CFB National Championship: The Case for Washington Upsetting Michigan


Jan 2, 2024

The college football world is buzzing following Monday’s CFP semifinals. Now, the stage is set for an exhilarating National Championship showdown between the Washington Huskies and the Michigan Wolverines.

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Washington vs. Michigan Odds at FanDuel 

  • Spread: Washington +4.5 (-105) | Michigan -4.5 (-115)
  • Moneyline: Washington (+162) | Michigan (-196)
  • Total: OVER 55.5 (-110) | UNDER 55.5 (-110)

Expectations are high for a competitive clash, with the betting odds favoring Michigan at -4.5, down from an opening of -6.5, and a total set at 55.5.

Check out SportsGrid’s CFB Game Picks and CFB Props Picks for the National Championship.

Michigan’s Offensive Strength and Weakness

The Wolverines come into this game with a slightly less dominant run game compared to last year, having surpassed 200 yards rushing in only three games this season. However, their running back Blake Corum has been a key player, and if he finds success early in the game, Michigan might opt to rely heavily on their ground game. This strategy has proved effective in previous matches, like against Penn State. While not as prominent as their run game, Michigan’s passing attack remains a crucial part of their offensive strategy.

Washington Huskies Defensive Strength and Weakness

The Huskies’ defense will be a critical factor, particularly after their impressive performance against Texas. Their ability to control the game’s pace and force opponents to adapt to their style could be pivotal. The Huskies’ defensive backs, including Jabbar Muhammad and others, have shown they can lock down receivers like Michigan’s Roman Wilson, which could force Michigan to rely more on their ground game. However, the concern for Washington is the run defense, as evidenced by Texas’ success in gaining yardage on the ground on Monday.

Key Matchup

A significant aspect of this championship game will be the battle in the trenches. If Michigan can control the line of scrimmage and effectively run the ball, it would significantly bolster their chances of winning. Conversely, Washington’s ability to disrupt Michigan’s ground game and force them into a passing battle could tilt the odds in their favor.

Quarterback Spotlight

The quarterback matchup is also intriguing, with the nod seemingly going to Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. over JJ McCarthy for his superior performance this season. His leadership and skill could potentially lead Washington to a slight upset.

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This National Championship game is poised to be a clash of styles, with Michigan’s potent ground game against Washington’s improved defense and stellar passing game. The outcome may well hinge on which team can impose its style of play on the other. While Michigan enters as favorites, the possibility of an upset by a tactically astute Washington team cannot be ruled out. The lean is toward the Huskies to win outright.

Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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