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OVER 56.5 OVER 56.5

Clemson 44 vs Alabama 16
1/08
CLEM 44 vs BAMA 16
1/08
WIN

These clubs combined for just 30 points in last year's CFP semifinals as dominant defensive units led the way. But the Crimson Tide were led by Jalen Hurts and Clemson by Kelly Bryant, both run-first quarterbacks who are no longer behind center. Their successors, Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence, have provided a lethal down-field passing attack to put both offensive units in the top five nationally. Look for the firepower and explosive playmakers on both sides to negate their stellar defensive squads. This CFP final appears destined to go Over the posted total.

3-0 IN LAST 3 BAMA O/U PICKS | +300

OVER 58 OVER 58

Clemson 44 vs Alabama 16
1/08
CLEM 44 vs BAMA 16
1/08
WIN

A week ago, you read that any game involving Alabama?s defense did not warrant a total in the neighborhood of 80 points. Well, the Crimson Tide and Oklahoma collaborated to ring up 79. So, 58 seems doable for 'Bama and Clemson. Though the defenses are highly ranked, the offenses nearly match them with efficiency ratings of first (Tide) and ninth (Tigers), according to Football Outsiders. Clemson showed little slippage against Notre Dame without suspended nose tackle Dexter Lawrence, but Nick Saban could find ways to exploit his absence. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence should help Clemson continue a trend of Overs -- 13 of the past 16 outings on neutral fields -- in the postseason. Alabama has nearly matched that Over pace during the same number of bowl games, having exceeded the total 11 times.

2-1 IN LAST 3 BAMA O/U PICKS | +86

Clemson +5.5 CLEM +5.5

Clemson 44 vs Alabama 16
1/08
CLEM 44 vs BAMA 16
1/08
WIN

Don't be fooled by the fact that Trevor Lawrence is a true freshman. He's nearly as experienced as Tua Tagovailoa. Lawrence has 326 career passing attempts and already has proven himself on a big stage. Tagovailoa has 371 career passing attempts and likewise has proven himself on a big stage, twice. Both quarterbacks have had pressure in their faces, but I trust Lawrence a little more right now based on the fact that Tagovailoa is banged up, the Tide offensive line struggled against a good front seven in the SEC Championship Game and Clemson is the most talented defensive front in the country. This one is much closer than the number indicates.

3-1 IN LAST 4 CLEM ATS PICKS | +185

OVER 58 OVER 58

Clemson 44 vs Alabama 16
1/08
CLEM 44 vs BAMA 16
1/08
WIN

If you have one bet to make, take the over. These two wide receiver groups are both top five nationally in terms of overall talent and depth, and the secondaries of the two teams are the weak points of the defenses. Quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence and Tua Tagovailoa will have the game in their hands, go shot-for-shot and blast through that over/under with ease. This is more like a 70-point game or 80-point game.

Ohio St. -4.5 OHIOST -4.5

Washington 23 vs Ohio St. 28
1/01
WASH 23 vs OHIOST 28
1/01
WIN

ROSE BOWL -- The day Urban Meyer announced his retirement, I tweeted that you should put your mortgage on Ohio State -4. I was only kind of joking. This is a spot where Meyer dominates for myriad reasons. Let's start with the fact that he's 10-3 with more than two weeks to prepare for a team. His record is even more impressive with "just" two weeks to prepare. Then add in that his teams -- at Utah and Florida -- dominated every time he was planning a departure (2005 Fiesta 35-7, 2010 Sugar 51-24, 2011 Outback 37-24). The Buckeyes have superior talent and coaching compared to the Huskies. Chris Petersen -- once lauded for his bowl record -- has lost the last two bowls at Washington by a combined 59-35, and this team isn't nearly as good as those. This could be Ohio State -10, and I'd still take it..

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