Another loaded college football Saturday is upon us with 19 ranked teams in action and three significant games between top 25 opponents. Upsets and expectation shifts have been the name of the game through the first five weeks of the 2021 season, and there’s every chance that will continue in Week 6 with teams like No. 7 Ohio State, No. 10 BYU, No. 9 Michigan and No. 14 Notre Dame, among others, in games against unranked yet talented competition.
There are four standout games of the day, though, beginning with No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 21 Texas squaring off in the latest edition of the Red River Showdown. The Sooners have won three straight and five of the last six in the series, but the Longhorns believe they’ve found something with the one-two punch of Casey Thompson at quarterback and Bijan Robinson at running back. No. 2 Georgia’s seemingly impenetrable defense will face its toughest passing test of the season when it goes up against No. 18 Auburn and QB Bo Nix, while No. 3 Iowa hopes to see its defense continue its incredible turnover binge against a No. 4 Penn State team feeling itself thanks to QB Sean Clifford. In the night cap, No. 1 Alabama and Texas A&M go head-to-head with coach Nick Saban looking to improve to 25-0 against his former assistants as Jimbo Fisher continues to look for answers for an Aggies squad that has underwhelmed this season.
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 the fifth full Saturday of the season.
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern
No. 6 Oklahoma vs. No. 21 Texas
Noon | ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) — It’s hard to know which version of each team we’ll get in the Red River Showdown. Is Texas the team that dropped 70 points on Texas Tech or the one that struggled against a comparable TCU squad? Is Oklahoma playing its cards close to the vest, or is it systematically flawed on offense? My money is on Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley unleashing the running backs against his team’s first ranked opponent of the season and the defense taking advantage of a Texas offense that is still finding its footing. Prediction: Oklahoma (-3) — Shehan Jeyarajah
No. 2 Georgia at No. 18 Auburn
3:30 p.m. | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App — The best way for Georgia to prevent quarterback Bo Nix from working his magic is to keep him on the sideline, and that’s exactly what will happen. Whether it’s Stetson Bennett IV or JT Daniels starting under center, offensive coordinator Todd Monken will do everything he can to shorten the game knowing that either of his quarterbacks are smart enough to be responsible with the football. With that said, Nix and his talented running back corps will do enough to make it a four-quarter game and keep it within two touchdowns. Prediction: Auburn (+14.5) — Barrett Sallee
No. 4 Penn State at No. 3 Iowa
4 p.m. | Fox, fuboTV (Try for free) — My official pick here is Penn State and the points, but I’d be lying if I told you I was confident about it. This game is a coin flip in my eyes. On the one hand, I don’t know if Iowa’s offense can put together a long scoring drive if it needs one late. On the other hand, I’m not sure I’m ready to trust QB Sean Clifford on the road in a spot like this. At the beginning of the year, Clifford struggled on the road against Wisconsin, and this Iowa defense is just as strong. This game will come down to which team makes the fewest mistakes, and both are capable of forcing them. So, in the end, I’m just taking the points in what should be a close contest. Prediction: Penn State (+2.5) — Tom Fornelli
No. 9 Michigan at Nebraska
7:30 p.m. | ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) — I’m looking to take advantage of perception here. Michigan is 5-0 and ranked in the top 10, while Nebraska is 3-3 and lost to Illinois. You’re naive if you don’t think these factors are having an impact on the point spread. Now, while I’m picking the Cornhuskers to pull off the outright upset, I’m not nearly as confident in that as I am the Huskers covering the spread. I find it difficult to trust Michigan’s offense to cover as road favorites against a team that can score points. Nebraska can score points. Prediction: Nebraska (+3) — Tom Fornelli
No. 1 Alabama at Texas A&M
Alabama Crimson Tide
8 p.m. | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App — This will be the best defense Alabama has faced since playing Florida, but the Aggies’ inability to move the football on offense will give the Crimson Tide far more cracks offensively. Expect the Aggies defense to bend without breaking for a bit before the floodgates open in the third quarter. Prediction: Alabama (-17.5) — David Cobb
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 6, and which national title contender will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,400 in profit over the past five-plus seasons — and find out.