College football picks, schedule: predictions against the spread, odds for the top 25 games in week 13

College football picks, schedule: predictions against the spread, odds for the top 25 games in week 13

After Rivalry Week wraps up Saturday night, next week’s conference championship games will be all between some of the best teams in the nation and the college football playoffs. Those opportunities dwindle with each passing Saturday as the penultimate week of the season continues, and some of those aforementioned contenders will be involved in hotly contested rivalry games, the type of contests that can make or break a season.

The biggest game of the day is The Game itself. No. 2 Ohio State hosts No. 3 Michigan with the winner advancing to the Big Ten Championship Game and earning an inside track to the CFP. The loser will watch from the outside and hope that some form of chaos will allow them to sneak into the four-team field. Jim Harbaugh is looking for his second straight win after leading the Wolverines to their first series win since 2011 last season, while Ryan Day is hoping to avoid becoming the first Buckeyes coach to lose back-to-back games to their rival since John Cooper (1999-2000).

Second in terms of playoff implications is Saturday night’s rivalry matchup between No. 6 USC and No. 10 Notre Dame. A win could potentially lift the Trojans to fourth place in the CFP standings next Tuesday, while a loss would again knock the Pac-12 out of the playoffs for the sixth time in eight editions of the event.

Also on deck are No. 7 Alabama visiting Auburn for the SEC Iron Bowl on CBS Game of the Week, No. 8 Clemson hosting a South Carolina team that destroyed Tennessee by shockingly last week and the Civil War with the visit of No. 9 from Oregon. No. 21 Oregon State in what has already been a terrific season for both programs.

Be sure to stick with CBS Sports throughout the day for college football coverage from kickoff. Let’s take a look at our expert picks for the best games during Rivalry Week.

No. 5 LSU at Texas A&M

Featured Game | Texas A&M Aggies vs. LSU Tigers

7 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — Texas A&M wants its hellish season to end. LSU has a potential college football playoff spot on the line. The difference in motivation between these two teams is out of the ordinary, not to mention the differences in skills and training between the two programs. A double-digit road line is great, but the Tigers will take care of business. Prediction: LSU -10 –Shehan Jeyarajah

No. 10 Notre Dame at No. 6 USC

Featured game | USC Trojans vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

7:30 p.m. | ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) — The Trojans will find Notre Dame to be one of the toughest tests of the season as the Fighting Irish attempt to play clear of Caleb Williams with a solid ground game, then complement that with a defense to bend but not not break. But if I’m forced to choose between Williams and Drew Pyne in a game I expect to be close, I’ll side with the Heisman Trophy contender. Prediction: USC -5.5 -Chip Patterson

No. 3 Michigan at No. 2 Ohio State

Featured game | Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan Wolverines

Noon | Fox, fuboTV (Try for free) — I don’t know who will win this game. I played both sides in our expert picks. I took Ohio State straight, but the Wolverines against the spread. The truth? My level of confidence in both choices is low. However, I like the underside. In my opinion, if Michigan wants to win, they have to do it on the field. This should keep the score low. Meanwhile, Ohio State hasn’t faced many defenses like Michigan’s. When he did, we saw his attack struggle. At the same time, if there is going to be an eruption, I have to assume it would be in favor of the State of Ohio; however, that only happens if Michigan doesn’t score. All of these scenarios end with a total of less than 56 points. Prediction: Under 56 –Tom Fornelli

South Carolina at No. 8 Clemson

Featured game | Clemson Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks

Noon | ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) — Can lightning strike twice? Sure why not. Clemson dominated this game, winning seven straight since 2014. However, the Tigers get the Gamecocks from Shane Beamer as they find their groove. Quarterback Spencer Rattler rediscovered his mojo with a school-best six touchdown passes in a 63-38 win over No. 10 Tennessee. South Carolina has scored on nine of its 10 complete possessions to clinch back-to-back winning seasons. There is a path for South Carolina to have the best quarterback in the field if things go well. Prediction: South Carolina +430 –Shehan Jeyarajah

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern

Auburn at No. 7 Alabama

3:30 p.m. | SCS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports AppI’ll take the Crimson Tide to win and cover, although it won’t be easy. Auburn’s rushing offense is deadly, but the Crimson Tide are talented enough to stay disciplined and make sure Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter don’t come off on a regular basis. This defense will wear down Auburn’s offensive line and force Robby Ashford into awkward places. This game will be closed for about two and a half quarters, but Alabama will retire for late coverage. Prediction: Alabama -22 — Barrett Sallee

No. 9 Oregon at No. 21 Oregon State

3:30 p.m. | ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) — The Ducks are heading for a must-win game against their bitter rivals, but Oregon State won’t make it easy. The Beavers had Washington and USC on the ropes in tight losses, and they have one of the best defenses in the Pac-12. Ultimately, the health of Oregon quarterback Bo Nix will decide this game, and his performance in a narrow win over Utah is enough to bet on him to clinch the Ducks’ spot in the championship game. Pac-12. Prediction: Oregon -3 –Shehan Jeyarajah

What college football picks can you confidently make in Week 13, and which top-25 teams will fall hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that’s brought in nearly $3,000 in profit over the past six-plus seasons — and find out.


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