College football picks, schedule: Predictions against the spread, odds for games in 2021 Championship Week

There are only a few days left until the College Football and Bowl selections, but before we get there, Championship Week should be played. And if anything is similar for the rest of the 2021 college football season up to this point, it’s going to be wild. While there are two sets of games over Friday and Saturday that will determine the conference champions, there are six in particular that could directly impact the CFP race and the six missions in the new year.

We have games with Oklahoma State and Utah looking to keep serve against Baylor and Oregon, respectively. While the Cowboys outnumbered the Bears in a defensive battle earlier this season, Utes completely crushed the Ducks two weeks ago. It looks like Oklahoma State is in contention for the CFP spot if it wins the Big 12, while Baylor with a Big 12 win and Oregon with a Pac-12 win will need a lot to get right — and crazy — to find the way to the four-team field.

Cincinnati, which finds itself fourth in the CFP rankings, must beat Houston in the AAC Championship game for a chance to become the first of the five team to play in a national championship in the modern era. Meanwhile, Georgia and Alabama meet in a clash of giants. The Bulldog will likely still win or lose on the battlefield, while a second loss in the SEC Championship game will make the berth much less likely for Crimson Tide if anyone else keeps sending him.

In the evening, Michigan is looking to maintain its momentum from crushing Ohio State during contention week as it looks to win its first Big Ten championship game in a fight with Iowa State. The Wolverines are invigorated with coach Jim Harbaugh taking a second lease on life in East Lansing, Michigan, and the result will be a certain placement in the CFP if they can eliminate the defensive-minded Hawkeyes.

While winning is all that matters in the New Year’s Six-Playoff and Competition, we’re interested in whether these teams will cover their spreads. Be sure to stick to CBS Sports all day for coverage of college football from the start of the inaugural game onwards. Let’s take a look at our expert picks for the loaded championship week to close out the 2021 season.

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times are oriental

PAC 12 Championship: No. 10 Oregon vs No. 17 in Utah

Featured game | Utah Utes vs Oregon Ducks

Friday, 8 pm | ABC, fuboTV (try for free)– Oregon wouldn’t be the incredible wreck when these teams first got together, but it’s fair to wonder how motivated the ducks are for this game. It’s a “I was there, I did it” spot for Oregon, who has won her last two games for the Pac-12 title. For Utah, this is an opportunity to reach new frontiers as it strives for its first win in the Conference Championship. Look for Utah to be the most physical team, conquer the spin battle and win the match that will be close until late in the fourth quarter. Prediction: Utah (-2.5) – David Cope

Big 12 Championship: No. 9 Baylor vs No. 5 Oklahoma State

Featured game | Oklahoma State Cowboys vs Baylor Bears

nun | ABC, fuboTV (try for free)– When these teams last played, it was Jalen Warren’s touchdown two minutes before the end of the game that pushed the lead to 10 points. The second time around, the score could be lower now that every defensive crew had a chance to reevaluate. Oklahoma State is finding a way to win the game of football, but the Bears are well positioned to get them dangerously close. Prediction: Baylor (+5.5) – Sheehan Jiraj

SEC Championship: No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 3 Alabama

Featured game | Alabama Crimson Tide vs Georgia Bulldogs

4 pm | CBS, CBSSports.comAnd CBS Sports AppSimply put, this is Crimson Tide’s conformity nightmare. The offensive line hasn’t been able to run a block on a consistent basis all year, and last week against Auburn was their worst performance of the season. Now, will you suddenly get right against Jordan Davis and the Front Seven Bulldogs? No. There is no chance. Georgia will keep Alabama in check throughout the afternoon, allowing mid-afternoon Stetson Bennett fourth and the rest of that offense to be able to dictate the style and pace of the showdown. Dogs will win by double digits. Prediction: Georgia (-6.5) – Barrett Sally

Aljomaih Automotive Championship: No. 21 Houston finished fourth in Cincinnati

Featured game | Cincinnati Bearcats vs Houston Cougars

4 pm | ABC, fuboTV (try for free)– Every time Cincinnati was given a show opportunity, it responded with its best showing. Cincinnati beat No. 6 ranked Notre Dame by 11 points and SMU by 34 points. Houston is one of the top teams on the Cincinnati schedule, but don’t expect the Bearcats to miss an opportunity to make a national statement. Prediction: Cincinnati (-10.5) – Sheehan Jiraj

Big Ten Championship: No. 2 Michigan vs. No.13 Iowa

Featured game | Iowa Hawkeyes vs Michigan Wolverines

8 pm | Fox fuboTV (try for free)– It’s hard for me to take on Wolverines here. It’s not that I don’t have much respect for the Hockeys, it’s because this is a bad match for them. Michigan is basically Iowa on steroids. She has excellent defense and strong special squads, but what differs the most between them is the attack. Michigan has one. Iowa does not do that. With Iowa unable to move the ball this year, it’s hard for me to subscribe to the idea that the Hawkeyes would suddenly find success against a Michigan defense that halted an explosive Ohio State offensive. Plus, Iowa thrives on transitions, and Michigan flips the ball just nine times. Only five teams in the country have fewer. Top it with corn and blue. Prediction: Michigan (-10.5) – Tom Fornelli

ACC Championship: No. 15 Pittsburgh vs No. 16 Wake Forest

Featured game | Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs Pittsburgh Panthers

8 pm | ABC, fuboTV (try for free)– The sensible choice is Pete because Kenny Pickett has the advantage in the middle, and the Panthers were better, when needed, at defending the ball. But there is something special to the wild ride that deacons were here in 2021 and I think it’s best to prepare them for the tense, high-score shootout. Prediction: Wake Forest (+3) – Chip Patterson

What college football picks can you make with confidence during tournament week, and which two of the underdogs will win outright? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the difference – all from a proven computer model that has earned close to $3,700 over the past five seasons – and find out.

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