Two teams vying for perfect seasons collide when the top-ranked LSU Tigers meet the No. 3 Clemson Tigers on Monday in the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Kickoff from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans is set for 8 p.m. ET. LSU (14-0) has not gone unbeaten since posting an 11-0 record en route to its first national title in 1958. The squad, which is perfect against the spread in its last four neutral-site games, routed Oklahoma, 63-28, in the semis.
Clemson (14-0) is seeking its second straight perfect campaign and hit the 14-win mark for the fourth time in five years. The school has won all its games in a season four times in its history and gone without a loss on six occasions overall. The spread has been falling ahead of kickoff, as LSU is now just a 4.5-point favorite in the latest LSU vs. Clemson odds, all the way down from -6. The over-under stands at 66.5, off 2.5 from where the total opened. Before making any Clemson vs. LSU picks or national championship predictions, be sure to check out the picks from SportsLine college football expert 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 some huge returns. He debuted with SportsLine in 2017 and has delivered in a big way, posting a winning record in his weekly best bets column since that point. He is on a blistering roll again, going on a 38-18 run with his best bets.
In addition, Sallee has had a particularly keen eye for both teams. He is 7-1 on his last eight picks involving LSU, including its rout of Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl. He is 6-0 on his last six college football picks involving Clemson, including its victory over Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, Sallee has dialed in on LSU vs. Clemson and released a confident against-the-spread pick that is available only at SportsLine. Go to SportsLine to see it. Here are the college football lines and trends for LSU vs. Clemson:
- Clemson vs. LSU spread: LSU -4.5
- Clemson vs. LSU over-under: 66.5 points
- Clemson vs. LSU money line: LSU -198, Clemson +168
- LSU: QB Joe Burrow has 55 passing touchdowns, three shy of the single-season FBS record
- CLEM: Won 29 straight games, the longest active streak in FBS
Why LSU can cover the spread
Sallee knows that LSU has arguably the best receiver in the country, Ja'Marr Chase. The sophomore from Metairie, La., leads the nation in receiving touchdowns (18) and ranks second in receiving yards (1,559). He also averages a healthy 20.8 yards per reception, which is sixth in the country. For his dominant season, Chase earned the Biletnikoff Award, honoring the nation's best receiver.
In addition, Sallee has taken into account that Clyde Edwards-Helaire is one of the top all-around running backs in college football. So far this season, he has rushed for 1,304 yards while adding 50 catches for another 399 yards. With his running-and-catching ability, Edwards-Helaire is 14th in the country in all-purpose yards at 137.0 per game.
Why Clemson can cover the spread
Clemson is hoping to become the first team to go undefeated while winning back-to-back national titles since Nebraska accomplished the feat in 1994 and 1995. The squad needs 372 total yards to break the school record of 7,908 that was set last season and is seeking its 16th consecutive game with at least two rushing touchdowns. Running back Travis Etienne can help in both instances, as he has run for 18 scores this season and is tied with Wayne Gallman for the most 100-yard performances in Clemson history with 17.
Wide receiver Tee Higgins is even with Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins for first place on Clemson's all-time list with 27 career receiving touchdowns and needs 85 yards to post the fifth 1,200-yard season in school history. Clemson, which has turned over the ball in just one of its last seven games, can feel comfortable if it enters the fourth quarter with a lead since it's 100-2 when ahead after three periods since 2011.
LSU vs. Clemson expert picks from a college football insider
We can tell you Sallee is leaning under, but he also has isolated a critical X-factor that has him going big on one side of the spread. He's sharing it only at SportsLine.
Who wins Clemson vs. LSU? And which critical X-factor makes one side of the spread hit hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Clemson vs. LSU spread to back, all from the college football insider who is 13-1 on picks involving these teams.