Rivalry week is here, and this one features five great matchups between teams ranked in the top 25.
No. 18 Cincinnati travels to No. 17 Memphis (3:30 p.m., ABC) on Black Friday.
The Game between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 10 Michigan (noon, FOX) opens the Saturday slate, as will the winner-takes-West showdown between between No. 13 Wisconsin and No. 9 Minnesota (noon, ABC).
No. 5 Alabama and No. 16 Auburn (3:30 p.m., CBS) highlights the afternoon, and Bedlam between No. 7 Oklahoma and No. 21 Oklahoma State (8 p.m., FOX) closes that slate of College Football Playoff-impacting games. Here is a look at our record so far this season:
Straight up: 199-48 .806 (17-2 last week)
Against the spread: 137-110, .555 (14-7 last week)
Upset picks: 2-16, .111 (0-1 last week)
With that, Sporting News’ Week 14 picks against the spread for every top-25 game (lines provided courtesy of Sportsbook Review as of 3 p.m. ET on Monday, Nov. 25):
Navy is in line for a 10-win season if they can beat Houston and Army. It’s worth knowing they are 5-0 against the spread as a favorite this season. The Cougars allow 4.8 yards per carry. Navy is 1-3 against Houston since joining the AAC, but they score a big win here.
Navy wins 33-24 and COVERS the spread.
The Cavaliers are saddled with a 15-game losing streak to the Hokies, a burden that can be lifted on Friday. The reward is a trip to the ACC championship game, and the Cavaliers are 0-2 against the spread as an underdog this season. The Hokies are peaking at the right time, but we are sticking with our preseason pick.
Virginia wins 29-26 in an UPSET.
The Mountaineers still have an outside shot at a New Year’s Day 6 bid, but they need to put up big numbers to do that. The Trojans won the last meeting at home, but Appalachian State hits a late touchdown for the cover.
Appalachian State wins 34-20 and COVERS the spread.
Oklahoma has won the last three meetings in Stillwater by an average of 18 points per game, and if the Sooners want to keep their Playoff hopes alive they need to put up a big number here. Dru Brown has been efficient in taking over for Spencer Sanders, but the Cowboys can’t keep pace with the Sooners here. Jalen Hurts clinches Heisman finalist status.
Oklahoma wins 41-24 and COVERS the spread.
Boise State’s frustrating season for bettors continues. The Broncos are 5-5 against the spread as a favorite, and they covered the last two weeks. Boise State remains in the conversation for a New Year’s Day 6 bowl bid, and they know it.
Boise State wins 34-14 and COVERS the spread.
Nebraska needs a win to become bowl eligible, but the Huskers would need to break an 0-3 trend against the spread as an underdog. Iowa can still get to nine wins for the season, and the Hawkeyes have not given up more than 24 points in a game this season.
Iowa wins 24-20 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
A showcase showdown in the American Athletic Conference features two 10-1 teams, and this is the best game on Black Friday. The Tigers have won the last three AAC meetings and are 4-2 against the spread as a double-digit favorite this year.
Memphis wins 36-28 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Alabama needs this one to impress the committee, but above all they need to just win the game. It’s on Mac Jones to engineer a victory in the Iron Bowl, and on the other side Bo Nix will try to score a signature victory. The Crimson Tide is the better team, but they can’t focus on the margin.
Alabama wins 34-23 and COVERS the spread.
Oregon is out of the Playoff race, but the Ducks still control the Civil War. They have won the last two meetings by a combined total of 99 points. The Beavers need this one to become bowl eligible. Oregon won’t let that happen.
Oregon wins 44-28 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Wisconsin is favored, just like Iowa was two weeks ago. The Gophers won this matchup last season, and this is a big spot with the winner going to Indianapolis for the Big Ten championship. Can the Gophers win another big one at home? We’ll stick with the favorite.
Wisconsin wins 28-24 and COVERS the spread.
The Nittany Lions have a small risk for a hangover after the loss to Ohio State, but a blowout here could lead to a 10-win season and a New Year’s Day 6 appearance. Rutgers has lost its Big Ten games by an average of 35.4 points per game. That sounds about right, with one more for good measure.
Penn State wins 52-10 and COVERS the spread.
Baylor is near the bottom of the one-loss pileup, but victories in the next two weeks could produce a Big 12 championship and an intriguing argument for the Playoff committee. The Bears are just 1-4 against the spread as a double-digit favorite this season, and Les Miles will pull out all the stops in the finale.
Baylor wins 37-24 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
The Buckeyes faced their first adversity against Penn State, and the Wolverines are in full spoiler mode in Ann Arbor. Jim Harbaugh is looking for that first victory against the Buckeyes, and the line has dropped a point. The Buckeyes tack on a late touchdown for the cover and continue their dominance in the game.
Ohio State wins 36-24 and COVERS the spread.
Florida won 41-14 in the last meeting, which broke a string of five straight victories for the Seminoles. Florida State is 2-0 since Willie Taggart was fired, and their players will be auditioning for the next coach. The Gators get to 10 wins, but it will not be a blowout.
Florida wins 31-17 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Utah is in position to make the Playoff, and it’s on the strength of a defense that allowed just 8.7 points per game over the last seven victories. The Buffs, however, need a win to become bowl eligible and are coming back-to-back wins against Stanford and Washington. Colorado is 5-3 against the spread as an underdog, too.
Utah wins 31-9 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Georgia has won the last two meetings by an average of 27.5 points per game, which explains that spread. The Bulldogs get their offense going before the SEC championship game, and the defense shuts Georgia Tech down. The Yellow Jackets are 2-1 against the spread as a double-digit underdog.
Georgia wins 34-10 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
It has been a rough season for the Gamecocks, but they did beat Georgia and lost to top-10 teams Florida and Alabama by an average of 17.5 points this season. Clemson has a chance to make it six in a row in this heated series, but they haven’t won by more than 25 in Columbia since 2003.
Clemson wins 38-14 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
These two teams engaged in a seven-overtime thriller last season, and the Aggies will try to play spoiler one more time. Both teams are 2-2 against the spread against top-10 teams this season. LSU pulls away in the second half and gets ready for Georgia in the SEC championship game.
LSU wins 38-20 and COVERS the spread.