coastal Carolina handed Louisiana its lone loss of the season in a 30-27 triumph as nine-point underdogs on October 14. The two teams were separated by one yard of offense as the Chanticleers kicked the game-winning field goal in the final seconds.  

Quick Hits

-- The point total has gone UNDER in three straight games played between both schools.

-- Coastal Carolina has covered the spread in eight of its last 11 games.

-- Louisiana has gone UNDER the point total in seven of its last 10 games.

-- Coastal Carolina has won 11 straight games.

ACC Championship

Clemson (9-1 SU, 4-6 ATS) vs. Notre Dame (10-0 SU, 5-5 ATS)

  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 19
  • TV-Time: ABC, 4:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Bank of America Stadium
  • Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Betting History

-- Clemson is seeking its sixth consecutive ACC crown, as the Tigers have covered in four of the past five ACC title games.

-- Last season, the Tigers dominated Virginia as -29.5-point favorites, 62-17, marking the fifth straight time Clemson has scored at least 38 points in each of the past five ACC title games.

-- Notre Dame is participating in its first ever ACC Championship after joining the league for this year only.

Opening Odds: Clemson -11, Total 61.5

Betting Notes & Trends

-- The Fighting Irish outlasted the Tigers in overtime, 47-40 as five-point underdogs on November 7. Clemson played without star quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who sat out to due to COVID.

-- Clemson covered in only four of 10 opportunities, but the five of those ATS losses came as a favorite of 26 points or more.

-- Notre Dame posted a perfect regular season, which included the victory over Clemson in South Bend. The Irish allowed 17 points or less in six games, but finished OVER the total six times. 

Quick Hits

-- Notre Dame has covered the spread in three of its last four games.

-- Clemson has shutout its opponent in the fourth quarter in four of its last six games.

American Athletic Championship (AAC)

Tulsa (6-1 SU, 6-1 ATS) vs. Cincinnati (8-0 SU, 5-3 ATS)

  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 19
  • TV-Time: ABC, 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Nippert Stadium
  • Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Betting History

-- Tulsa becomes the seventh different team to play for the AAC championship since the league formed in 2015. Cincinnati returns to the league title game after falling short against Memphis last season, 29-24, but the Bearcats managed to cash as nine-point underdogs.

Opening Odds: Cincinnati -16, Total 48.5

Betting Notes & Trends

-- Cincinnati and Tulsa were due to play on Saturday December 12, but COVID issues within the Bearcats’ program wiped out that matchup.

-- The Golden Hurricane lost their season opener at Oklahoma State, but rebounded nicely with a perfect 6-0 record in AAC action. Tulsa shocked UCF as +20.5-point underdogs for its first win of the season, while rallying in back-to-back weeks from large deficits to surprise SMU and Tulane.

-- The Bearcats took care of business with a perfect 9-0 record, including a string of blowouts against SMU, Memphis, and Houston by 28 points or more in a three-week span. Cincinnati’s biggest test came in its finale against UCF as the Bearcats held off the Knights, 36-33, but failed to cash as four-point favorites after taking a knee inside the five-yard line in the final minute.

--  Cincinnati posted a 3-3 ATS record as a favorite, but that included ATS losses as a -39.5-point favorite against Austin Peay and as -22.5-point chalk against USF.

-- Tulsa cashed in both opportunities as an underdog this season against Oklahoma State and UCF, but both were as 20-point ‘dogs or higher. 

Quick Hits

-- Cincinnati has covered the spread in five of its last eight games.

-- Tulsa has covered the spread in six of its last seven games.

-- Tulsa has gone UNDER the point total in five of its last seven games.

SEC Championship 

Alabama (10-0 SU, 8-2 ATS) vs. Florida (8-2 SU, 4-5-1 ATS)

  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 19
  • TV-Time: CBS, 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Betting History

-- For the 10th time in SEC Championship history, the Crimson Tide and Gators are hooking up. Alabama owns a 5-4 record, although five of those matchups came before 1999. The most recent meeting in this game occurred in 2016 as Alabama rolled Florida, 54-16 as -23.5-point favorites.

-- Alabama is back in Atlanta for the first time since edging Georgia, 35-28 in 2018. Under head coach Nick Saban, the Tide owns a 6-1 SU and 3-4 ATS record in SEC Championship games.

-- Florida played for the SEC title seven times from 1992-2000, but this only the Gators’ sixth appearance in this game since 2001. Florida last captured the SEC crown in 2008, a 31-20 triumph over Alabama as -10-point favorites.

Opening Odds: Alabama -16, Total 72.5

Betting Notes & Trends

-- The Crimson Tide and Gators did not meet this season as the two SEC foes last hooked up in the 2016 conference title game, won by Alabama in a 54-16 blowout. 

Quick Hits

-- The point total has gone OVER in four straight games played betwen both schools.

-- Alabama has covered the spread in three of its last four games when facing Florida.

-- Alabama has covered the spread in eight of its last 10 games.

-- Alabama has scored 52 or more points in three of its last four games.

Mountain West Championship (MWC)

Boise State (5-1 SU, 3-3 ATS) vs. San Jose State (6-0 SU, 5-0-1 ATS)

  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 19
  • TV-Time: (FOX, 4:15 p.m. ET)
  • Venue: Sam Boyd Stadium
  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Betting History

-- Boise State is making its fourth consecutive MWC Championship appearance, while San Jose is playing for its first ever league title.

-- The Broncos blew out Hawaii in 2019 as 14-point favorites, 31-10, rebounding from a 19-16 overtime defeat to Fresno State from a season prior.

-- Underdogs have gone 5-2 ATS in the seven-year history of the MWC title game, while four of those contests have been decided by three points.

Opening Odds: Boise State -8, Total 52.5

Betting Notes & Trends

-- San Jose State was one of the biggest surprises in the country after winning a combined six games the previous two seasons. The Spartans posted a perfect 6-0 record, which included three outright wins as an underdog against Air Force, San Diego State, and Nevada.

-- The Spartans went 5-0-1 ATS and were led by an offense that topped the 28-point mark in each of the last five wins. San Jose State finished UNDER the total only once in six games, while not allowing more than 24 points in any game this season.

-- Boise State won all five MWC games with the lone defeat coming to a one-loss BYU team. The Broncos eclipsed the 40-point mark in four victories, as the only low-scoring win came in the finale against Wyoming, 17-9.

-- Boise State outlasted San Jose State, 52-42 in its last matchup in 2019. The Broncos failed to cover as -16.5-point road favorites and trailed 34-31 heading into the fourth quarter before outsourcing the Spartans, 21-8 in the final period.

Quick Hits

-- The point total has gone OVER in three straight games played between both schools.

-- San Jose State has covered the spread in two straight games when facing Boise State.

-- San Jose State has gone UNDER the point total in five of its last six games.

-- Boise State has gone OVER the point total in five of its last six games.

-- San Jose State has yet to fail covering the spread in six straight games. 

-- Boise State has won three straight games when facing San Jose State.


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