After a thrilling Rose Bowl win over Alabama, the Michigan Wolverines are slight favorites to beat Washington on Monday and win the national championship. Barring a drastic late line shift, the Wolverines will play every game during their 2023-24 season as a betting favorite.
Most Michigan betting apps list the Wolverines as 4.5-point betting favorites, a point spread that has proven fruitful for backers of both teams.
Washington is a perfect 3-0 against the spread as a single-digit underdog this season, winning all three contests outright as well. The Huskies were 9-point underdogs to Oregon in the Pac-12 title game, which they won. They were also about 4-point underdogs to Texas in the Sugar Bowl, but prevailed by 6.
Michigan, on the other hand, is 3-0 against the spread this season when favored by less than a touchdown. Both teams are a perfect 14-0 overall and will compete in conference play next season when Washington joins the Big Ten.
BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, and FanDuel all list Michigan as 4.5-point favorites over Washington, but there are slight variations across moneylines. Caesars Sportsbook has the Wolverines as low as -180 to win the national title, while FanDuel lists them at -196.
Most mobile sportsbooks in the state list the total for the game at 55.5 points. Three of Michigan’s last four games have gone over the total, while three of Washington’s last four have gone under.
Keys to the game
For Washington, everything runs through quarterback Michael Penix Jr. The signal-caller threw for 420 yards in Washington’s win over Texas, and the Huskies lead the country in passing offense, averaging 350 yards per game.
Penix has several star wide receivers to throw to, most notably Rome Odunze. A likely top-15 NFL draft pick, Odunze has 87 receptions for 1,553 yards and 13 touchdowns. He’s among the nation’s most prolific receiving threats, and he’ll test Michigan’s secondary.
Fortunately for the Wolverines, Michigan’s passing defense ranks second nationally in yards allowed per game (150). Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord’s 271 passing yards on Nov. 25 were the most allowed by Michigan in a single game all season.
Offensively, Michigan should have several advantages. Washington has allowed 30 or more points in six games this season, and each of the team’s last five wins have come by one possession. Washington hasn’t been nearly as dominant as Michigan this season, in large part due to inconsistency defensively.
Washington ranked eighth in the Pac-12 in total defense, and Michigan running back Blake Corum and quarterback J.J. McCarthy should stress the Husky D.
If the Wolverines come away victorious, they’ll secure the program’s first national title since 1997, while a Washington win would earn the school its first national championship since 1991.
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