College football picks, predictions against the spread for every Week 15 top 25 game
The final week of the college football regular season is here, and that means it’s time to revisit The Game.
No. 3 Ohio State is a 30-point favorite against rival Michigan, an eye-popping spread that is the highlight of the Week 15 college football schedule.
There are three games between ranked teams, and the biggest matchup of the three also involves an Ohio team. No. 7 Cincinnati travels to No. 24 Tulsa in the first of back-to-back matchups between the American Athletic Conference foes.
Conference championship week is almost here, but this is a week for the playoff contenders to take care of business. SN picks every top 25 game against the spread each week. Here is a look at our track record this season:
- Last week: 13-6 S/U, 8-11 ATS Overall: 153-44 S/U, 100-88 ATS Top 25: 143-39 S/U, 95-84 ATS
Now, a look at our picks against the spread for Week 15:
Week 15 picks against the spread Saturday, Dec. 12
- No. 12 Georgia (-13) at Missouri
The Tigers have been a pleasant surprise in the SEC under first-year coach Eli Drinkwitz. Georgia quarterback J.T. Daniels has thrown just one interception in two starts, but he will be tested by Missouri’s pass defense, which ranks third in the SEC.
Pick: Georgia wins 30-20 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- No. 9 Alabama (-31) at Arkansas
The Crimson Tide are 7-2 ATS this season, and they have covered in five straight games. Alabama has won the past three meetings by an average of 32.3 points per game. Arkansas lost to Georgia by 27 and Florida by 28. Will the Crimson Tide tap the breaks in the second half ahead of the SEC championship game?
Pick: Alabama wins 44-14 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- No. 13 Oklahoma (-12.5) at West Virginia
The line has jumped up two points from its open, and the Sooners have one last tune-up before another Big 12 championship game. The Mountaineers are 2-2 ATS as an underdog, but they are coming off an ugly 42-6 loss to Iowa State.
Pick: Oklahoma wins 38-21 and COVERS the spread.
- Illinois at No. 15 Northwestern (-13.5)
The Illini are 3-2 ATS as an underdog this season and just missed covering in a two-touchdown loss to the Wildcats last week. Northwestern has won the past five meetings by an average of 18.6 points per game. The Wildcats roll into the Big Ten championship game with momentum here.
Pick: Northwestern wins 31-15 and COVERS the spread.
- Michigan at No. 3 Ohio State (-30)
Jim Harbaugh is 0-5 against the Buckeyes, and this is the biggest spread in the history of the rivalry. Ohio State could easily cover knowing it won 56-27 last season. The largest margin of victory in the series was the Buckeyes’ 38-0 blowout on Nov. 23, 1935. We still are going to take the points here — even if it feels like Ohio State will win in epic blowout fashion.
Pick: Ohio State wins 49-21 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- Akron at No. 24 Buffalo (-32)
The Bulls averaged the most points in the FBS at 50.1 points per game, and over a normal full season running back Jaret Patterson would get more Heisman hype. This feels like Akron can put together a few scoring drives to offset the high spread. We would stay away if we could.
Pick: Buffalo wins 47-17 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- No. 11 Coastal Carolina (-13.5) at Troy
Coastal Carolina can complete a perfect season with two more victories, and it is best to just keep riding that wave. The Chanticleers are 8-2 ATS, and the Trojans lost in blowout fashion to BYU and Appalachian State this season.
Pick: Coastal Carolina wins 38-17 and COVERS the spread.
- No. 23 Texas (-30) at Kansas
The Longhorns routed Kansas State 69-31 and can close out a seven-win season with a victory against the Jayhawks. Kansas is 1-8 ATS with seven losses of 30 points or more. Texas pours it on.
Pick: Texas wins 42-10 and COVERS the spread.
- No. 7 Cincinnati (-12.5) at No. 24 Tulsa
This is the first of two between the teams, and the Golden Hurricane have a few chances to play spoiler. Tulsa is 6-1 ATS, and the Bearcats are coming off back-to-back bye weeks. Expect a close game.
Pick: Cincinnati wins 28-24 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- No. 20 North Carolina at No. 9 Miami (-3.5)
Miami will not play in the ACC championship game, but the Hurricanes are on track for a New Year’s Day Six Bowl bid. The Tar Heels beat Miami 28-25 in a nail-biter in 2019. This one goes the other way.
Pick: Miami wins 35-31 and COVERS the spread.
- Purdue at No. 8 Indiana (-11)
Indiana can still make a New Year’s Day Six bowl, too, and backup quarterback Jack Tuttle made enough plays to beat Wisconsin last week. Purdue could make it interesting knowing all six of its games have been decided by 10 points or fewer.
Pick: Indiana wins 27-17 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- No. 25 Wisconsin at No. 19 Iowa (-1.5)
Wisconsin’s season has been derailed by COVID-19 pauses, and the offense sputtered in losses to Northwestern and Indiana. The Badgers have won four in a row in this series, however, and they pull out another one here in a nail-biter.
Pick: Wisconsin wins 21-20 in an UPSET.
- LSU at No. 6 Florida (-24)
Florida has one more test before the SEC championship game against Alabama, and it’s up against an LSU defense that allowed a total of 103 points in losses to the Crimson Tide and Auburn. How much will the Gators tack on? The line might come down a bit to add value, but it’s a concern that Florida has not covered the past three weeks.
Pick: Florida wins 35-17 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- No. 16 USC (-4) at UCLA
USC remains unbeaten, and in any other season that would come with top-five billing or better. Clay Helton and Chip Kelly have split the past two meetings, and this one should be close considering how well the Bruins are playing.
Pick: USC wins 30-24 and COVERS the spread.
- Ole Miss at No. 5 Texas A&M (-15)
The Aggies are still trying to make a playoff case, and they will be challenged by the Rebels’ offense. Ole Miss has averaged 44.7 points through a three-game win streak. This promises to be a shootout, and there is a chance for an outright upset.
Pick: Texas A&M wins 44-31 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- Utah at No. 21 Colorado (-1.5)
The Buffs are a surprise unbeaten team, and they have won two of those four games by double digits. Utah can spoil that on the road. It will come down to which quarterback — Sam Noyer or Jake Bentley — avoids the big mistake in the fourth quarter. The Utes pull a small upset here.
Pick: Utah wins 27-21 in an UPSET.
- San Diego State at No. 14 BYU (-15)
BYU looks to bounce back after losing to Coastal Carolina, but the Cougars can cap off a 10-win season against the Aztecs. San Diego State lost by 10 to Colorado in its only game as an underdog this season. Zach Wilson tacks on big points in the home finale.
Pick: BYU wins 44-20 and COVERS the spread.