After an enthralling season and nail-biting pair of playoff games, the eyes of the world descend upon Houston for the 2024 College Football National Championship Game, with the undefeated Michigan Wolverines taking on the Pac-12 champion Washington Huskies.
Which team will be crowned the champions of the 2023-2024 college football season? Ahead of the game, we’ve got the latest college football betting odds, DFS picks, and a College Football National Championship prediction.
College Football National Championship Betting and DFS Preview
All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook and correct as of Monday, January 8, 2024. Want to take advantage of the College Football National Championship odds? Visit the College Football Network live college football odds page to place bets in your state.
Michigan -192, Washington +160
- Game time
7:30 p.m. ET
NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
- Predicted Weather at Kick
Indoor kickoff (outside weather: 43 degrees, 10 mph winds, cloudy)
- How to Watch
Looking to make some money on Michigan next Monday? Think backing Washington to get the win is the wager to make? If you’re going to take advantage of the College Football National Championship odds, consider some of the following factors before you part with your hard-earned cash.
These two teams are about to become a lot more familiar with each other when they become Big Ten foes from the 2024 college football season, but the College Football National Championship Game will be just the third time in the last 22 years they’ve collided.
Michigan holds an 8-5 head-to-head advantage and won the last encounter comfortably — 31-10 — in 2021.
Michigan is 8-6 covering during their unbeaten run to the College Football National Championship Game, including three straight to end the year. Meanwhile, Washington is just 7-7 covering the spread this season.
However, after defeating Texas as an underdog in the Sugar Bowl, they’re 3-0 covering the spread when they’re not favored to win, as they aren’t for the title game.
Our College Football National Championship prediction details why we favor the Huskies in Houston. Wrapping up the odds, the initial total points line is 55.5 points which moved out to 56.5 points in the hours before the game.
Although Michigan has an imposing defense that has facilitated a 7-7 record covering the points line this season, their Rose Bowl win against Alabama went over the line for that game and three of their last four games have hit the over.
Remarkably, Washington is also 7-7 covering the over during the 2023 college football season. However, eight of their 14 games this season have sailed past the 56.5 points total for the College Football National Championship Game. Three of their four games where the line has been set less than 60 points have resulted in the over being hit.
Top DFS Picks and Fantasy Plays
- QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan
- QB Michael Penix Jr, Washington
- RB Blake Corum, Michigan
- RB Donovan Edwards, Michigan
- RB Kalel Mullings, Michigan
- RB Dillon Johnson, Washington
- RB Tybo Rogers, Washington
- RB Sam Adams II, Washington
- WR Roman Wilson, Michigan
- WR Cornelius Johnson, Michigan
- WR Tyler Morris, Michigan
- WR Semaj Morgan, Michigan
- WR Rome Odunze, Washington
- WR Ja’lynn Polk, Washington
- WR Jalen McMillan, Washington
- TE Colston Loveland, Michigan
- TE A.J. Barner, Michigan
- TE Jack Westover, Washington
- TE Devin Culp, Washington
This is it. All eyes are on the College Football National Championship Game on Monday night.
If you’re new to DFS, Fanduel’s one-game contests allow you to select four Flex positions from the quarterback, running backs, wide receivers, and tight end positions in one-game slates. One-game slates give you an MVP that scores 1.5x the points of a normal player.
Starting your College Football National Championship picks with that all-important MVP spot, Michigan running back Blake Corum has to find a way into your DFS lineup. The Wolverines’ wonder has scored a touchdown in the all-bar-one game over the past two seasons in an incredible display of reliability and importance to the success of his team — and your fantasy team.
Corum added a receiving touchdown to his 2023 résumé in the Rose Bowl, providing additional fantasy value we haven’t seen this season.
After the Sugar Bowl, he sits as the RB3 of the fantasy football season, tallying a total of 278.8 points. He’s a legitimate contender for your MVP slot against a Washington defense that has been particularly poor at stopping the run.
Corum will contest that spot with Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. The QB9 of the college football fantasy season has tallied 327.22 fantasy points this fall and comes into the College Football National Championship Game having eviscerated the Texas defense in the Sugar Bowl to the tune of 461 total yards (430 passing, 31 rushing) and two touchdowns.
At the wide receiver position, Michigan standout Roman Wilson also possesses decent fantasy value for the Wolverines, having scored 146.5 fantasy points by way of 735 yards and 12 touchdowns this year. He notched 73 yards and scored against a good Alabama defense, and his matchup against the Washington defense is favorable.
However, it’s difficult to envisage any WR from Michigan being more valuable than a Husky pass catcher. Rome Odunze leads all Washington WRs in fantasy points this season and commands the most targets. Opposite Odunze, Ja’lynn Polk is fresh off a 100+ yard outing in the Sugar Bowl, and Jalen McMillan is an underrated cog in the unstoppable Huskies offensive juggernaut.
Prediction for the College Football National Championship
Okay, so we’ve furnished you with the College Football National Championship odds and some DFS picks. Now, it’s time to close this thing out with our prediction.
After defeating perennial contender Alabama in the Rose Bowl, can Michigan win its first national title since 1997? The Huskies have had to wait even longer to claim a national crown, can Kalen DeBoer’s team close out their time in the Pac-12 Conference by delivering a long-awaited title on their way out the door to the Big Ten?
After spending the season having their schedule derided and their legitimacy questioned after the “sign stealing scandal,” Michigan flexed its muscle in a three-game stretch that saw them outperform and outlast Ohio State, Iowa, and Alabama. The Wolverines have been the model of consistency through the 2023 season — both offensively and defensively.
Offensively, McCarthy gives them a capable QB that has been absent from Michigan teams in recent seasons. The third-year QB finished 10th in Heisman Trophy voting this season following a campaign where he set career-highs for completion percentage, passing yards, and touchdown to interception ratio, leading head coach Harbaugh to anoint him the best QB in Michigan history.
However, the offensive line and ground game behind star rusher Corum drove an offense that averaged 36.7 points per game ahead of the Rose Bowl win over Alabama. His combination of speed, vision, power, and contact balance is almost unstoppable.
Expect Corum and the ground game to be a significant factor against a Washington that has struggled to contain the run this season. The Huskies come into the College Football National Championship Game ranking 86th nationally for yards per carry allowed and 78th for rushing touchdowns given up despite ranking 43rd for average rushing yards per game allowed.
Defensively, the Wolverines boast the No. 1 scoring unit in the nation and showcased their sheer ferocity against Alabama. Their secondary — led by Will Johnson and nickel back Mike Sainristil — flies to the football in all phases and has allowed the fewest passing touchdowns in the nation while ranking in the top 10 across several pass defense metrics.
Meanwhile, their stellar front seven has been a constant force in opposition backfields all season. The Wolverines rank 15th in the nation with 38.0 sacks through the 2023 college football season, causing pressure in the passing game while restricting opponents to single-digit rushing touchdowns and just 3.03 yards per carry.
While that helped them win a game of bully ball against Alabama, the Washington offensive line is a very different proposition to the Crimson Tide unit the Wolverines pulverized in the Rose Bowl. The Huskies have allowed just 0.79 sacks per game in the run to the College Football Championship Game, providing Penix with a clean pocket in which to operate.
That offensive line has also prized open rushing lanes for fun, clearing the way for the ground game to alleviate pressure on Penix and the passing game with the 26th most rushing scores in the country. While there’s plenty of focus on what Washington does as a passing offense, running back Dillon Johnson is a particularly important cog for this unit.
Johnson’s health — he’s not 100% but expected to go — could be a deciding factor in the destination of the 2024 National Championship. Think back to Washington’s marquee wins this season — both clashes with Oregon and their wins over USC and Utah — and the former Mississippi State back has been at the forefront of their offensive production in those key victories.
An underrated element of Johnson’s contribution to this Huskies offense is his pass protection ability, with his performance in the Pac-12 Championship Game a teach-tape on how to help your quarterback from the running back position. His multi-faceted contribution — don’t forget his receiving contribution includes a 48-yard outing against Arizona — is huge for Washington.
That said, this Penix-led, Ryan Grubb-engineered offense is so difficult to tame, and when the Heisman-contending QB is at his very best, there is a feeling of inevitability about his ability to put points on the board regardless of the surrounding cast.
Michigan has a clear defensive advantage in the College Football National Championship Game, but don’t bet against the Huskies offense stealing the show.
Prediction: Washington 33, Michigan 30
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