College football bowl games today: Schedule with predictions, picks, odds, lines for Saturday
The College Football Playoff semifinals lead a set of four intriguing games on Saturday
Four exciting months of college football have come down to this. The four top teams in the nation will meet Saturday in the College Football Playoff semifinals, though those are not the only bowl games set to be contested in what should be a captivating day of action that should run from noon until midnight on the East Coast. The best day of the 2019-20 bowl slate thus far features three other top 25 teams, all of which are looking to make statements before closing the book on this season.
Still, the co-main events, if you will, are set for the evening. No. 1 LSU will put its dominant season on the line against playoff-tested No. 4 Oklahoma, while No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Clemson meet in a rematch from the last time a semifinal was contested in the Fiesta Bowl. The Tigers beat down the Buckeyes 31-0 in that game, and while that's probably a distant memory for the players and the coaches on the field Saturday, the showdown between Ohio State and Clemson is nevertheless compelling considering how dominant both teams have been this season.
So what will go down Saturday, and which teams should you back over the course of the day? Our CBS Sports college football experts share their insights on the four games and offer their picks both against the spread and straight up. Click on the bowl game names below for a more detailed look at each matchup.
Notre Dame (-3.5) vs. Iowa State -- Noon (ABC): Iowa State plays up for big games, and a chance to knock off Notre Dame falls into that category. Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy is must-see TV, and the defense should do enough to keep this close. The one thing that is concerning for an outright upset pick, though, is whether Iowa State can run the ball and play some keep-away. Pick: Iowa State +3.5 -- Ben Kercheval-- No. 15
Penn State (-6.5) vs. No. 17 Memphis -- Noon (ESPN): When it comes to bowl games, you often have to wonder how motivated a team will be to play in the game. On one hand, we have Memphis, which is playing in the biggest bowl in program history and going up against a college football power. Then there's Penn State, which had a disappointing end to the season and will be without its offensive coordinator. If Penn State shows up interested in playing this game, it could blow the doors off of Memphis. At the same time, Memphis is explosive enough on offense that it can keep pace with the Nittany Lions and is certainly capable of pulling off an upset if it catches Penn State sleeping. So I like taking Memphis and the points. Pick: Memphis (+6.5) -- Tom Fornelli-- No. 10
LSU (-13.5) vs. No. 4 Oklahoma -- 4 p.m. (ESPN): This line is enormous for a reason -- the Sooners defense doesn't stand a chance against the potent Tigers offensive. Even without Clyde Edwards-Helaire (the running back is questionable), quarterback Joe Burrow will pick the Sooners secondary apart. The injury to sophomore defensive back Delarrin Turner-Yell is the worst news the coach Lincoln Riley could get the week prior to biggest game of the year. LSU will feel Oklahoma out for a little while before throwing haymaker after haymaker in a game that will turn sideways in the second half. Pick: LSU (-13.5) -- Barrett Sallee-- No. 1
Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson (-2.5) -- 8 p.m. (ESPN): My hunch is that Clemson's dominance over its ACC schedule had more to do with Clemson and less to do with the strength of the ACC. This game is going to be close, and I understand if you think that the Buckeyes are the pick because they've been more battle-tested, but the fabric of Dabo Swinney's Tigers program is tied closely to being ready in these postseason matchups against blue blood programs. Clemson may be the betting favorite, but he's sold the story that no one thinks they belong with LSU and Ohio State. Advantage: R.O.Y. Bus. Pick: Clemson (-2.5) -- Chip Patterson-- No. 2
So who will win the Fiesta Bowl between Clemson and Ohio State, and which side of the spread hits in more than 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread to jump on Saturday, all from the advanced model that is up almost $4,000 on its top-rated picks.
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