Both conference and College Football Playoff championship races are ramping up as the 2021 regular season gets closer to its conclusion. There's no conference in which separation is potentially greater than the Big Ten, and two of the titans from the East Division in the conference with CFP aspirations are set to square off on Saturday in a marquee top-10 showdown here in Week 12.
The day begins with No. 7 Michigan State going on the road to Columbus to face a No. 4 Ohio State team that's really seemed to find its offensive rhythm of late. The Buckeyes are significant favorites because of that offensive attack as well as the Spartans' poor passing defense. Michigan State, however, enters with a massive chip on its shoulder. This is a team that feels disrespected by the CFP committee in being ranked behind No. 6 Michigan -- a team it defeated this season. However, an upset win over the Buckeyes in Columbus would surely earn the Spartans the respect to which they feel entitled.
Also in the spotlight Saturday is No. 2 Alabama, which can clinch the SEC West title and set up the most anticipated matchup of the 2021 season in the conference title game on Saturday, Dec. 4 with No. 1 Georgia with a win over no. 21 Arkansas. In the nightcap of the evening, No. 3 Oregon will look to boost its resume with a victory on the road against a tough No. 24 Utah squad.
While winning is all that matters for the standings, we care about whether these teams will cover their spreads. Be sure to stick with CBS Sports throughout the day for college football coverage from the opening kickoff onward. Let's take a look at our expert picks for the 12th full Saturday of the season.
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern
No. 7 Michigan State at No. 4 Ohio State
12 p.m. | ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) -- There are two factors at play for me with this pick. The first and most important one is that Michigan State is a good football team, so to get nearly three touchdowns with them against an Ohio State team that's struggled to dominate opponents all season long is a hard deal to pass up. The other factor is the timing of the game. While this one is huge, Ohio State plays Michigan next week. The Buckeyes have been bad against the spread before the Michigan game, and they have failed to cover the spread a week before Michigan for seven straight seasons (they didn't play last year). Prediction: Michigan State (+19) -- Tom Fornelli
Iowa State at No. 13 Oklahoma
12 p.m. | Fox, fuboTV (Try for free) -- Oklahoma's poor performance against Baylor corresponded with its first matchup against a halfway decent defense. The bad news? The Cyclones might be even better on that side of the ball, and they boast a running back that will keep the chains moving. Oklahoma might find a way to pull away in a home game, but ISU can easily keep the game close once again. Prediction: Iowa State (+4) -- Shehan Jeyarajah
No. 21 Arkansas at No. 2 Alabama
3:30 p.m. | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App -- Arkansas' offense will have enough success against Alabama to at least keep this one in doubt heading into the fourth quarter. Will KJ Jefferson and the rest of the offense get the job done? No. A late mistake or two will cost the Hogs in this one, but they'll keep it within three touchdowns. Prediction: Arkansas (+20.5) -- Barrett Sallee
No. 6 Michigan at Maryland
3:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network, fuboTV (Try for free) -- Michigan's defensive front will be the group that wins this game. Maryland has been able to move the ball between the 20s this season, but it has struggled when it gets into the red zone. That's where the Wolverines will start to overwhelm a Terps offensive line that has failed to establish an edge against the better teams in the Big Ten. Prediction: Michigan (-14.5) -- Chip Patterson
No. 3 Oregon at No. 24 Utah
7:30 p.m. | ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) -- Utah's only loss in the last two months came against an Oregon State team that is one of only two teams in the conference that averages more yards rushing per game than Utah. Now the Utes must face the other one in Oregon. The Ducks should win a close one. Prediction: Oregon (+3) -- David Cobb
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 12, and which College Football Playoff contender will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,500 in profit over the past five-plus seasons -- and find out.