NCAA Week 14 Picks - Late Games

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NCAA Week 14 Late Games

All times Eastern

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SUN BELT CHAMPIONSHIP
3:30 pm Appalachian State (-3, 53) at #24 Louisiana-Lafayette - Interesting is the idea that the Vegas oddsmakers chose the Mountaineers as the slight favorite in this game, because the Rain' Cajuns went 11-1 overall and blitzed the Sun Belt West division with an 8-0 record, knocking off the usual power squads, Troy, and Arkansas State, in the process. The only loss for the Cajuns all season was in their first game, a 38-18 defeat at Texas.

The Cajuns have had their share of lose calls, though their win over Appalachian State was not one of them. On October 12, they mangled the Mountaineers, 41-13. Louisiana has won 11 straight.

The Mountaineers have reeled off six straight wins and really improved after that loss to the Rain' Cajuns. The following week they took down then-14th-ranked Coastal Carolina, 30-27. Since then, none of their opponents have come closer than 24 points. The Mountaineer defense has allowed just 17 points in their last three games.

Coin Flip: Appalachian State

Prediction: Mountaineers 30 Ragin' Cajuns 14
SEC CHAMPIONSHIP
4:00 pm #1 Georgia (-6, 50 1/2) vs. #3 Alabama (CBS) - Georgia hasn't been really tested since week one, when they stamped their mark on the college football scene with a 10-3 win over Clemson. The Bulldogs dominated every team they've faced with a relentless defense that hasn't allowed more than 17 points all season (Tennessee). They registered three shutouts (Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Georgia Tech) and made a mockery of the SEC with wins like 34-10 over Auburn, 30-13 over Kentucky, and 34-7 over Florida.

As for the Crimson Tide, they have not appeared to be operating at full capacity lately, or, if they are, they're in for a long day against the Bulldogs. Alabama needed four overtimes to defeat arch-rival Auburn last week, 24-22. They were up against it throughout in their 42-35 win over Arkansas, and struggled to a 20-14 win over LSU. These games point to an Alabama offense that has become predictable and a defense that gives up too many big plays and often can't get off the field.

Georgia should win this by a wide margin.

Coin Flip: Georgia

Prediction: Bulldogs 31 Crimson Tide 10


AMERICAN ATHLETIC CHAMPIONSHIP
4:00 pm #21 Houston at #4 Cincinnati (-10 1/2, 53 1/2) (ABC) - The Bearcats can punch a ticket to the CFP with a victory over Houston and the likelihood of that happening is very good.

At 12-0, only Cincinnati and Georgia are undefeated, with the Bearcats outscoring the opposition by a cumulative 475-189. They've done everything right to this point of the season, but Houston could prove troublesome.

The Cougars are 11-1, and, like Cincinnati, went 8-0 in conference play. Their margins of victory are nearly equal to those of the Bearcats, 465-238.

Houston's only loss was a 38-21 defeat to Texas Tech in their opener. They've walloped most of their foes, and survived a 44-37 scare against SMU, won in overtime, 31-24, to East Carolina, and hammered Memphis 31-13. The game is at Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium, offering an edge to the Bearcats, but the Cougars haven't lost on the road yet this season. This one could be a lot closer than Bearcat fans envision.

Coin Flip: Cincinnati

Prediction: Bearcats 27 Cougars 20


BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP
8:00 pm #2 Michigan (-11, 43 1/2) vs. #13 Iowa (FOX) - The Wolverines scored a massive victory over Ohio State last week, paving their way to the Big Ten championship game and, should they defeat Iowa, a likely trip to the CFP, and maybe as the #2 seed.

Michigan stuffed the Buckeyes, 42-27, sending Ohio State to their second loss of the season. After taking a 14-13 lead into the half, the Wolverines exploded for 14 third quarter points while holding the Buckeyes to zero.

Michigan held the Buckeyes to 64 yards rushing while rolling up 297 yards on the ground themselves.

Iowa is certainly no gimme for the Wolverines. Other than back-to-back 24-7 mid-season losses to Purdue and Wisconsin, the Hawkeyes were a defensive powerhouse, going 10-2 overall and 7-2 in conference to take the West division. Iowa's defense is formidable, but Michigan's offense has an assortment of ways to move the ball down the field.

The Hawkeyes lack of consistency on offense will prove costly.

Coin Flip: Iowa

Prediction: Wolverines 27 Hawkeyes 13


ACC CHAMPIONSHIP
8:00 pm #15 Pittsburgh (-3, 72 1/2) vs. #16 Wake Forest (ABC) - Even though the ACC has been pushed to the rear of the college football bus, this game offers plenty of intrigue as two of the highest-scoring teams in the country face off for all the conference marbles.

Wake Forest scored 515 points through the 2021 season, or 42.9 points per game. The Panthers were just about equal, with 514 points (42.8). The two ranked third and fourth in scoring.

The game is in Charlotte, at Bank of America Stadium, a neutral location. This is another game in which the best play may be to just take the over.

Both teams are 10-2 overall and 7-1 in conference play. Impossible to pick between them, so take Wake Forest and the points.

Coin Flip: Wake Forest

Prediction: Demon Deacons 45 Panthers 42




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