College football picks, bowl games: Best bets for Oregon vs. Wisconsin, Florida vs. Virginia lead the Six Pack
#TrustTheProcess for one final time this decade
The year is coming to an end, and with it will go the college football season. The College Football Playoff semifinals have already been played, and only three New Year's Six games remain.
So enjoy this season while it's still here, dear reader. Clutch these remaining games close to your chest and let them know how much you appreciate them.
Oh, and maybe bet on some of them to keep yourself entertained. If you're not sure what bets you should make, you're in luck because I have six suggestions for you right here. The final Six Pack of the 2019 season. Let's finish strong.
Games of the Week
No. 6 Oregon (+3) vs. No. 8 Wisconsin: When looking at Wisconsin's season, there's a clear formula in their losses. Jonathan Taylor, the star of the Badgers offense, has averaged 157.7 yards, 6.76 yards per carry and 1.9 touchdowns in Wisconsin's 10 wins. In its three losses, he's averaged 110.7 yards, 4.88 yards per carry and 0.67 touchdowns per game. Essentially, if you've had a defense strong enough to limit Taylor's effectiveness, Wisconsin becomes a lot more beatable. In Pasadena, Wisconsin will be going against an Oregon defense that ranks 10th nationally in rushing yards allowed per game, and 12th in yards allowed per carry. It's a defense that has allowed only 10 rushing plays of 20 yards or more all season long.
It's built to stop the run. So I foresee a situation in which Oregon is capable of forcing Wisconsin to beat it with Jack Coan and its passing attack consistently. That won't be easy to do considering Oregon's defense ranks 15th nationally in defensive pass efficiency as well. As for the Oregon offense, the Ducks have one of the best offensive lines in the country, and that will help neutralize a Wisconsin front seven that's been strong all season long. In the end, I think this will be a close game, but I think Oregon wins more often than it loses, so it's hard to pass up on a field goal here. Oregon 27, Wisconsin 24
No. 9 Florida (-14.5) vs. No. 24 Virginia: Listen, I like Virginia, and I'm thrilled for the program that it has reached the Orange Bowl this season, but it is an imperfect team. Its offensive line has been a significant problem for it all season long, but in Bryce Perkins, the Cavs have a QB who is capable of covering their mistakes. The problems arise when that Virginia offensive line has to face a defense with a terrific front seven and linebackers that can shadow Perkins. We saw the results of what happens in these situations in Virginia's losses to Clemson, Notre Dame and Miami. That Miami defense ranks second in the nation in sack rate, while Clemson is eighth and Notre Dame is 20th. Florida ranks third.
In other words, I don't see the Virginia offense having a whole lot of success on Monday night. Now, there's a chance its defense can keep them in the game and help them cover this spread, but I believe Florida's talent advantage will show over the course of 60 minutes, and the Gators will pull away late. Florida 34, Virginia 17
Lock of the Week
No. 11 Utah (-7) vs. Texas: Remember the Tom Herman as an underdog principle? Well, it's dead. The Longhorns have been underdogs five times this season, and they've gone 2-3 ATS and 0-5 straight up. Texas has played three teams in the final College Football Playoff Rankings and went 1-2 straight up and 0-3 ATS in those games. They have not slain many giants, and I don't expect them to slay one here, either.
Utah got crushed by Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship, but Oregon is a much better team than Texas. Utah is also a much better team than it looked like against Oregon, and I have no doubt it will be motivated and ready to play this game. Since Kyle Whittingham took over the program from Urban Meyer, Utah has gone 11-2 in bowl games, including a mark of 9-4 ATS. Utah 34, Texas 24
Underdog of the Week
Kansas State (+2.5) vs. No. 23 Navy: These two teams are so similar that I have a hard time believing either one will be able to pull away from the other. That means it's only natural to gravitate toward the underdog. With both teams featuring such run-heavy offenses, I would expect that to limit overall possessions, which will limit the total points scored and make it even more difficult for one team to pull away from the other. Plus, Kansas State has flourished in the underdog role this season. Everybody remembers the win over Oklahoma, but the Wildcats have gone 6-2 ATS as a dog this season, and they're 27-16 as a dog since 2014. Navy, meanwhile, is only 4-9-1 ATS in its last 14 games against teams with a winning record. The points seem like the smartest play here. Kansas State 27, Navy 24
Under of the Week
Arizona State vs. Florida State (Under 54): I can't help but believe this is going to be a low-scoring rock fight. I mean, that's just the kind of game that Arizona State likes playing in as it is. Then there's the clear question of how motivated Florida State will be to play in this game. The Seminoles might be ready to get the 2019 season over with and move on to 2020. The weather plays a role here as well. As I write this, the forecast for the Sun Bowl calls for temps in the mid-40s at kickoff and winds of 11+mph. That will have an impact on both offenses. Arizona State 24, Florida State 20
Over of the Week
Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech (Over 45.5): Do the oddsmakers not realize this is the Belk Bowl we're talking about here? A quick history lesson for those of you who might not realize, but the first eight editions of the Belk Bowl have featured an average of 64.6 points per game. Things tend to get weird in Charlotte. Then there are the trends with these two teams that are difficult to ignore. The over has gone 20-7 in Kentucky's nonconference games since the 2014 season, and they're 17-10-1 in Virginia Tech's over that same span. The over is 5-2-1 in Tech's neutral-site games (including bowls) in that timespan as well. Everything points to this game featuring more than 45.5 points. Don't ignore the signs. Kentucky 31, Virginia Tech 28
Who will win Oregon vs. Wisconsin, and what critical x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread you should jump on Wednesday, all from the seasoned expert who has hit five straight spread picks on the Ducks.
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