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Harry Gagnon’s Hidden Gems for Championship Week

Harry Gagnon’s Hidden Gems for Championship Week

Last week in Hidden Gems, I was 3-2 overall and had two tough beats. Mississippi State (-3) had the game all but won, but late in the fourth quarter gave up a fourth-and-24 and then surrendered a touchdown with 10 seconds left and didn’t cover. In the Memphis game, the Tigers were -11.5 and probably would have won by 13 if a defensive back hadn’t given up 35 yards in field position by intercepting a pass with two minutes left. That’s how it goes sometimes but this was another week (10 now) when you would not have lost money with HG’s HG’s. Enough talk of the what-ifs, and let’s get to winners this week in championship games.

Central Michigan -6.5 vs Miami Ohio

1. Central Michigan has won six of its last seven games by an average of 44 points.

2. Running back Jonathan Ward in 10 games has 1,056 rushing yards, averaging 6.4 yards per carry, and has scored 15 touchdowns on the ground.

3. The Chippewas’ two leading receivers, Kalil Pimpleton and JaCorey Sullivan, have combined for over 1,500 yards receiving.

4. Central Michigan is 44th in the nation in total offense with 453 yards a game.

5. Central Michigan is 6-1 straight up and ATS in its last seven games and Miami Ohio is just 1-4 straight up in its last five games in December. For the season, Miami has scored 99 fewer points than Central Michigan and given up 24 more.

Prediction: Central Michigan 29, Miami Ohio 14

Appalachian State -6.5 vs UL-Lafayette

1. UL-Lafayette is just 1-9 straight up in its last 10 games on the road vs teams with winning records and is 0-7 straight up in the last seven meetings vs Appalachian State, losing by an average of 27 points per game.

2. Appalachian State is 4-1 ATS in its last five December games.

3. Appalachian State beat the visiting Rajun’ Cajuns by 10 points earlier this season, holding them to a season-low seven points.

4. Appalachian State has impressive wins at North Carolina and South Carolina, while UL-Lafayette’s most notable win came against Liberty.

5. Mountaineers QB Zac Thomas has 31 total touchdowns and running back Darrynton Evans has 1,250 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. Appalachian State has won six straight in this matchup, all by double digits.

Prediction: Appalachian State 34, UL-Lafayette 17

Florida Atlantic -7.5 vs UAB

1. The Owls only lost to No. 1 Ohio State by 24 points on August 31.

2. After losing their first two games, the Owls have won nine of 10. In their last five wins, they have outscored opponents 187-77.

3. UAB has won its last two games by an average of just five points.

4. Florida Atlantic is led defensively by Akileis Leroy, who has 119 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two picks.

5. Florida Atlantic is 7-3 in December games.

Prediction: Florida Atlantic 35, UAB 19

UNDER 64 Hawaii-Boise State

1. Seven of Boise State’s last nine home games have gone UNDER with an average combined score of 49 points.

2. Nine of Boise State’s last 12 conference games have gone UNDER.

3. Hawaii’s last two conference games have gone UNDER with just 53 total points scored.

4. Linebacker Curtis Weaver has been great for the Broncos, recording 13.5 sacks this season.

5. By game time, the temperature should be in the high 20s with rain and snow.

Prediction: Boise State 27, Hawaii 20