Football Friday!

December 1, 2023

SuperBook Sports previews the weekend ahead

© Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

CFB: SEC Championship: Georgia v. Alabama

In the last 22 SEC championship games, Alabama or Georgia (or both) have been there in 17 of them – seventeen! And while Alabama has ultimately been more successful, winning seven SEC titles in that span, Georgia has won four, including the most recent conference crown. The last time the SEC championship game featured neither Alabama nor Georgia was 2013.

So, to say this matchup has been expected since August isn’t an overstatement. This is what the season has been leading up to since Day 1. Georgia comes in as the undefeated national champs and currently ranked No. 1 in the CFP Rankings. But perhaps what makes this game so intriguing is the notion that if Alabama, ranked 8th and considered a 4.5-point underdog – pulls off the upset, it will not only shake up the entire CFP picture, but there’s a shot that both schools could make it into the coveted final four spots.

Despite having lost to Texas in early September, Nick Saban’s Tide has rattled off 10 straight wins and could fairly be considered one of the hottest teams in the country. Georgia hasn’t exactly limped into the finale either, having thumped No. 11 Ole Miss 52-17 three weeks ago and beating No. 9 Missouri 30-21 the week prior. 

Bottom line: If you enjoy college football, you’ll be no other place than glued to your television Saturday afternoon for this title bout of epic proportions.

Bud Parmalee’s Pick: Georgia -4.5 (-110)

Winners of 29 straight games, Georgia should be considered the favorite; the Bulldogs have certainly earned it. They beat ‘Bama in last year’s championship game and should carry a great deal of confidence into Saturday’s game. After last season, Alabama no longer “has Georgia’s number” as they did in 2018 and 2021. The Bulldogs have one of the most dynamic offenses in the country, making things extremely tough on an Alabama defense that’s very, very good, but indisputably great (see Michigan). A scare against Auburn last week reminded everyone that Alabama isn’t quite yet back to being the Alabama of old, so let’s not overthink this one. Take Georgia and the points, and ride those Dawgs all the way to a national championship.

© Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

CFB: Pac-12 Championship: Oregon vs. Washington

This year’s Pac-12 championship game, the last of its kind for all intents and purposes, illustrates all that is currently wrong with college football. The two teams competing are bolting the conference, as both Oregon and Washington are headed to the Big Ten after this season. Worse yet, the title game could do more harm than good, depending on how the final CFP rankings shake out.

The game also represents the classic dilemma of why conferences even have “postseason” championship games. Washington eked out a 36-33 initial matchup at Husky Stadium, so this is a classic December rematch. At the moment, undefeated Washington has a seat in the CFP top-four. But if the third-ranked Huskies – a 10-point dog! – should lose, it’s possible that the Pac-12 will be on the outside looking in when it comes to crowning a national champ. A loss will more than likely bounce Washington out.

On the flip side, an Oregon win should put the Ducks inside the top-four. Oregon, a red-hot team led by Heisman favorite Bo Nix, has everything to gain and nothing to lose. Sitting at 11-1 and No. 5 in the CFP rankings, Oregon has a chance to shake things up and wedge its way into a playoff berth. Should the Ducks beat Washington convincingly on Friday night, where else could the CFP possibly rank them? A big win and, mark it down, the Ducks are in.

In other words, there’s a lot on the line tonight in Las Vegas.

Bud Parmalee’s Pick: Oregon -10 (-110)

What’s wrong with this picture? The No. 3 team in the country is a double-digit dog against No. 5 at a neutral site? Interesting… or maybe just concerning. This isn’t just a clash between Washington and Oregon, it’s a showdown between the betting community and those who fiddle-faddle with the CFP. The bettors like Oregon in a big way. The CFP currently believes Washington is the better team. Who’s right? Well, call ol’ Bud Parmalee biased if you’d like, but you know where I’m leaning. We bet. We’re bettors. We know stuff and things. It’s Oregon all the way, folks. When it appears the betting community knows something that the questionably-wise folks who run college football don’t, well, smart money leans toward the bettors. If the double-digit spread makes you nervous, consider going over on the 66.0 total rather than taking the Ducks and the moneyline – the -425 payout just isn’t worth it. Still, the Ducks laying 10 shouldn’t scare you; they’ve got the best offense in the land and are 10-2 against the spread this season; meanwhile Washington is 5-6-1. Take the Ducks with confidence and root hard for a monster shake up in the final four-team CFP.

  © Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

NFL: Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints

Through 12 weeks of the NFL season, the Detroit Lions are 8-3. It’s as good as they’ve been this late in the season in a very long time.

But they aren’t doing victory laps just yet. In fact, the division is far from wrapped up. A win this week would help, though, as they would move to three games up on their nearest competition.

Last week, Detroit lost to the Green Bay Packers, a division opponent, on Thanksgiving. The loss has many questioning the legitimacy of the Lions, but Dan Campbell has a reputation. He’s tough as nails and the team reflects that.

After losses this season, the Lions have won by two scores or more the following week. The Lions are currently just 4.0-point favorites against the New Orleans Saints.

The Saints are an interesting team. At 5-6, they are tied for the division lead in the NFC South. They are streaky, having lost two in a row three separate times this season.

Currently, New Orleans is on a two-game losing streak with back-to-back losses against the Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons. The Saints need to right the ship.

Quarterback Derek Carr has been decent but not amazing, having thrown for 10 touchdowns and five interceptions this season. On the other hand, Lions quarterback Jared Goff has thrown for 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Goff’s play has propelled the Lions offense to seventh best in the league.

As far as defense, however, the Saints have the edge. The Saints rank ninth in points allowed per game, while the Lions rank 23rd.

The game will be played in New Orleans, where the Saints are 2-2 this season. The Lions are 4-1 on the road.

Steve Quinne’s Pick: Detroit -4.0 (-110)

Both teams are trying to inch closer towards division titles and both teams are trying to get back on the winning end of things. However, the Lions coming off of a loss are a different breed. They will be ready to roll and as Dan Campbell likes to say, they might bite some kneecaps off in the process. Take the Lions with the points.


NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Green Bay Packers

Heading into Week 9, the Green Bay Packers were on a four-game losing streak that put their record at 2-5. Since then, they have won three out of four and are all of a sudden back in the hunt.

After a stunning win against the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving, the Packers are beginning to gain some much-deserved attention. Most is centered around quarterback Jordan Love.

The headlines surrounding Love have been all over the place. He was next in line after future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers departed in the offseason. While the team has been up and down, Love has stayed pretty consistent this season.

The QB has thrown for 2,600 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His 19 touchdown passes ranks seventh in the NFL. One of the players who ranks above him in that statistic is none other than Patrick Mahomes. Love and Mahomes will face off on Sunday night.

Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are currently 8-3 and atop the AFC West once again. The defending Super Bowl champions are in a familiar position as they have the chance to get the No. 1 seed in the AFC for a second straight year.

But first, they will have to get a win against a surprisingly hot Green Bay team on the road. The Chiefs are currently 6.0-point favorites, but should they be?

In the past four weeks, the Chiefs have gone 2-2, losing to the Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles. Last week, they were in danger of losing yet again, as they trailed the Las Vegas Raiders 14-0 early in the second quarter. In typical Chiefs fashion however, they were able to roll to a 31-17 victory.

However, that type of slow start can’t happen this week, as proved by the Lions who trailed 20-6 in the first quarter against the Packers and never seemed to recover.

Steve Quinne’s Pick: Green Bay +6.0 (-110)

The Packers are a team that is seemingly hitting their stride at the right time and a win would resurrect their season. Feeling frisky? Take the Packers moneyline. They’re at home. They’re playing well. A December game at Lambeau Field is always intriguing. Otherwise, take the points. They’ll certainly keep it close.