College football picks, schedule: Predictions against the spread, odds for top 25 games during Week 13

College football picks, schedule: Predictions against the spread, odds for top 25 games during Week 13

Once Rivalry Week concludes Saturday night only conference championship games will stand between some of the top teams in the nation and the College Football Playoff. Those opportunities are dwindling with every Saturday that passes 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 some form of chaos allows it to sneak into the four-team field. Jim Harbaugh is looking for his second straight win after leading the Wolverines to their first series victory since 2011 last season, while Ryan Day is hoping to avoid becoming the first Buckeyes coach to lose consecutive games to their rival since John Cooper (1999-2000).

Slotting in second in terms of playoff implications is Saturday night’s rivalry showdown between No. 6 USC and No. 10 Notre Dame. A win could potentially vault the Trojans into the fourth spot of the CFP Rankings next Tuesday, while a loss would again knock the Pac-12 out of playoff contention for the sixth time in eight editions of the event.

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

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

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern

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 is going to win this game. I’ve played both sides in our expert picks. I took Ohio State straight up but the Wolverines against the spread. The truth? My level of confidence in both picks is low. I do like the under quite a bit, however. The way I see things, if Michigan is to win, it’ll have to do so on the ground. That should keep the score low. Meanwhile, Ohio State hasn’t faced many defenses like that of Michigan. When it has, we’ve seen its offense struggle. At the same time, if there’s going to be a blowout, I have to assume it would be in Ohio State’s favor; however, that only happens if Michigan doesn’t score. All of these scenarios end with the total finishing below 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 has dominated this matchup, winning seven straight games dating back to 2014. However, the Tigers get Shane Beamer’s Gamecocks right as they are finding their rhythm. Quarterback Spencer Rattler rediscovered his mojo with a school-record six touchdown passes in a 63-38 victory over No. 10 Tennessee. South Carolina scored on nine of its 10 full possessions to clinch back-to-back winning seasons. There’s a path for South Carolina to have the best quarterback on the field if things go right. Prediction: South Carolina +430 — Shehan Jeyarajah

Auburn at No. 7 Alabama

Featured Game | Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Auburn Tigers

3:30 p.m. | CBS, CBSSports.comCBS Sports App — I’ll take the Crimson Tide to win and cover, though it won’t be easy. Auburn’s rushing attack is lethal, but the Crimson Tide are talented enough to stay disciplined and make sure that Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter don’t get loose on a consistent basis. That defense will wear down the Auburn offensive line and force Robby Ashford into some uncomfortable spots. This game will be close for two-and-a-half quarters or so, but Alabama will pull away for a late cover. Prediction: Alabama -22 — Barrett Sallee

No. 9 Oregon at No. 21 Oregon State

Featured Game | Oregon State Beavers vs. Oregon Ducks

3:30 p.m. | ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) — The Ducks head into a must-win matchup against their bitter rivals, but Oregon State won’t make things easy. The Beavers had Washington and USC on the ropes in close losses, and they boast one of the best defenses in the Pac-12. Ultimately, Oregon quarterback Bo Nix’s health 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 Pac-12 Championship Game. Prediction: Oregon -3 — Shehan Jeyarajah

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 season from hell to end. LSU has a potential College Football Playoff berth on the line. The difference in motivation between these two teams is off the charts, not even counting the skill and coaching gaps between the two programs. A double-digit road line is large, 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 are going to find Notre Dame to be one of the tougher tests of the season as the Fighting Irish try to play keep away from Caleb Williams with a solid ground game and then complement that with bend-but-don’t break defense. But if forced to choose between Williams and Drew Pyne in a game that I expect to be close, I will side with the Heisman Trophy contender. Prediction: USC -5.5 — Chip Patterson

Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 13, and which top-25 teams will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,000 in profit over the past six-plus seasons — and find out.