College football picks, schedule: Predictions against the spread for the key top 25 games in Week 8 – CBS Sports

The attrition of undefeated teams began last week and may well continue in Week 8. While No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Clemson are huge favorites, No. 2 LSU is on the road at an under-performing Mississippi State team in the SEC on CBS Game of the Week. The two key games on Saturday include No. 12 Oregon travelling to No. 25 Washington and No. 7 Penn State hosts No. 16 Michigan.

With action starting early in the day and continuing late into the night, let’s take a look at the biggest games on the schedule Saturday along with our college football picks and predictions for what will transpire in those contests. Our CBS Sports college football experts have picked every game both straight up and against the spread, giving you ample opportunity to decide how to make your picks ahead of kickoff.

All times Eastern

No. 3 Clemson (-23.5) at Louisville — Noon on ABC: Just like the Notre Dame game, I think Louisville will get off to a fast start that includes a few scores before Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables puts in some adjustments and the game settles down. The Tigers are in a difficult position of having to maintain an elite level of focus as heavy favorites the rest of the season, so on the road at noon looks like a good spot for a little bit a letdown. Pick: Louisville (+23.5) — Chip Patterson

No. 9 Florida (-7.5) at South Carolina — Noon on ESPN:  Florida’s defense has anchored the team this season. Don’t be fooled by what LSU did to it; LSU has done obscene things to every defense it has faced. Fade South Carolina’s recent momentum and roll with the better, more talented team to come out with a win and a cover, especially now that the spread has dropped a couple points to 5. Pick: Florida -7.5 — Kyle Boone

No. 2 LSU (-19.5) at Mississippi State — 3:30 p.m. on CBS: This has the potential to be a trap game for the Tigers, but they won’t fall into the trap. Coach Ed Orgeron and the veteran players know just how hard it is to go into Starkville and play well with cowbells clanging. What’s more, it’s incredibly important for the offensive line to play at the same level of last week on the road. Simply put, the coaching staff at LSU won’t let this team take its early-season success for granted. Joe Burrow will light up a suspect Bulldogs secondary, Orgeron will keep his foot on the gas deep into the fourth quarter, and the Tigers will cover with ease. Pick: LSU (-19.5) — Barrett Sallee

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No. 12 Oregon (-2.5) at No. 25 Washington — 3:30 p.m. on ABC: Both defenses are well-coached — Oregon defensive coordinator Andy Avalos should be a Broyles Award finalist — and ahead of the offenses, despite the fact that there’s a lot of raw talent at quarterback for both teams. I don’t expect a lot of points and this probably comes down to whichever team avoids a catastrophic mistake. If this game were in Eugene, I’d pick the Ducks without much of a thought. Regardless of the score, though, this one appears to be tight enough for Washington to cover at home. Pick: Washington +2.5 — Ben Kercheval

Kentucky at No. 10 Georgia (-25) — 6 p.m. on ESPN: The Bulldogs hold the position advantage in almost every category. Their quarterback is better (assuming Fromm returns to form), he has more offensive weapons at his disposal and his line is usually one of the strongest in the SEC. Georgia’s defense leads the SEC in allowing the fewest points per game (12.3) and they’ve got a College Football Playoff shot on the line. When operating on all cylinders, this team is tough to beat. Given that Kentucky is still struggling to find an offensive identity and its defense has allowed nearly 100 more yards per game than its hosts, a road win would be a lot to ask. Pick: Georgia (-25) — Emily Caron

No. 16 Michigan at No. 7 Penn State (-9) — 7:30 p.m. on ABC:  In the history of this series between Jim Harbaugh and James Franklin, the games have tended to be blowouts. The first meeting was a 28-16 win by Michigan, but in the three games since the average margin of victory for either team has been 34.3 points. I don’t think we’ll see a similar game this weekend. I expect both offenses to struggle, so if you want to take the under, I don’t fault you. Personally, I prefer taking Michigan and the points. Penn State should be favored here, but I think the oddsmakers (or the general public anyway) are giving it too much of an advantage against this Michigan side. Pick: Michigan (+7.5) — Tom Fornelli