NCAAF Betting: Previewing the 2024 College Football National Championship Game

Michael Savio pic
By:
Michael Savio
01/03/2024
NCAAF

Highlights

  • FanDuel has Michigan as a -4.5 favorite to win the National Championship
  • Michael Penix Jr threw for 430 yards and two touchdowns
  • Michigan ‘s defense is second in the country against the pass and sixth against the run

New Year’s Day brought us a pair of thrilling College Football Playoff matchups, setting us up for a fantastic National Championship game between the Washington Huskies and Michigan Wolverines on Monday, January 8. The game features two great teams who will be rivals in the Big Ten starting next season.

If you are looking to bet on this year’s National Championship, you have come to the right place. Below, we will provide the odds for the big game along with insights into both teams, giving you what you need to win big at US sportsbooks on Monday.

2024 National Championship Odds 

Bookmakers have installed Michigan as a slight favorite heading into Monday’s game. They also have set the total higher than expected, likely fueled by Washington’s elite offense and shaky defense.

Here are the current odds for the National Championship game from FanDuel Sportsbook:

TEAM 

SPREAD 

MONEYLINE 

TOTAL 

Washington Huskies 

+4.5 (-105) 

+152 

Over 55.5 (-106) 

Michigan Wolverines 

-4.5 (-115) 

-184 

Under 55.5 (-110) 

Washington Huskies Preview 

Many people have not been taking this Washington team seriously, despite finishing ranked second in the country. Though they played in a hyper-competitive Pac-12 conference, they won their final four games by a combined 15 points. Three of those games came against opponents who were ranked at the time, including their Pac-12 Championship Game upset of Oregon.

There are a lot of great players on this team, but none are more important than quarterback Michael Penix Jr. He had a Heisman-worthy season, leading the country with 4,648 passing yards and ranking third with 35 touchdowns. Penix was fantastic against a Texas defense that struggles against the pass, throwing for 430 yards and two touchdowns.

While their passing game leads the offense, the Huskies run game will be the key on Monday. Michigan’s pass defense is arguably the best in the country, meaning establishing the run will be vital. Running back Dillon Johnson was injured late against Texas, leaving his status up in the air. No other Washington player rushed for more than 200 yards this season.

Washington’s biggest question mark (aside from Dillon) is their defense. While they have some playmakers, they can give up a lot of points and yards. They have allowed at least 28 points in three of their previous five games, including against Texas last week. Michigan’s offense isn’t elite, but they will provide a very tough challenge for this shaky unit.

Michigan Wolverines Preview 

Michigan quieted a lot of critics with their win over 27-20 Alabama in the semi-finals. While the Wolverines had no problem running through the Big Ten undefeated, the conference was filled with bad teams. They were impressive against Ohio State in the conference championship game, but the win over Alabama sent a message that their 14-0 record is far from a fluke. 

The Wolverines offense does not have the explosiveness that the Huskies do, but quarterback JJ McCarthy and running back Blake Corum are dangerous weapons. McCarthy has been one of the best quarterbacks in the country with 2,851 yards and 22 touchdowns. He threw for 221 yards and three touchdowns against a talented Alabama defense. While he isn’t as talented as a passer as Penix, he has done a fantastic job leading this offense.

A lot of players stepped up in the Wolverines win over the Tide, but few were more important than Blake Corum. He finished the game with 118 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns. His ability to average 4.4 yards per carry but Alabama on their heels, allowing McCarthy more room to work through the air. You can bet stopping Corum will be at the top of Washington’s list for Monday.

The key to Michigan’s greatness is their defense. They are second in the country against the pass (152.6 YPG) and sixth against the run (87.1 YPG). Their elite pass rush managed six sacks against Alabama, which helped them secure the win. They will take center stage again in the National Championship as they attempt to slow down Penix and a great Huskies pass attack. 

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid. As an adult, Michael started picking games for a small sports betting site and has built it into a career. His experience allows him to provide tips and information to help other bettors improve their game. Michael cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams, the Arizona State Sun Devils (his alma mater), and the Ottawa Senators. He specializes in baseball betting but has extensive experience in football, basketball, and hockey. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children or hiking and enjoying the outdoors.