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The College Football Playoff concludes with the National Championship at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Washington Huskies and Michigan Wolverines will meet to decide who claims the national title.
Washington punched their ticket to the big game by taking down Texas in the Sugar Bowl. The Longhorns had a chance to win in the final minute, but the Huskies' defense hung tough in the red zone and prevailed.
Michigan also won a nail-biter semifinal over Alabama. The Wolverines drove the field in the final minutes to force overtime. A Blake Corum touchdown run and a Michigan goal line stand propelled the Wolverines to the National Championship.
The National Championship game is one of the most bet college contests of the season. All eyes will be on NRG Stadium on Monday, and we’re here to help you win some money. Let’s break down our best bets for the matchup!
Date: Monday, January 8
Time: 5:00 pm EST
Moneyline: Washington (+160) | Michigan (-194)
Spread: Washington +4.5 (-112) | Michigan -4.5 (-108)
Total: Over 56.6 (-110) | Under 56.5 (-110)
The Washington Huskies have been consistently disrespected throughout the season. There is a little Pac-12 bias, so Washington is considered the little brother in the College Football Playoff. The committee gave the Huskies the #2 seed in the playoffs, and they offensively rolled through Texas.
Michael Penix Jr. is playing outstanding and will be a wake-up call for Michigan. The Wolverines haven’t seen a passing attack in the Big Ten like Washington, and Penix can cook the secondary. Washington’s run game will be limited, so this matchup will come down to Penix.
He has been fantastic the past two games playing inside on turf. The National Championship game will be played inside and on turf, music to Washington’s ears. If the Huskies can score early, it will put JJ McCarthy in a terrible position for Michigan.
The Wolverines weren’t built to win shootouts. They rely on clock control, and if they establish the ground game, it could be a long night for Washington. However, the Huskies are better than they’re being credited for, and we’re taking them to finish the job. Take the 4.5 points and sprinkle the +160 moneyline price.
The total is listed at 56.5 in the National Championship. Washington is 7-7 to the Over, while Michigan is 7-6-1. The total is a pick’em from these records, but we’re leaning Over on the matchup.
Washington’s running back Dillon Johnson, is questionable for the game with a leg injury. He is expected to play on Monday, but he should be limited. Washington lives and dies by the passing game, and Michigan has holes in their secondary, but the advantage on the line of scrimmage.
If Michigan stops the run, it will force Washington to create explosive plays down the field. Washington’s defense also has holes, which should give Michigan chances to create explosive plays.
The Wolverines will lean on the run with Corum, but he is good enough to gain double-digit yardage every time he touches the football. Michigan doesn’t want to play in a shootout, but these two teams can score many points.
Washington is dealing with a lot of adversity with their ground game. If Johnson plays, he still won’t be 100%, which will be evident against a physical Michigan front seven. If Washington wins this game, it will be thanks to Penix’s precision down the field.
If they lose the game, there is a good chance the quarterback didn’t answer the call. Penix’s passing yardage line is listed at 291.5, which is very low, considering this game is being played inside and on turf.
Penix has one of the most accurate arms in college football, and we expect his domination to continue. If he doesn’t exceed 291.5 passing yards, there is a good chance the Wolverines will dominate the game.
For Washington to be competitive, he must exceed 291.5 yards, especially with an injured counterpart in the backfield. Look for Penix to have multiple attempts and go over this line because of his explosive throws down the field.
Where: NRG Stadium
When: Monday, January 8 at 7:30 PM ET
How to Watch: ESPN
Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.More info on Tanner Kern
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