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

Once Rivalry Week ends on Saturday night, there will only be conference championships between some of the best teams in the country and the College Football Playoff. Those odds dwindle with each passing Saturday as the penultimate week of the season progresses, and some of those aforementioned contenders will be involved in hotly contested rivalry matches, the kind of matches 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 for the CFP. The loser will watch from the outside and hope that some form of chaos allows it to creep into the four-team field. Jim Harbaugh is looking for his second consecutive win after leading the Wolverines to their first series win since 2011 last season, while Ryan Day hopes to avoid becoming the first Buckeyes coach to lose consecutive games to their rival since John Cooper ( 1999-2000).

Second in terms of playoff implications is Saturday night’s rivalry between No. 6 USC and No. 10 Notre Dame. A win could move the Trojans to fourth in the CFP standings next Tuesday, while a loss would 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 hosts a South Carolina team that shockingly devastated Tennessee last week, and the Civil War with No. 9. Visiting Oregon No. 9 21 Oregon State in what has already been a great season for both programs.

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

Odds through Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern

No. 3 Michigan at No. 2 Ohio State

Recommended game | Ohio State Buckeyes v Michigan Wolverines

afternoon | 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 up, but the Wolverines against the spread. The truth? My confidence in either choice is low. I think the under is a bit nice though. The way I see things, if Michigan wants to win, it’s going to have to do it on the ground. That should keep the score low. Meanwhile, Ohio State hasn’t had many defenses like Michigan’s. If so, we’ve seen how the attack struggled. At the same time, if a blowout comes, I have to assume it would favor Ohio State; however, that only happens if Michigan doesn’t score. All of these scenarios end with an overall finish below 56 points. Prediction: under 56 –Tom Fornelli

South Carolina at No. 8 Clemson

Recommended game | Clemson Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks

afternoon | ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) — Can lightning strike twice? Of course why not. Clemson has dominated this game, winning seven games in a row dating back to 2014. However, the Tigers get Shane Beamer’s Gamecocks right as they find their rhythm. Quarterback Spencer Rattler rediscovered his mojo with a school-record six touchdown passes in a 63–38 win over No. 10 Tennessee. South Carolina scored on nine of its 10 complete possessions to record consecutive winning seasons. There is a path for South Carolina to have the best quarterback on the field when things go well. Forecast: South Carolina +430 — Shehan Jeyarajah

Maroon at No. 7 Alabama

Recommended game | Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Auburn Tigers

3:30 pm | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports AppI’ll take the Crimson Tide to win and cover, though it won’t be easy. Auburn’s rushing attack is deadly, but the Crimson Tide is talented enough to stay disciplined and keep Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter from constantly getting loose. That defense will wear down Auburn’s offensive line and force Robby Ashford into some awkward spots. This game will be close for about two and a half minutes, but Alabama pulls out for late coverage. Prediction: Alabama -22 — Barrett Sallee

No. 9 Oregon at No. 21 Oregon State

Recommended game | Oregon State Beavers vs Oregon Ducks

3:30 pm | ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) — The Ducks face a must-win duel against their bitter rivals, but Oregon State won’t make it easy for them. The Beavers had Washington and USC in the lead in narrow 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 victory over Utah is enough to bet on him to clinch the Ducks spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Forecast: Oregon -3 — Shehan Jeyarajah

No. 5 LSU at Texas A&M

Recommended game | Texas A&M Aggies vs LSU Tigers

7pm | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — Texas A&M wants the season of hell to come to an end. LSU has a potential College Football Playoff berth on the line. The difference in motivation between these two teams is unprecedented, not to mention the differences in skills and coaching between the two programs. A double-digit road line is big, but the Tigers will take care of things. Forecast: LSU -10 — Shehan Jeyarajah

No. 10 Notre Dame at No. 6 USC

Recommended game | USC Trojans vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

7:30 pm | ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) — The Trojans will see Notre Dame as one of the tougher trials of the season as the Fighting Irish try to stay away from Caleb Williams with a solid ground game and then supplement that with a bending but not breaking defense. But if I have to choose between Williams and Drew Pyne in a game I expect to come close, I’ll side with the Heisman Trophy contender. Forecast: USC -5.5 — Chip Patterson

What college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 13, and which top-25 teams will struggle? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread – all from a time-tested computer model that has made nearly $3,000 in winnings over the past six seasons – and find out.

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