2024 National Championship Game – Michigan vs Washington

2024 National Championship Game – Michigan vs Washington

posted January 5

The Game

Here we go!

We’ve got a pair of 14-0 teams (!) going head-to-head for all the marbles down in Houston as the Washington Huskies battle the Michigan Wolverines. Washington scored first vs Texas and never trailed in their semi-final game (W 37-31) but they had to hang on late to clinch the victory. The Huskies come into this BAD BOY full of confidence having beaten the Ducks and Longhorns in their last two games. Michigan showed some serious GUTS in their comeback OT-win over ROLL TIDE (W 27-20) as Alabama looked to be in good shape with under five minutes to play in the game.

The Details

Michigan -4.5 Washington (56.5)

MEGALOCKS LINE – Michigan -5.5

“Vegas” Implied Projected Score: Michigan 30.5 Washington 26

Michigan offense vs Washington defense

The Michigan rushing attack hasn’t been nearly as devastating this season compared to last year (160 YPG vs 239 YPG) but they do enough on the ground to keep the chains moving most of the time. RB Blake Corum didn’t go nuts vs ROLL TIDE but he rushed for 83 yards and had an important TD run. And don’t forget that yuuuge reception on 4th down late in the game that really got them rolling on the game-tying drive. The WR/TE weapons don’t scare anyone but they’re very efficient when JJ McCarthy has time to dice the defense up (17-27, 221, 3-0 TD to INT last week). The Michigan offense is playing as well as they have all season and they’ll present a stiff challenge for the Washington defense. The Huskies give up a lot of yards, particularly thru the air, but they currently rank #41 in the nation in run D (137 YPG) and #32 in pass efficiency defense (59%, 16 INT – #9 FBS). The bad news is that they’re ranked #86 in YPC (4.4). Washington has only booked 21 sacks in 14G and that should allow McCarthy to have plenty of time to find his targets. Michigan will be able to move the ball consistently on offense and just need to avoid the dreaded turnover bug.

Washington offense vs Michigan defense

GET CHO POPCONE, yo. QB Michael Penix has been absolutely unstoppable this season (4,648, 35-9 TD to INT) and he’s got a healthy and devastating WR group that’ll provide a yuuuge test for the excellent Michigan secondary. WRs Rome Odunze (1,553, 13 TD) and Ja’Lynn Polk (1,122, 9 TD) are incredibly productive and it’s lethal to have Jalen McMillan as your “#3” option at WR. Even TE Jack Westover got into the action last week vs Texas (6 receptions, 59 yards). One of the more incredible stats that goes under the radar is the fact that Penix has only been sacked 10 times all season (504 attempts!) so it’ll be very difficult for Michigan to get Penix on the ground. Washington also knows how to “snap the football” unlike the Wolverines’ semi-final opponent from Tuscaloosa. Washington has a 1,000-yard RB in Dillon Johnson (probable on injury report) to help balance things out but he didn’t get much going last week vs Texas (2.3 YPC, long run of 7 yards) and it won’t get any easier facing this nasty defense. Then again, ROLL TIDE was able to have some success vs Michigan with their rushing attack the odd time they snapped the ball correctly. The match-up that’ll decide the game is the Michigan DBs vs the Washington WRs. Michigan hasn’t faced a deep and talented unit like this all season BUT their stats are pretty much off the charts in terms of pass defense (7-16 TD to INT, 55%).

Trends, Intangibles and More!

The Huskies have now won an impossible 21 games in a row whilst the Wolverines have only lost one game in the last two years (27-1)…..With the game being played in Houston we expect a true “neutral site” environment…..Washington is #129 (!) in the nation in penalty yards per game (71) whilst the Wolverines rank #2 in that department (26).


Michigan will be able to move the ball without much resistance and will almost certainly get a few more stops on defense.


 Lean – Michigan -4 -119

‘Official play’ implies this pick is one of our favorites of the week (perceived value, match-up, coaching, trends, etc.). We’re currently playing these picks for the same amount as the leans but it’s up to you how you want to manage your bankroll. Please see the Week in Review posts for more detail.

‘Lean’ implies we are placing a wager on the game.

‘No leanage’ implies we won’t have any action on the game.

Team totalsWe list the implied number based on the point spread and total when our analysis is posted. If a team total ends up being an official play we will post a widely available number at the time of pick release.