College football picks, schedule: Predictions against the spread, odds for the first 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 is getting rare attention. Playoff chances dwindle every Saturday, and the two biggest Pac-12 games of the season go down Saturday night. They’ll go a long way in determining which teams will square off in the league’s title game, and whether one in particular has a chance to make it into the CFP.

The team with the remaining playoff aspirations is the No. 7 UCLA I. No. 16 will face UCLA in a rivalry matchup, two years later in a different conference in the Big Ten. As a one-loss Pac-12 program, the Trojans’ elimination of the Bruins is the first step toward making a legitimate CFP bid. No. 18 Notre Dame awaits next week, and USC needs to keep “1” in its loss column by the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Despite losing its luster in the second Pac-12 showdown, which begins at 10:30 p.m., the No. 10 in Utah at No. 17 Oregon is arguably the league’s top remaining program once the aforementioned California schools leave for bigger schools. Ten by 2024. This will surely be one of the most remarkable games of late this season.

Elsewhere, No. 1 Georgia remains undefeated in the question of defending its national championship when it travels to Kentucky for an SEC East showdown that isn’t as intriguing as once thought. The Wildcats helped Vanderbilt snap its 26-game SEC losing streak last week, and have fallen out of every set of Kentucky top 25 rankings all season.

No. 4 TCU is similarly looking to remain undefeated at Big 12 preseason favorite Baylor, while the bedlam between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State could only have rivalry implications as the two programs’ status declines this season. Big Ten powers no. No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan are both in action this weekend, though both programs are multi-touchdown favorites in those contests.

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Be sure to stay tuned to CBS Sports throughout the day for college football coverage from the opening kickoff. Let’s take a look at our expert picks for the best games in Week 12.

Odds by Caesars Sportsbook | East at all times

at No. 3 Illinois at Michigan

Special game | Michigan Wolverines vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

Noon | ABC, fuboTV (try it for free) — One of the reasons Michigan shuts out so many of its opponents is that it starts games strong. The Wolverines are one of the best first-half teams in the country, and they often take their foot off the gas pedal in the second half of games. As Ohio State continues to develop, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar performance this week. Additionally, Illinois has proven to be an excellent second half team, especially defensively. So, Michigan -9.5 1H should definitely be a play. I also have Michigan to cover the overall numbers, but for the purposes of this, don’t overthink it. We’ve got two of the best defenses in the country and two offenses that run the ball. That’s how blows won thousands of years ago, and they still do today. Prediction: Under 40.5 –Tom Fornelli

No. in Baler. 4 TCU

Special game | Baylor Bears vs. TCU Horned Frogs

Noon | fox, fuboTV (try it for free) — The Bears were picked to win the Big 12 and have shown enough talent to beat even elite teams. However, TCU will not waste this opportunity against a hated rival. The Horned Frogs kept their perfect season alive with a win in Waco, Texas, hitting just one chunk over Baylor. Prediction: TCU -2.5 — Shehan Jayaraja

No. 1 Georgia over Kentucky

3:30 pm | CBS,, CBS Sports AppI’ll take the Bulldogs to not only win, but cover the biggest spread. The Wildcats have fallen off a cliff, quarterback Will Lewis has thrown more interceptions (five) than touchdowns (four) in the past four games, and last week’s loss to Vanderbilt should be a downfall for a once-overconfident team. The Bulldogs will step on the gas more than they usually do to keep their first-teamers fresh for the stretch run. Prediction: Georgia -22.5 — Barrett Sully

No. 22 Oklahoma State Oklahoma

Special game | Oklahoma Sooners vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

7:30 pm | ABC, fuboTV (try it for free) — Oklahoma has beaten Kansas (with a backup quarterback) and Iowa State, the only team with a worse record in conference play than the Sooners. OU dominated Oklahoma State during the Mike Gundy era, but this is the worst Sooners team in 25 years. There is no reason to give them the benefit of the doubt. Prediction: Oklahoma State +7.5 — Shehan Jayaraja

No. 16 UCLA at No. 7 U.S.C

Special game | UCLA Bruins vs. USC Trojans

8 pm | fox, fuboTV (try it for free) — USC has been good at beating bad teams over the last month, but I don’t see as much of a difference between these two teams as the rankings suggest. The Trojans have some potential injury issues beyond the absence of Travis Tye, and given UCLA’s loss to Arizona, I think this is the kind of loss we’ll see in potential Lookhead points later in the year. I think the Bruins come back big and steal the win. Prediction: UCLA +2.5 — Chip Patterson

No. 10 Utah no. 17 in Oregon

10:30 pm | ESPN, fuboTV (try it for free) — Utah dominated Oregon in two meetings last season, and it’s unclear if the gap has closed. With first-year Ducks coach Don Lanning and offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham playing at an elite level with quarterback Bo Nix playing at an elite level, the Utes will be the most physical team Oregon has faced since their Week 1 loss to Georgia. The Knicks’ status is also uncertain after suffering an injury in the fourth quarter of last week’s loss to Washington. That loss eliminated Oregon from the playoff conversation, and it will be interesting to see if the Ducks are more motivated to play for the Pac-12 title. Prediction: Utah -2 — David Cobb

Which college football picks can you confidently make in Week 12, and which top-20 teams will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — Find out — from a proven computer model that has made nearly $3,000 in profits over the past six-plus seasons

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