Michigan vs Washington Predictions & Picks

William Schwartz
Last Updated: Jan 4, 2024

The college football journey that started all the way back in August is now down to two teams: Michigan and Washington.

After the gauntlets these teams have both navigated without losing a single game, it’s hard to deny that they’re the two best in the nation, and they’ll each have one more chance to prove who’s No. 1.

Let’s dig into my 2024 CFP National Championship predictions.

Michigan vs Washington Odds

NCAAF betting odds are current as of Tuesday, Jan. 2, and courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • Moneyline: Michigan (-198) vs Washington (+164)
  • Spread: Michigan -5 (-110) vs Washington +5 (-110)
  • Over/Under: Over 56 (-110) / Under 56 (-110)

Michigan vs Washington Matchup

With just about the best day of semifinals in the past decade of the College Football Playoff, the two finalists were determined.

Their qualifications are fantastic, as both teams are 14-0 and have dispatched great opponents. For Michigan, the key wins are Penn State, Ohio State, and of course, Alabama, while Washington defeated a phenomenal Oregon squad twice and then the Texas team that took down ‘Bama in Tuscaloosa.

While these two teams are similar in their levels of excellence, their styles of play are quite different.

The Wolverines again feature one of the best defenses in the country, which was on full display against Alabama. Their offense isn’t a flashy one, but between the solid play of quarterback JJ McCarthy and the record-setting scoring pace of running back Blake Corum, it’s a methodical and highly effective unit.

Washington’s defense isn’t nearly as dominant, but it has gotten the job done when needed, like late against Texas. The centerpiece for the Huskies is their passing offense, the nation’s best by many measures. Star quarterback Michael Penix Jr. had a historic day against the Longhorns, demonstrating he was fully in sync with the wideout trio of Rome Odunze, Ja’Lynn Polk, and Jalen McMillan.

Michigan vs Washington Prediction

Michigan 37, Washington 30

Michigan’s secondary could be the difference maker in this one. It clamped Alabama’s receiving corps, and while doing the same to the Washington pass catchers is unlikely, they can at least be slowed down.

On the other side of the ball, it’s hard to imagine the Huskies limiting the Michigan ground game after Texas ran for 180 yards against them.

The experience level of the roster and head coach Jim Harbaugh should come into play as well.

Harbaugh finally pulled the right strings late in a playoff game — against Nick Saban, no less. Meanwhile, Washington’s Kalen DeBoer showed his relative inexperience by mismanaging the end of the game against Texas, giving the Longhorns a chance that they never should’ve had.

After Michigan dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball against Alabama, expect the Wolverines to do the same in the National Championship Game. They could’ve pulled away by a decent margin in regulation if not for an almost impossibly bad performance on special teams.

Barring a shocking repeat of those failures, they’re a great bet to earn one more win and make some college football history.

Michigan vs Washington Best Bet

Michigan -5 (-110)

As much as these offenses should be able to score, the total of 56 is just above the key numbers of 51 and 55, the two most significant college football totals. For that reason, let’s shy away from the Over and back Michigan to win.

The number of -5 is a bit of an ugly one as well, but it comfortably covers the margin of a touchdown, even if the Wolverines botch another extra point.

Penix and the air attack have been fantastic for the Huskies, but they’ve been streaky. That’s not going to fly against the Wolverines, who should score just about every time they go down the field against this Washington defense.

Living and dying by the big play can often be successful when you’re as good as Washington is, but against an opponent as consistent and physical as Michigan, the Huskies could get left in the dust.

Michigan vs Washington Parlay

Best Michigan vs Washington Parlay (+144)

  • Michigan ML (-198)
  • Blake Corum: Anytime TD Scorer (-340)
  • Over 51 Total Points (-199)

We’ll keep backing Michigan but jump back inside the margin of a field goal since a spread bet prohibits that.

For the next leg, we’ll take the safer version of the below prop, wagering on Blake Corum — the only FBS player who’s scored in every game this year — to score.

Lastly, let’s invest in some points at a much more favorable figure than the given total, giving us access to the two most significant numbers in the sport.

Michigan vs Washington Prop Bet

Blake Corum: To Score 2+ Touchdowns (+145)

Michigan has played and beaten four ranked opponents, all of whom featured one of the country’s very best defenses. In each instance, Corum was able to find the end zone twice.

He took an unconventional path against Alabama, posting his only receiving touchdown of the year and an overtime score.

But against a Washington defense that ranks 119th in EPA against the run and near the middle of the pack in red-zone efficiency, expect him to hit paydirt twice in the biggest game yet.


William Schwartz

As a former athlete and lifetime fan, sports have always been a huge part of my life. I've written about them for almost as long as I've been watching and playing them, from a blog I wrote with a friend in middle school, to journalism classes at the University of Michigan, to today. I hope to bring you entertaining coverage, strong analysis, and profitable betting picks on any and all sports, whether it's baseball, college football, European soccer, or anything in between.

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