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College Football National Championship Odds, Predictions & Best Bets To Back Today

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com

Dan Kilbridge  | 6 mins

College Football National Championship Odds, Predictions & Best Bets To Back Today

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Houston, we have a ball game. 

The college football betting season has been another wild ride, culminating in the best day of the College Football Playoff era to date with a pair of semifinals coming down to the wire. 

Michigan outlasted Alabama for an overtime win in the Rose Bowl, while Washington held on and barely survived a late scare to upset Texas. 

Both teams are unbeaten at 14-0 on the season and the matchup is a fascinating one, with the Wolverines' old-school bully mentality going up against the electric Huskies passing attack at NRG Stadium in Houston. 

No. 1 Michigan is a -4.5 favorite over the Huskies in what should be one of the best championship matchups of the CFP era in the final year before the playoff expands to 12 teams and Washington joins Michigan in the Big Ten in 2024. 

We couldn't ask for a better finish with college football odds and sports betting apps as the season ends with a bang in Texas.

College Football National Championship Odds

Jan. 8Washington vs. MichiganMichigan -4.5
Jan. 8Over/Under55.5
Jan. 1CFP Semifinal: Alabama vs. MichiganMichigan -1.5
Jan. 1CFP Semifinal: Texas vs. WashingtonTexas -4

College Football National Championship Best Bets

Washington +4.5 over Michigan

Star power, controversy, fresh teams – this National Championship matchup has it all. The Wolverines’ sign-stealing controversy and ensuing suspension for coach Jim Harbaugh have hovered over this team since October, but the field has been their safe space. There’s still no telling exactly what happened or how the NCAA will choose to handle it after the season. 

Overcoming adversity of your own making is a tricky thing to trumpet, but that’s been Michigan’s rallying cry for weeks and it seems to be working internally. 

They got to the Natty and in their locker room that’s the only thing that matters right now, with the Wolverines favored by -4.5 – the same line from the Sugar Bowl, where the Huskies upset Texas as a +4.5 underdog. 

This is now the third consecutive game in which Washington has been the underdog and the fourth time overall. The Huskies are 3-0 outright in those games, including an upset win over Oregon in the Pac 12 title game as a +10 underdog. 

Both teams have been doubted for different reasons all season – Michigan for its questionable coaching tactics and the Huskies for their ‘not-quite-championship-material’ perception. One of them will have the last laugh in Houston in what should be a thrilling matchup. 

We know what both teams want to do. The Wolverines take pride in owning both lines of scrimmage, which they did particularly well in the Rose Bowl while forcing Alabama’s offensive line and quarterback Jalen Milroe way out of their comfort zones. 

RELATED: Alabama Crimson Tide Head Coach Odds: Will Saban Lead To Victory?

Washington wants to keep this Michigan defense on its heels all night by taking advantage of one-on-one matchups in the secondary. How well they can do that depends almost entirely on how well they can protect star quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who probably would have taken home the Heisman Trophy if voting occurred after his 430-yard performance against Texas. 

His experience as a sixth-year senior and tremendous movement in the pocket lead us to believe the Huskies will have far more success in the passing game than Alabama did. 

Ohio State is the only team to throw for more than 270 yards on this Michigan defense, doing so with three completions for 28-plus yards. That’s the Huskies’ bread and butter, and they will hit on a few big plays. But Penix is always patient and content to dink and dunk down the field if that’s what the coverage dictates. 

Washington’s biggest weakness is its defensive secondary, but the Huskies aren’t bad against the run. The front seven had two sacks and five tackles for loss against the Longhorns and that needs to be the No. 1 priority against Michigan. If the Huskies can put Michigan behind the sticks and disrupt J.J. McCarthy’s timing, there’s a path to victory. 

Penix is the x-factor here. He’ll be the best player on the field and we trust him to deliver on the biggest stage, especially with the Huskies getting more than a field goal. 

Best Bet: Washington +4.5 over Michigan

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Washington vs. Michigan Over 55.5

The last five national championship games have averaged a total of 65.2 points. This total is almost 10 points lower, which speaks to Michigan’s defensive prowess and the grind-it-out approach on offense. 

It’s still the second-highest total for a Michigan game this season, which speaks to Washington’s offensive abilities and preferred pace. This is also the second-lowest total for any Huskies game on the year. 

We think both teams will have success on offense throughout the night. Michigan hit several big passing plays on a strong Tide defense behind one of McCarthy’s best performances of the year. And Penix looks like a video game character with some of the throws he makes. Washington’s receivers also win the 50/50 balls and poise a tremendous challenge to this Wolverines secondary, even with textbook coverage. 

While we’ve seen both teams win a variety of ways throughout the year, this should be another high-scoring championship affair. 

Best Bet: Over 55.5

About the Author

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com
Dan Kilbridge
Handicapper Dan Kilbridge writes about college football, MLB and other sports for Bookies.com after spending three years covering Tiger Woods’ comeback and the PGA for Golfweek.