College football picks, schedule: Predictions vs. the spread, odds for top 25 games in Week 9 – CBS Sports

College football picks, schedule: Predictions vs. the spread, odds for top 25 games in Week 9 - CBS Sports

It’s close time for teams with national championship aspirations with the first College Football Playoff Rankings set for this coming Tuesday. Although there are three major rivalry clashes involving the top five teams on Saturday, neither feature spreads at less than two touchdowns. As such, if upsets occur, they will be significant.

Bookending the day are some significant Big Ten rivalries. No. 2 Ohio State opens at No. 13 Penn State in the Buckeyes’ first legitimate test of the season, one in which they are nevertheless 15.5-point favorites, according to Caesars Sportsbook. While the Nittany Lions have already suffered a loss during the campaign, they do have home field advantage against a rivalry they’ve struggled to eliminate over the last decade. In the nightcap, No. 4 Michigan hosts Michigan State as a 22.5-point favorite. The Spartans are simply hoping to keep their season from completely collapsing, while the Wolverines are focused on remaining undefeated before their showdown with the Buckeyes in the regular-season finale.

The SEC crosses over on CBS Game of the Week with #1 Georgia and Florida meeting in the World’s Greatest Outdoor Cocktail Party. The 22.5-point spread in favor of the Bulldogs is the largest in rivalry history, and they enter a week the Dawgs enjoyed after outscoring Auburn and Vanderbilt by a combined 97-10 the last two weeks. The Gators’ only losses this season are against currently ranked teams — all of which they played tough — but they have yet to rekindle past glory under new coach Billy Napier.

When Saturday’s action wraps up, we’ll have a much clearer picture of what the initial CFP Rankings will look like once Tuesday rolls around. Be sure to stay with CBS Sports throughout the day for college football coverage from kickoff onward. Let’s take a look at our expert picks for the best games in Week 9.

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | Always eastern

#2 Ohio State at #13 Penn State

Outstanding Game | Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

Noon | fox, fuboTV (Try for free) — Penn State is at its best when it can run the ball. Ohio State’s defense has been incredible this season, and the Buckeyes should be able to limit what Penn State does on the ground. That puts a ceiling on Penn State’s offensive production. That said, Penn State matches up better with Ohio State on the defensive end than most other teams, and it could force the Buckeyes to turn to the run game more than usual. So, if I’m betting anything here, I’m taking the under. Forecast: Under 61 – Tom Fornelli

Florida vs. #1 Georgia

Outstanding Game | Georgia Bulldogs vs. Florida Gators

15:30 | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App Georgia will take the win and do it pretty easily. The Florida defense won’t have an answer for what Bulldogs offensive coordinator Todd Monken designed the week before, and it’s impossible to create a scenario in which Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson finally develops a downfield passing game. That said, Georgia coach Kirby Smart will likely take his foot off the gas as quickly as possible, which will allow Florida to keep this within three touchdowns. Prediction: Florida +22.5 — Barrett Sallee

No. 9 Oklahoma State at No. 22 Kansas State

Outstanding Game | Kansas State Wildcats vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

15:30 | fox, fuboTV (Try for free) — That matchup could go down as the game of the weekend and an eliminator in the race for a rematch with TCU in the Big 12 Championship Game. Both teams are beat up, and there are questions about who will even start at quarterback for Kansas State. Last weekend proved, however, that both Adrian Martinez and Will Howard are capable of leading this offense. If both teams have to rely on quarterback depth and a supporting cast, give me K-State at home over Oklahoma State. Prediction: Kansas State -1.5 — Shehan Jeyarajah

#19 Kentucky at #3 Tennessee

Outstanding Game | Tennessee Volunteers vs. Kentucky Wildcats

7 p.m ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — These teams combined for 87 points last season, and they should score a lot again. Although the Wildcats have struggled offensively at times this season, QB Will Levis should be closer to 100% coming into a week ago. Kentucky also expects to get leading wide receiver Tayvion Robinson back from a leg injury and right tackle Jeremy Flax back from a hamstring problem. The weather is supposed to be great, and that means conditions will be ripe for scoring. Prediction: Over 62.5 — David Cobb

Michigan State at No. 4 Michigan

Outstanding Game | Michigan Wolverines vs. Michigan State Spartans

19:30 | ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) — Jim Harbaugh has yet to beat Mel Tucker since the latter arrived at Michigan State. That changes Saturday. The Wolverines are the deeper, more talented and more physical team at every level coming into this matchup. Really, trying to find a single advantage for Michigan State in this game is a fool’s errand. There’s always the potential for the odd rivalry game rumble, but Michigan State just might not be good enough to even make things interesting. Prediction: Michigan -22 — Jeyarajah

Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 9, and which 20 favorite will go down? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned nearly $3,000 in profit over the past six-plus seasons — and find out.

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