College Football Championship 2024: Washington vs. Michigan Odds and Best Bets

By Chris Hughes   January 4, 2024 

College Football Championship 2024: Washington vs. Michigan Odds and Best Bets

The controversy that fueled sports debates shows for a month is suddenly in the rear-view mirror. Whether undefeated Florida State deserved to be in the College Football Playoff over Texas or Alabama is now a moot point. Both the Longhorns and Crimson Tide were eliminated in the semifinals on New Year’s Day. Now, the nation’s only two 14-0 teams are left to battle it out for college football’s national championship.

Michigan scored late to tie Alabama in the Rose Bowl and quickly scored in overtime on a Blake Corum touchdown run. The Tide then had a chance to tie and drew up what many consider to be an uninspired play call at best.

In the Sugar Bowl, Texas never led, but after a defensive stand that was aided by a clock stoppage due to a Washington injury, the Longhorns were knocking on the door in the final moments.

In a game where Heisman Trophy finalist Michael Penix Jr. helped cement his legacy, it was a clutch play by defensive back Elijah Jackson that sent the Huskies to the national championship game.

Both Teams Looking to Make History

Michigan is seeking its first consensus title since 1948. It last won a split of the title in 1997, when the Wolverines and Nebraska both finished undefeated. Washington is seeking its first — the Huskies split the championship with Miami in 1991.

This is also just the second time that the SEC won’t be participating in the 10-year history of the College Football Playoff title game. Michigan is looking to become the second Big Ten team to win (Ohio State, 2014). Washington, who will be going to the Big Ten next season, will be looking to send the Pac-12 out a champion in college football for the first time since USC in 2004.

With the Huskies and Wolverines set to battle it out in Houston, we have the best bets based on Washington vs. Michigan odds.

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Will Michigan’s Defense Be Prepared for Washington’s Offense?

If not for Georgia’s defense two years ago, Michigan’s current defensive unit would be regarded among the best of all time. The Wolverines have allowed an FBS-best 9.5 points per game this year. But how much of that is a product of an offensively-challenged Big Ten?

Aside from a shutout over Iowa in the Big Ten Championship, Michigan allowed at least 20 points to its last three opponents: Alabama, Ohio State, and Maryland.

Michigan’s offense, however, scored at least 26 in its last four games. Quarterback J.J. McCarthy and Corun are forces to be reckoned with.

Washington’s defense has allowed over 30 points in six of their 14 games. Fortunately for the Huskies, they have a top-10 offense that has put up over 30 on 11 occasions this season. Will a week’s worth of preparation be enough for a Wolverines team that hasn’t seen an offense ranked this high all season? We don’t think so.

The Play: OVER the total of 55.5 (Caesars Sportsbook)

WASHINGTON VS. MICHIGAN ODDS: Huskies Getting Too Many Points

While Washington’s offense hasn’t seen the likes of a team like Michigan, they did score 37 on a team (Texas) that was ranked 12th in the nation in points allowed (17.5). Penix had no trouble carving up the Longhorns defense. He was 29-for-38 with 430 yards and two touchdowns.

In another statistic that should give some confidence to Washington fans: Penix played against Michigan as a member of the Indiana Hoosiers in the 2020 season. The result? A 38-21 Hoosiers win that saw Penix throw for 342 yards and three scores.

The Huskies also played a clean football game in the Sugar Bowl, turning the ball over one time and committing only five penalties for 39 yards.

In a high-profile game like the national championship, mistakes need to be kept at a minimum. As we mentioned, the Huskies played a smart game in New Orleans. They won the turnover battle and minimized penalties.

For Michigan, they escaped the Rose Bowl despite some glaring miscues on special teams. The Wolverines botched the snap on an extra point and also missed a 49-yard field goal. The team also muffed two punts. One led to a turnover early in the game, and another was nearly disastrous. Jake Thaw muffed a punt in the final seconds of the game. If the Wolverines didn’t recover it, Alabama likely would’ve won with a chip-shot field goal at the end of regulation.

Washington has passed every test this year. They were 6-0 against ranked teams, handed Oregon its only two losses of the season, and was the only team all year to control Texas. Expect this to be a tight battle, so we’ll take the points.

The Play: Washington +4.5 (-110, BetRivers)

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