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    Barrett Sallee

    CFB Guru

    A nationally known CBS Sports college football writer, Sallee shares his top plays each week with SportsLine subscribers. Over the past three years, he is 105-89 in his popular best bets column. Sallee hosts shows on SiriusXM College and appears regularly on CBS Sports HQ. He is a regular on local, regional and national radio programs, including The Paul Finebaum Show on ESPN Radio and the SEC Network. For Barrett Sallee media inquiries, contact SportsLine@CBSInteractive.com.

    @BarrettSallee

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    Barrett's Past Picks

    Jan 09 2024, 12:30 am UTC
    League
    Washington
    13
    @ Michigan
    34
    +430
    13-8 in Last 21 CFB Picks
    +280
    5-2 in Last 7 CFB ATS Picks
    +465
    8-3 in Last 11 WASH ATS Picks
    Analysis:

    The wrong team is favored here. Washington's offensive line is the best in the business, and it will slow down the pass rush that rattled Jalen Milroe last week. Plus, Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr is a stud eluding pressure while keeping his eyes downfield. That'll be enough for Washington to cover the spread and win its first national title since 1991.

    Pick Made: Jan 05, 4:32 pm UTC
    Jan 02 2024, 2:00 am UTC
    League
    Texas
    31
    @ Washington
    37
    +430
    13-8 in Last 21 CFB Picks
    +270
    6-3 in Last 9 CFB O/U Picks
    Analysis:

    This game will be like a heavyweight fight. Both teams will feel each other out for a few drives, limiting the amount of drives in what, in other situations, would be more of a track meet. Sure … there still could be fireworks during the final three quarters. That won’t be enough for the Over to hit in this one …especially since the Under has hit in three straight Washington games as teams have started to figure out the offense’s strengths and weaknesses.

    Pick Made: Dec 29, 3:10 pm UTC
    Jan 01 2024, 10:00 pm UTC
    League
    Alabama
    20
    @ Michigan
    27
    +430
    13-8 in Last 21 CFB Picks
    Analysis:

    The wrong team is favored here … in a very big way. Never doubt Alabama coach Nick Saban with a month to prepare, especially given that he can finally fine-tune the offense to fit quarterback Jalen Milroe’s strengths after adjusting on the fly during the season. Milroe presents unique challenges to the Michigan defense due to his arm and his vision as a runner – something that he has steadily improved upon during the season. This will be an upset … and a blowout.

    Pick Made: Dec 29, 3:10 pm UTC
    Jan 01 2024, 6:00 pm UTC
    League
    Liberty
    6
    @ Oregon
    45
    +430
    13-8 in Last 21 CFB Picks
    +270
    6-3 in Last 9 CFB O/U Picks
    +480
    7-2 in Last 9 OREG O/U Picks
    Analysis:

    The only way that the over hits in this one is if Oregon tops the 60-point mark on its own. Can it happen? Maybe if it is challenged by Liberty. But that’s about as likely as my hairline to suddenly stop receding. The Ducks defense is the best defense that the Flames have faced all season … by far. Oregon will throttle down in this one in the exact same way it did in the blowout win over Colorado earlier this season.

    Pick Made: Dec 29, 3:08 pm UTC
    Dec 30 2023, 9:00 pm UTC
    League
    Georgia
    63
    @ Florida State
    3
    +430
    13-8 in Last 21 CFB Picks
    +270
    6-3 in Last 9 CFB O/U Picks
    +370
    7-3-1 in Last 11 UGA O/U Picks
    Analysis:

    I wouldn’t touch the game line in the “Opt-out Bowl,” but I’m more than willing to attack the total. It would be a minor miracle for Florida State’s offense to even threaten double-digits against this Bulldogs defense, and it’s unlikely that Georgia will want to run it up once the game is in control. The under has hit in four of the last five games for both teams, and those trends should continue.

    Pick Made: Dec 28, 5:36 pm UTC
    Dec 30 2023, 7:00 pm UTC
    League
    Auburn
    13
    @ Maryland
    31
    +430
    13-8 in Last 21 CFB Picks
    +280
    5-2 in Last 7 CFB ATS Picks
    Analysis:

    The Tigers defense has been pretty stout this season and will be squaring off against a Terrapins offense that will be without the Big Ten’s all-time leading passer in Taulia Tagovailoa. That’s a recipe for success for Tigers coach Hugh Freeze. They have rushed for 230 or more yards in three of their last four games which includes 244 yards against the stout Alabama defense in the Iron Bowl. That trend will continue against the Terps.

    Pick Made: Dec 28, 5:35 pm UTC
    Dec 30 2023, 5:00 pm UTC
    League
    Ole Miss
    38
    @ Penn State
    25
    +430
    13-8 in Last 21 CFB Picks
    +280
    5-2 in Last 7 CFB ATS Picks
    +880
    11-2 in Last 13 MISS ATS Picks
    Analysis:

    The wrong team is favored in the Peach Bowl. Styles make fights, and the Rebels' offense is capable of turning games into track meets. That's the worst-case scenario for a Nittany Lions team that has been offensively-challenged all season under quarterback Drew Allar. What's more, Nittany Lions' star defensive lineman Chop Robinson has opted out of the game to prepare for the NFL Draft. Expect Ole Miss to crank up the tempo in a big way and wear down Penn State late to spring the upset.

    Pick Made: Dec 28, 3:49 pm UTC
    Dec 30 2023, 1:00 am UTC
    League
    Missouri
    14
    @ Ohio State
    3
    +430
    13-8 in Last 21 CFB Picks
    Analysis:

    Some bowl games hinge on the motivation factor, and this is one of them. This is the biggest game for the Missouri program since the 2014 SEC Championship Game, and coach Eli Drinkwitz knows it. Expect him to empty the playbook against an Ohio State team that, while talented, is disappointed that it is in the Cotton Bowl and not the College Football Playoff. Those factors, coupled with the departure of Buckeyes quarterback Kyle McCord, will give the Tigers the edge.

    Pick Made: Dec 26, 7:21 pm UTC
    Dec 29 2023, 7:00 pm UTC
    League
    Oregon State
    8
    @ Notre Dame
    40
    +430
    13-8 in Last 21 CFB Picks
    +280
    5-2 in Last 7 CFB ATS Picks
    +185
    3-1 in Last 4 OREGST ATS Picks
    Analysis:

    Opt-outs and transfers will play a big part in this one, but the overall team talent on the Fighting Irish roster will turn this one into a laugher. They will dominate the line of scrimmage against a Beavers team that lost coach Jonathan Smith to Michigan State following the end of the regular season. It’d be one thing if this game was against a lower-tier Power Five or Group of Five team. This one, however, is against a team that also loves to own the line of scrimmage – but does it with better players.

    Pick Made: Dec 26, 7:19 pm UTC
    Dec 29 2023, 5:00 pm UTC
    League
    Clemson
    38
    @ Kentucky
    35
    +430
    13-8 in Last 21 CFB Picks
    +270
    6-3 in Last 9 CFB O/U Picks
    +250
    8-5 in Last 13 CLEM O/U Picks
    Analysis:

    Expect Tigers offensive coordinator Garrett Riley to open up the offense, let quarterback Cade Klubnik sling it around the yard and take a ton of risks in a game that could provide the program momentum heading into a critical offseason. The Wildcats will be forced into a track meet in order to keep it close, and they have enough firepower to do it … at least for a while. This one feels more like a high 20s or low 30s style matchup.

    Pick Made: Dec 26, 7:20 pm UTC
    Dec 28 2023, 10:45 pm UTC
    League
    NC State
    19
    @ Kansas State
    28
    +430
    13-8 in Last 21 CFB Picks
    +280
    5-2 in Last 7 CFB ATS Picks
    +90
    2-1 in Last 3 NCST ATS Picks
    Analysis:

    Avery Johnson will start at quarterback for Kansas State after Will Howard hit the transfer portal, but I’m not too worried about Johnson. He has 301 yards passing, three touchdowns, hasn’t tossed an interception and has 225 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns this season. That, my friends, means that he is a “weapon.” It’s impossible to trust the Wolfpack’s offense at this point, so expect Kansas State to win in a track meet.

    Pick Made: Dec 26, 5:33 pm UTC
    Dec 28 2023, 7:15 pm UTC
    League
    Rutgers
    31
    @ Miami (Fla.)
    24
    +430
    13-8 in Last 21 CFB Picks
    +280
    5-2 in Last 7 CFB ATS Picks
    +275
    5-2 in Last 7 MIAMI ATS Picks
    Analysis:

    It’s clear at this point that Rutgers is motivated to play in this one after star running back and Big Ten rushing leader Kyle Monangai decided to return to the program. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes have been decimated by opt-outs and the transfer portal and will be turning to third-string quarterback Jacurri Brown to take the snaps. It’s hard to trust Miami in normal circumstances, much less in a game that is so loaded with question marks.

    Pick Made: Dec 26, 5:32 pm UTC
    Dec 28 2023, 4:00 pm UTC
    League
    SMU
    14
    @ Boston College
    23
    +430
    13-8 in Last 21 CFB Picks
    +270
    6-3 in Last 9 CFB O/U Picks
    +90
    2-1 in Last 3 BC O/U Picks
    Analysis:

    It seems like the Mustangs quarterback situation might be bringing this point total down a bit, but freshman Kevin Jennings led them to a win over Tulane in the AAC Championship Game and has had a full month to get comfortable as the No. 1 signal-caller. The Eagles’ combination of quarterback Thomas Castellanos and running back Kye Robichaux are capable of making life difficult for opposing defensive coordinators as well. Weather won’t be an issue at Fenway Park, so don’t expect sloppy play.

    Pick Made: Dec 26, 5:31 pm UTC
    Dec 28 2023, 2:00 am UTC
    League
    Texas A&M
    23
    @ Oklahoma State
    31
    +430
    13-8 in Last 21 CFB Picks
    +280
    5-2 in Last 7 CFB ATS Picks
    Analysis:

    Never doubt an angry Mike Gundy. The Cowboys are 4-2 against the spread as underdogs, and they’re facing an Aggies squad that has been decimated by the transfer portal and opt outs. There is momentum in Stillwater after star running back Ollie Gordon II announced his return to the program instead of jumping to the NFL, so expect a fired up squad in the Texas Bowl.

    Pick Made: Dec 26, 2:42 pm UTC
    Dec 27 2023, 10:30 pm UTC
    League
    North Carolina
    10
    @ West Virginia
    30
    +430
    13-8 in Last 21 CFB Picks
    +270
    6-3 in Last 9 CFB O/U Picks
    +300
    3-0 in Last 3 UNC O/U Picks
    Analysis:

    North Carolina hasn’t won a bowl game since 2019, and it’s unlikely that the Tar Heels will have an offensive eruption this go-round due to a massive number of opt-outs and transfers. The Mountaineers have been hit by roster attrition as well, which will make quarterback Garrett Greene’s job much more difficult – even more so than in the regular season when he was as wildly inconsistent.

    Pick Made: Dec 26, 2:41 pm UTC