Michigan goes for its first national title since 1997 when it faces Washington in the college football national championship game Monday in Houston at NRG Stadium at 7:30 p.m. The Wolverines have rolled through the season unbeaten, and took down the vaunted Alabama Crimson Tide in the semifinals in overtime. Coach Jim Harbaugh has a chance to cement his legacy as a Michigan legend. Washington is Pac-12 champs, also 14-0 and features talented quarterback Michael Penix Jr.
CFB: Michigan Wolverines vs Washington Huskies - Odds, Prediction & Picks
Michigan Wolverines vs. Washington Huskies Best Odds
|Michigan -4.5 (-108)
|Washington +4.5 (-112)
|Over 56.5 (-108)
|Under 56.5 (-112)
Odds provided by FanDuel.
It all comes down to this.— Gamble Online Michigan (@GambleonlineMI) January 4, 2024
The National Championship.
If the #Wolverines want to win, it will be on the backs of Blake Corum and JJ McCarthy.
Bet the parlay below on @FDSportsbook and get odds of +526. pic.twitter.com/dXaSyJRFGL
Michigan Wolverines vs. Washington Huskies Analysis
Michigan proved its bonafides by beating Alabama in the Rose Bowl. No one can say they aren’t one of the best teams in the nation. The Wolverines were briefly on the ropes and down 20-13 to the Tide, but quarterback J.J. McCarthy led an inspired comeback, and in overtime, Michigan rose to the occasion. Michigan will try to run the ball at Washington with Blake Corum, control the clock and rely on their defense. Hey, it’s worked so far this year, why change?
Injury Report: The Wolverines unconfirmed injury report is light. They will be without back-up running back CJ Stokes, but he was third-string at best. They lost All-American offensive lineman Zak Zinter in the Ohio State game, but have been able to manage fine without him.
In just two years as head coach, Kalen DeBoer has brought the Huskies to the brink of a national title. Washington had to beat Oregon twice to get here, and then beat Texas in a close one in the semifinals. They are led by Penix Jr. who has thrown for over 4600 yards and 35 touchdowns. Defensively though, Washington is middle of the pack, allowing 24 points a game and 137 yards on the ground. Advantage Michigan.
Injury Report: There actually was some injury concern this week for the Huskies, lead running back Dillon Johnson was carted off the field late in the Huskies semifinal win over Texas. Johnson leads the Huskies with 1,162 rushing yards. DeBoer hasn’t sounded too concerned this week about Johnson, but this isn’t the NFL, he could also be hiding the severity of the injury.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Washington Huskies Key Points and Trends
Washington is 7-6-1 against the spread this season while Michigan is 8-5-1. The Huskies are 7-7 over/under while Michigan is 7-6-1.
Michigan’s last four games against AP Top-5 teams have all hit the over.
This is the highest posted total for a Michigan game since Week 2 when they beat UNLV 35-7 and the total was 58.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Washington Huskies Match Prediction
Michigan fans, we have reached the Promised Land. This will be a season talked about for years, books will be written (for sure). Michigan has dealt with off-the field issues since before the season began. Coach Jim Harbaugh was suspended, and then suspended again, but now they are one win away from a national title.
Michigan almost seems to match up better with Washington than they do Alabama. Penix Jr. is a beast, Michigan hasn’t faced anyone like him, but he has thrown nine interceptions and the Wolverines should be able to get a pass rush. Michigan is just more physical.
Washington wants to get it and go, create tempo on offense and use their playmakers at wide receiver. Rome Odunze has 1,553 yards receiving for Washington. He’s probably the second-best receiver in the country behind Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. But Michigan shut down Harrison Jr. They should have a game plan for Odunze.
What also bodes well for the Wolverines is how they’ve made plays in the fourth quarter when they’ve had to, but so has Washington. Expect a close game that comes down to the final two minutes.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Washington Huskies Best Bet
This should be a classic. Penix Jr. is special. He’s decisive, big, strong, and while he doesn’t run, he moves around in the pocket well. Michigan has to contain him. They won’t stop him, but they can’t let him go off for 440 yards and 5 TDs. I just believe that in the final minutes of a close game, Michigan will make the play, either an interception or a fumble recovery and win by a TD.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.