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

With just two weeks left in the college football regular season and the Pac-12 seeking its first college football playoff appearance in six years, the conference finds itself in a rare spotlight. Playoff opportunities dwindle with every Saturday that goes by, and two of the biggest Pac-12 games of the season are played on Saturday nights. They will go a long way in deciding which teams will compete in the league’s title fight and whether they have a certain chance of breaking through to the CFP.

The team with remaining playoff ambitions is No. 7 USC, who face No. 16 UCLA in a rivalry showdown that will take place in another conference, the Big Ten, in two years. As the only remaining one-loss Pac-12 program, the trojans taking down the Bruins are their first step in making a legitimate CFP bid. No. 18 Notre Dame is expected next week, and USC would also need to get through the Pac-12 championship game, keeping the “1” in its losing column.

Though the second Pac-12 showdown has lost some of its luster and begins at 10:30 p.m. ET, No. 10 Utah at No. 17 Oregon offers arguably the best remaining programs in the league once the aforementioned California schools head towards the big go Ten in 2024. It will surely be one of the most notable late games of this season.

Elsewhere, No. 1 Georgia appears undefeated in its bid to retain the national championship as it travels to Kentucky for an SEC East showdown that also isn’t as intriguing as once thought. The Wildcats helped Vanderbilt end its 26-game SEC losing streak last week, and Kentucky has fallen out of all top-25 rankings after appearing in them all season.

TCU’s No. 4 is similarly looking to remain unbeaten at Big 12 preseason favorite Baylor, while the bedlam between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will only affect the rivalry this season due to both programs’ reduced importance . The Big Ten Powers No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan are both in action this weekend as well, although the programs are both multi-touchdown favorites in those competitions.

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

Odds on Caesars Sportsbook | All times Easter

Illinois at No. 3 Michigan

Featured Game | Michigan Wolverines vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

noon | ABC, fuboTV (Try it for free) — One of the reasons Michigan has blown out so many of its opponents is that it starts games strong. The Wolverines were one of the best teams in the country in the first half and often take their foot off the accelerator in the second half. With Ohio State approaching, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a similar performance this week. Also, Illinois proved to be an excellent team in the second half, especially on defense. So, Michigan -9.5 1H should certainly be a game. I also have Michigan to cover the total, but for these purposes let’s not overthink it. We have two of the best defenses in the country and two attacks that rely on running the ball. That’s how Unders were won thousands of years ago, and that’s how they’re still won today. Prognosis: Below 40.5 -Tom Fornelli

#4 TCU at Baylor

Featured Game | Baylor Bears vs. TCU Horned Frogs

noon | Fox, fuboTV (Try it for free) — Chosen to win the Big 12, the Bears have flashed the talent needed to beat even elite teams. However, TCU will not waste this opportunity against a hated rival. The Horned Frogs netted just one more chunk play than Baylor to emerge victorious in Waco, Texas and keep their perfect season alive. Prognosis: TCU -2.5 – Shehan Jeyarajah

#1 Georgia in Kentucky

Featured Game | Kentucky Wildcats vs. Georgia Bulldogs

3:30 p.m. | cbs,, CBS Sports AppI take the Bulldogs to not only 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 their last four games, and last week’s loss to Vanderbilt must drain for a team that once held high hopes . The Bulldogs will be stepping on the gas more than usual to keep their first teamers fresh for the stretch run. Forecast: Georgia -22.5 – Barrett Hallee

No. 22 Oklahoma State in Oklahoma

Featured Game | Oklahoma Sooners vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

7:30 p.m. | ABC, fuboTV (Try it for free) — Oklahoma won 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’s no reason to give them the benefit of the doubt. Prediction: Oklahoma State +7.5 – Shehan Jeyarajah

No. 7 USC to No. 16 UCLA

Featured Game | UCLA Bruins vs. USC Trojans

8 p.m. | Fox, fuboTV (Try it for free) — USC has looked great beating bad teams for 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 some potential injury issues aside from not being able to run back for Travis Dye, and while UCLA’s loss to Arizona is worrying, I think it was also exactly the kind of loss we saw in potential prospects at the end of the year see. I think the Bruins are recovering strongly and stealing the win. Forecast: UCLA +2.5 – Chip Patterson

#10 Utah at #17 Oregon

Featured Game | Oregon Ducks vs. Utah Utes

10:30 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try it for free) — Utah dominated Oregon in two meetings last season and it’s not clear if the gap has closed. While first-year Ducks coach Dan Lanning and offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham keep quarterback Bo Nix playing at the elite level, the Utes will be the most physical team Oregon has faced since a Week 1 loss to Georgia. Nix’s status is also uncertain after picking up an injury in the fourth quarter of last week’s loss to Washington. That loss eliminated Oregon from the playoff talk, and it will be interesting to see if the Ducks remain highly motivated to play a Pac-12 title. Prediction: Utah -2 -David Cobb

What college football picks can you hit with confidence in Week 12, and which top 20 teams will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the range – all from a proven computer model that has brought in nearly $3,000 in profits over the last 6+ seasons – and find out

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