The 2020 college football schedule was hit again this week by postponements and cancellations due to COVID-19, but the Week 14 slate is the strongest — at least in terms of brand value — we’ve had in weeks. The top six teams in the nation are all in action, and while each is facing an unranked opponent, five of them are doing so on the road. That always creates potential pitfalls despite most of those teams being heavy favorites entering those contests.
The SEC on CBS will be a doubleheader with No. 6 Florida facing SEC East rival Tennessee with an opportunity to clinch the division and a spot in the SEC Championship Game. No. 1 Alabama follows with a trip to LSU as the Crimson Tide look to both clinch the SEC West and extract some revenge on the Tigers after last year’s defeat.
No. 4 Ohio State is on the road against a Michigan State team that knocked Northwestern from the ranks of the undefeated last week, while No. 3 Clemson is going up against a tough Virginia Tech team in a road night game and No. 5 Texas A&M opens the day at an Auburn team looking for a signature win to end its season. No. 2 Notre Dame is the aforementioned team with a home game, but it’s a massive 34-point favorite against Syracuse.
Will the College Football Playoff Rankings look any different before the weekend is out? We’ll find out based on the results of these marquee games. 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 on Saturday to the final whistle. Let’s take a look at our expert picks for Week 14.
Odds via William Hill Sportsbook | All times Eastern
No. 4 Ohio State at Michigan State (noon, ABC)
Here’s the thing: Michigan State beat Northwestern last week, but it’s not like it was a dominant performance. Four Northwestern turnovers certainly helped, and we must not overlook the fact that Michigan State’s final touchdown came on the final play of the game when it recovered a lateral in the end zone. I just don’t think Michigan State has the offensive firepower to match up with the Buckeyes, and Ohio State is in desperate need of impressive wins. If it has a chance to run up the score, it’s not going to be shy about it. Pick: Ohio State (-23.5) — Tom Fornelli
No. 5 Texas A&M at Auburn (noon, ESPN)
This Aggies team is on a mission, and that mission will be successful on Saturday afternoon. They’ll dominate on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and control the game from the outset. Texas A&M’s defensive front will make a living in the Auburn backfield, forcing Bo Nix into multiple mistakes and getting the Tigers off schedule on a consistent basis. Pick: Texas A&M (-7) — Barrett Sallee
No. 6 Florida at Tennessee (3:30 p.m., CBS)
Tennessee’s ability to run the ball suggests it may be able to generate some measure of offense against a Florida defense that is not necessarily elite. But there’s little else to indicate the Volunteers will keep it competitive. Florida’s offense is simply too explosive and should provide enough cover for its defense to relinquish a couple of touchdowns without the Volunteers covering this spread. Pick: Florida (-17.5) — David Cobb
No. 3 Clemson at Virginia Tech (7:30 p.m., ABC)
There’s a ruthlessness to the way the Tigers take care of business as the year draws closer to the College Football Playoff, and I expect that to continue Saturday night. I made the mistake of trying to get too smart and pick against Clemson last week, and I won’t make that mistake again. If Virginia Tech can ugly this game up it might be able to cover, but you don’t want to be betting on unusual circumstances with a Clemson team that’s finding its best form late in the year (again). Pick: Clemson -22 — Chip Patterson
No. 1 Alabama at LSU (8 p.m., CBS)
This is a massive spread, but don’t worry about it. Lay the points and enjoy the offensive show that Alabama will put on Saturday night in prime time. Nick Saban’s crew is averaging 48.5 points per game this season, and it has topped the 40-point mark in seven straight contests. This LSU team not only can’t keep up, but it will struggle to get to double digits. Pick: Alabama (-28.5)
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 14? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned over $3,500 in profit over the past four-plus seasons — and find out.