College football bowl season got underway weeks ago, but the bowls that will help crown a national champion start on New Year’s Eve. Nick Saban has seven national titles, but has only gone back-to-back once before and he’ll begin his quest for a second repeat when No. 1 Alabama takes on No. 4 Cincinnati in the 2021 Cotton Bowl Classic at 3:30 p.m. ET. That’s followed by No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Georgia in the 2021 Orange Bowl at 7:30 p.m. ET. Georgia is favored by 7.5 points per Caesars Sportsbook in the latest college football odds, while Bama (-13.5) is a heavy favorite against the Bearcats.
But those are just two of the four bowl games taking place on Dec. 31, with two others kicking off before noon local time. The Gator Bowl will see No. 17 Wake Forest take on Rutgers at 11 a.m. ET from Jacksonville, Fla. An hour later at 12 p.m. ET, the Sun Bowl kicks off from El Paso, Texas, and will feature Washington State vs. Central Michigan. Before locking in any college football picks for Friday’s action, be sure to see the college football bowl predictions and best bets for Dec. 31 from Barrett Sallee.
Sallee is a true insider — a CBS Sports analyst, SiriusXM host, Heisman voter and consistently one of the top CBS Sports experts picking games against the spread — and his best bets have helped bring in huge returns. He debuted with SportsLine in 2017 and has delivered in a big way on his college football picks.
Over the past two-plus years, he is 103-88 in his popular best bets column at SportsLine. Anybody who has been following him is way up.
Now, he has turned his attention to the college football odds from Caesars for bowl action on Friday and is sharing his top three best bets over at SportsLine. If you parlay them together, you could be looking at a return of around 6-1. Get his top college football picks now.
Top college football expert predictions for Dec. 31, 2021
One of Sallee’s top college football picks for bowl action on Friday: He’s backing the Under (62.5) when No. 17 Wake Forest and Rutgers meet in the Gator Bowl at 11 a.m. ET.
The Demon Deacons (10-3) are having arguably their best season in program history as their midseason No. 10 ranking was their highest ever. They have a high-powered offense but it faltered down the stretch as Wake Forest averaged 44.7 points through its first 10 games but only 29.7 over its last three contests. Meanwhile, Rutgers (5-7) just found out it would play a bowl game on Dec. 23 and has had much less practice time than Wake Forest. The Scarlet Knights also have one of the most conservative offenses in college football as they ranked 113th (out of 130 teams) in scoring.
With Rutgers having just a week of preparation, it isn’t going to suddenly open up the playbook and become a high-octane offense. The under has hit in all six of Rutgers’ games away from home and, given the unique circumstances of this contest, Sallee sees that trend continuing for the Gator Bowl.
“The under has hit in seven of 11 games for the Scarlet Knights, and those were in normal scenarios,” Sallee told SportsLine. “This game is far from normal. They had to have a crash course on the Demon Deacons to get ready for them after Texas A&M bowed out of the Gator Bowl, and that will cause multiple self-inflicted wounds. The under has hit in Wake’s last two games and two of the last three for Rutgers.”
How to make college football picks for Dec. 31, 2021
Sallee has also found two other college football picks he’s high on, including one on a College Football Playoff semifinal. You can only see his picks at SportsLine.
What are the best bets for college football bowl action on Friday? And which college football picks need to be part of your parlays? Visit SportsLine now to see Barrett Sallee’s college football best bets, all from one of the top analysts in the nation who has crushed his picks for SportsLine.