College football picks, schedule: predictions against the spread, odds for the top 25 games in week 12

College football picks, schedule: predictions against the spread, odds for the top 25 games in week 12

With just two weeks left in college football’s regular season and the Pac-12 seeking its first college football playoff appearance in six years, the conference finds itself in the rare spotlight. Playoff opportunities dwindle with each passing Saturday, and two of the Pac-12’s biggest games of the season come Saturday night. They will go a long way in deciding which teams will face off in the league title game and if any one in particular has a chance to break into the CFP.

That team with remaining playoff aspirations is No. 7 USC, which takes on No. 16 UCLA in a rivalry matchup that two years from now will take place in a different conference, the Big Ten. As the only single-loss Pac-12 program remaining, the Trojans eliminating the Bruins is their first step to making a legitimate CFP offer. Notre Dame No. 18 awaits next week, and USC is also expected to skip the Pac-12 Championship Game with that “1” remaining in its loss column.

Although the second Pac-12 showdown has lost some of its luster and kicks off at 10:30 p.m. ET, No. 10 Utah at No. 17 Oregon features arguably the best remaining programs in the league once the aforementioned California schools are heading to the Big Ten in 2024. This is sure to be one of the last high-profile games played this season.

Elsewhere, the No. 1 Georgia is looking to remain undefeated in its bid to defend the national championship when it travels to Kentucky for an SEC East showdown that’s also not as intriguing as once assumed. Last week, the Wildcats helped Vanderbilt end his 26-game SEC losing streak, and Kentucky fell off all top-25 rankings after appearing there all season.

The No. 4 TCU is also looking to go undefeated at Big 12 preseason favorite Baylor, while Bedlam between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will only have rivalry implications due to the reduced stature of both programs this season. Powerhouses No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan are both in action this weekend as well, though the programs are both multi-touchdown favorites in those contests.

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 of Week 12.

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern

Illinois at No. 3 Michigan

Featured game | Michigan Wolverines vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

Noon | ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) — One of the reasons Michigan has knocked out so many of their opponents is because they start games strong. The Wolverines have been one of the best first-half teams in the country, and they often let off the gas pedal in the second half of games. With Ohio State looming, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a similar performance this week. Also, Illinois proved to be a great team in the second half, especially defensively. So, Michigan -9.5 1H should definitely be a game. I also have Michigan to cover the total number, but for the purposes of that, let’s not think too much about it. We have two of the best defenses in the country and two run-based attacks. This is how under bets were won thousands of years ago, and how they are still won today. Prediction: Under 40.5 –Tom Fornelli

TCU No. 4 at Baylor

Featured game | Baylor Bears vs. TCU Horned Frogs

Noon | Fox, fuboTV (Try for free) — The Bears were chosen to win the Big 12 and displayed the level of skill required to beat even elite teams. However, TCU won’t waste this opportunity against a hated rival. The Horned Frogs hit just one more piece than Baylor to emerge victorious in Waco, Texas, and keep their perfect season alive. Prediction: TCU -2.5 –Shehan Jeyarajah

Georgia No. 1 in Kentucky

Featured game | Kentucky Wildcats vs. Georgia Bulldogs

3:30 p.m. | SCS,, CBS Sports AppI’m going to take the Bulldogs not just to win, but to cover the massive spread. The Wildcats have fallen off a cliff, quarterback Will Levis has thrown more interceptions (five) than touchdowns (four) in the last four games, and the loss to Vanderbilt last week must be deflating for a team that once had high hopes. The Bulldogs will keep their foot on the gas more than they normally do in order to keep their first teams fresh for the stretch run. Prediction: Georgia -22.5 — Barrett Sallee

No. 22 Oklahoma State in Oklahoma

Featured game | Oklahoma Sooners vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

7:30 p.m. | ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) — Oklahoma had victories over Kansas (with a backup quarterback) and Iowa State, the only team with a worse conference record than the Sooners. OU dominated Oklahoma State during the Mike Gundy era, but it’s the Sooners’ worst team in 25 years. There is no reason to give them the benefit of the doubt. Prediction: Oklahoma State +7.5 –Shehan Jeyarajah

No. 7 USC at No. 16 UCLA

Featured game | UCLA Bruins vs. USC Trojans

8 p.m. | Fox, fuboTV (Try for free) — USC has looked great beating bad teams over the past month, but I’m not sure there’s as much of a difference between these two teams as the rankings suggest. The Trojans also have potential injury issues beyond the absence of running back Travis Dye, and while UCLA’s loss to Arizona was concerning, I think it was also kind of defeat that we see in the potential spots at the end of the year. I think the Bruins are bouncing back big and stealing the win. Prediction: UCLA +2.5 -Chip Patterson

No. 10 Utah at No. 17 Oregon

Featured game | Oregon Ducks vs. Utah Utes

10:30 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — Utah edged Oregon in two games last season, and it’s unclear if the gap has closed. While first-year Ducks coach Dan Lanning and offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham have quarterback Bo Nix playing at an elite level, the Utes will be the most physical team Oregon has faced since a week-long loss. 1 against Georgia. Nix’s status is also in doubt after suffering an injury in the fourth quarter of last week’s loss to Washington. That loss knocked Oregon out of the playoff conversation, and it will be interesting to see if the Ducks remain highly motivated to play for a Pac-12 title. Prediction: Utah -2 –David Cobb

What college football picks can you confidently make in Week 12, and which top-20 teams will fall hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread – all from a proven computer model that has brought in nearly $3,000 in profit over the past six-plus seasons – and find out

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