College Football: Michigan vs Washington National Championship betting preview

College Football: Michigan vs Washington National Championship betting preview

It all comes down to Monday, January 8th. Two unbeaten teams will meet in the College Football National Championship as the Washington Huskies take on the Michigan Wolverines at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 PM EST here on ESPN. Washington handled the Texas Longhorns in the Sugar Bowl to advance to the title game, beating them 37-31 on New Year's Day. Michigan meanwhile took down the Alabama Crimson Tide by a score of 27-21. Below, we’ll dive into some history around this game and preview how the season went for both programs.

Quick Take

  • Washington and Michigan meet in the National Championship next Monday
  • The Wolverines have opened up as a slim favorite at NRG Stadium
  • Who will be crowned the champions? Read on for the preview

National Championship info

The College Football National Championship has only been around since 2014, but Alabama is the most successful team in it, winning three times and also losing on three occasions. Clemson has lifted the grand prize twice as well, while Georgia won back-to-back National Championships the last two seasons. The Bulldogs beat Michigan in the final a year ago. Needless to say, the Wolverines will have revenge on their mind.


The Huskies were absolutely phenomenal all season long and head into Monday with a perfect 14-0 record. Washington is led by quarterback Michael Penix Jr, who was a Heisman candidate this season but couldn’t edge out Jayden Daniels. Regardless, Penix Jr is truly a stud who threw for 4,648 yards and 35 touchdowns against nine interceptions. And by no surprise, the signal-caller put in work against Texas.

Penix Jr was 29 for 38 for 430 yards passing earlier in the week, throwing for two touchdowns. His brilliance downfield was why the Huskies outgained the Longhorns by 112 yards through the air. Washington’s top two weapons also had a big game, with Rome Odunze reeling in six catches for 125 yards. Ja’Lynn Polk also had 122 yards receiving. The Huskies’ run game isn’t great but the pass game is elite. You can see why since Penix Jr has two legitimate NFL talents out wide.

In fact, Washington was first in the nation in passing with an average of 350 yards per contest. This will be an interesting storyline to keep an eye on since Michigan’s pass defense is top-10 in the country. Can Penix Jr light up their secondary? We’ll have to see. Washington is a +160 underdog at Bodog.


There was no shortage of controversy surrounding Michigan this season, with the program being accused of sign-stealing. Head coach Jim Harbaugh was even suspended for three games, although there’s no evidence he even knew about the situation. But, despite all the drama, the Wolverines remained focused on the task at hand: Winning a National Championship. And as you can see, Michigan is very close to doing so.

The Wolverines were also 14-0 in 2023, notching impressive wins over the likes of Ohio State and Penn State before taking down Alabama in OT on Monday. This was a very entertaining game, with stud running back Blake Corum playing hero in overtime with a 17-yard touchdown. The Michigan defense then came up big on fourth down by stopping Tide QB Jalen Milroe. 

Quarterback JJ McCarthy got it done under the bright lights, completing 17 of 27 passes for 221 yards in this one. Corum, arguably the best back in the nation, ran for 4.4 yards per carry. He’ll be a massive factor in the National Championship. The Wolverines don’t shine in any particular offensive category, but they’re solid enough and have a defense that allows a mere 10.2 points per game. And you know what they say, defense wins championships. Michigan is a favorite against Washington at most football betting sites.