The final two college football games today start at 8 p.m. and both are for titles and possible inclusion in the CFP Series. The ACC championship will be played between the #7 Miami Hurricanes (10-1 Overall, 7-1 ACC) and the #1 Clemson Tigers (11-1 Overall, 7-1 ACC). The Big Ten title contest will feature the #8 Ohio State Buckeyes and the #4 Wisconsin Badgers. In our 2017 ACC and Big Ten championship free picks, the Tigers are favored by 10 and the Buckeyes by 3.5. The totals in the first game come in at 47.0, while they are at 51 for the Big Ten matchup.
#7 Miami at #1 Clemson
We’ve got two teams that have been good for more than 30 PPG this season. The Hurricanes are limiting opponents to 18.3 PPG, while the Tigers are holding other clubs to 13.6 PPG. Clemson has an edge on both sides of the ball when it comes to the ground attack. They have a more productive running game, and they are better at shutting down opponents when they rush with the ball.
Miami has beat some tough teams including Notre Dame and Virginia Tech, but they are coming off a surprising 24- 14 loss to Pittsburgh. The Miami running game is fairly productive, but when it comes to the pass attack, junior QB Malik Rosier could be more consistent. His completion rate is under 56% and he’s put un nine picks. The Miami D is very good at generating turnovers, as they have 17 picks. They also have more than 50 TFL and over 35 sacks.
The Tiger offense runs a lot, as QB Kelly Bryant has 164 rushes for a 3.9 YPA average and 10 running scores. He also has 12 passing TDs and is completing more than 66% of his passing while having tossed six picks. RB Travis Etienne is averaging 7.4 YPA and has 12 TDs. On defense, Clemson won’t be outdone. They have over 80 TFL and close to 40 sacks. They have 13 interceptions and 13 forced fumbles.
#6 Ohio State at #4 Wisconsin
When we look at this game we can’t help but consider Wisconsin’s points allowed, which is at 12.0. It’s true that OSU is scoring 43.8 PPG, which is nine points more than the Badgers, but the Buckeyes are also allowing eight more PPG than today’s opponents.
On Offense, Ohio State has an edge with the air game. At the same time, Wisconsin has a very tough pass defense. For OSU senior QB J.T. Barrett can pass and run for scores. His 42 TDs include nine rushing scores. RB J.K. Dobbins (1,190 YDs, 7.9 AVG, 7 TDs) is very hard to stop. Junior wideout Johnnie Dixon may have just 17 catches, but eight have been for TDs. OSU has more than 30 sacks and over 70 TFL. They can bring pressure in many ways. Although their secondary is deficient, Damon Webb has three picks.
For the Badgers, QB Alex Hornibrook (63.9 COMP%, 21 TDs, 13 INTs) has to make sure that he does not offer up any picks today. He has three pass catchers who each have more than 20 receptions. Freshman RB Jonathan Taylor has close to 2,000 yards and has 13 TDs and is averaging 7.0 YPA. Wisconsin bring more than 80 TFL and over 30 sacks to today’s game. They also have 16 picks and close to 60 PD. Their defense is exceptionally tough and may rule the day.
Our ACC and Big Ten Picks
Here are our 2017 ACC and Big Ten championship free picks. We like Clemson at -10 and the under at 47.0. For the Big Ten, we’re taking the Badgers at +3.5 and under 51.0.