College football picks, schedule: Predictions against the spread, odds for top 25 games in Championship Week
A look at the top games on the slate for conference championship week of the 2019 college football season
The last week of the 2019 college football season has finally graced us with its presence, and with it, the big picture in regards to the postseason and national championship will come into focus. Who will advance to the College Football Playoff? Will three teams finish the season undefeated? Who will claim the New Year's Six spot for the Group of Five? With Utah falling in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday night, the rest of the conferences are battling for supremacy, bowl bids and plenty more on Saturday. The door is now completely open for Big 12 Championship Game winner Oklahoma ... as long as LSU stands over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game later Saturday afternoon (live on CBS).
With action starting early in the day and continuing late into the night, let's take a look at the biggest games on the schedule Saturday along with our college football picks and predictions for what will transpire in those contests. Our CBS Sports college football experts have picked every game both straight up and against the spread, giving you ample opportunity to decide how to make your picks ahead of kickoff. All times Eastern
No. 6 Oklahoma (-8.5) vs. No. 7 Baylor -- Noon on ABC: I'll go ahead and put myself on the record. I'm going with Baylor straight up. You might want to #FadeBen and go a different route for the result, but at the very least, the Bears should be able to cover the 8.5 points Vegas has on the Sooners. The defense is just too good, and I don't think the fast track in Arlington, Texas, gives Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts that much more of an advantage. He's a powerful runner, but if Baylor can get to him early, he's neutralized. Pick: Baylor (+8.5) -- Ben Kercheval
No. 17 Memphis (-9.5) vs. No. 20 Cincinnati -- 3:30 p.m. on ABC: This is going to be a very close and competitive game, but it's hard to pick against Memphis in the Liberty Bowl after the Tigers have simply been the better team over the course of the last month. Memphis had its signature win against SMU and has been playing at a high level ever since while Cincinnati has sputtered a bit down the stretch. Lay the points with the Tigers. Pick: Memphis (-9.5) -- Chip Patterson
No. 2 LSU (-7.5) vs. No. 4 Georgia -- 4 p.m. on CBS: It seems like everybody is on the Tigers minus the points, but the line really hasn't moved. There's a very good reason for it. Auburn's defense has been the only one to slow down this LSU attack this year, and the Bulldogs are able to follow a similar game plan. While they don't have the stud defensive linemen up front, they have a better -- and deeper -- secondary that can thrive with that same 3-1-7 alignment that Auburn had success with. The pressure will then fall on Jake Fromm and D'Andre Swift to play smart and play keep away from the Tigers. They will be able to do that to an extent, but Joe Burrow will make a big play or two late to give LSU the win ... close. Pick: Georgia (+7.5) -- Barrett Sallee
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No. 3 Clemson (-28.5) vs. No. 23 Virginia -- 7:30 p.m. on ABC: Don't get in the way of the Tigers. No one in the country knows how to gameplan for a 15-game playoff season better than Clemson, and while championship form didn't show up in September, that's not how championships are won. Expect a complete performance led by the defense and two-time ACC Offensive Player of the Year Travis Etienne. Pick: Clemson (-28.5) -- Chip Patterson
No. 1 Ohio State (-16.5) vs. No. 8 Wisconsin -- 8 p.m. on FOX: If you're betting the spread in this game, I feel like it's Ohio State or nothing at all. As I said above, these Buckeyes are just so much better than everybody else in the Big Ten. Still, my concern is that Justin Fields is dealing with a sprained MCL, which could limit his effectiveness, and that could limit Ohio State's offensive ceiling against a good Wisconsin defense. The problem for Wisconsin is I just don't know where its points will come from. So if you're betting the spread, take Ohio State, though I like under 56.5 more than anything in this game. Pick: Ohio State (-16.5) -- Tom Fornelli
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