College Football National Championship Best Bets

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We went a perfect 4-0 on our bowl game best bets last week, bringing our total record for bowl games to 10-3.

Let's keep it rolling with our last college football picks article of the season including 4 picks from our team of experts—a consensus spread bet and two prop bets.

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Washington +4.5 vs. Michigan – 8:30 pm ET

Kyler Wolff
Kyler Wolff

Kyler Wolff is a sports writer with a passion for football & statistical analysis. He uses his knowledge of the game and ability to break down stats to make the best picks.

Once again, Vegas is underestimating Washington, and once again we have the opportunity to make money off of their ignorance.

There isn't much more I can say about the Huskies that isn't obvious based on their performance all season, especially over the last 5 games. They have a dynamic passing game that even the dominant Michigan defense will struggle to contain, and depending on Dillon Johnson's health, they'll have a running back who is as tough as they come and fights hard to gain extra yards.

Washington's defense isn't statistically dominant as Michigan's, but they aren't pushovers, either. They've had to battle against high-powered offenses in the PAC-12 all year and shouldn't be deterred by Michigan, who is impressive, but I don't think they will be able to score at will as they have against other defenses this year.

This should be a much more physical game than people expect, and I expect a back-and-forth matchup. Washington has the firepower to overcome the historically great Michigan defense to keep up with Michigan's scoring.

Last year, we had two close semifinal games followed by an absolute blowout in the Championship game. That was a big disappointment for all parties involved—except for Georgia.

I don't think that will happen again. This game will be close.

Will Washington win? I'm not 100% confident because of just how overpowering Michigan has been on both sides of the ball, but it won't be a blowout.

Also, I'm not suggesting that the game is rigged or that the NCAA is going to influence the game. However, after last year's disappointment, it would be in everyone's best interest if the game was still competitive going into the final 5 minutes and stayed within 4.

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Washington +4.5 vs. Michigan

Rob O'Connor
Rob O'Connor

Rob O’Connor is a veteran sports handicapper. He broke into the industry in 2002 and has continued to provide high quality sports handicapping advice ever since.

Washington, who has relished the role of underdog year, might as well do it one more time in the National Championship game.

While it’s hard to say there is a letdown spot heading into the title game, it might be a bit tougher for Michigan to gear back up after beating the “goliath” of college football in Nick Saban and Alabama. They pulled off a come-from-behind win with a 4th-quarter rally and then made a huge defensive stand in overtime to wrap up the win.

Washington relies heavily on the passing game and Michigan, statistically, has one of the best pass defenses in the country, but against a schedule that was not all that challenging. Looking at some of Michigan’s games against tougher QB competition, there is an opportunity for Michael Penix Jr. and the Washington offense to have some success through the air.

Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa threw for 247 yards against Michigan and Ohio State QB Kyle McCord threw for 271 yards. So when the Michigan defenses face a tougher QB they do give up some yards and plays.

The Michigan offense struggled for long stretches against Alabama, including 6 punts, with 3 of them coming on 3 and outs. There are also questions about the Michigan kicking game, as they missed a FG and an XP against Alabama.

Meanwhile, the Washington offense continued firing on all cylinders against Texas, punting the ball just 3 times, including once at the end of the game when some very questionable clock management was involved.

Penix Jr. threw for 430 yards and, despite not having a ton of success on the ground, Washington showed a commitment to running the ball to keep the Texas defense honest. If they follow that formula again against Michigan they may very well end up as National Champions.

It will be a close game that comes down to the end, and even if Washington gets down, their quick-strike offense will keep them in it over the course of the game.

Michigan WR Roman Wilson +2 TDs (+1200)

Kyler Wolff
Kyler Wolff

Kyler Wolff is a sports writer with a passion for football & statistical analysis. He uses his knowledge of the game and ability to break down stats to make the best picks.

This isn't necessarily the safest pick, but I love any +1200 odds that actually seem plausible.

Roman Wilson has 12 touchdowns on the season, which included 3 different multi-touchdown games. These games were mostly in the earlier part of the season (Eastern Carolina in Week 1, UNLV in Week 2, and Nebraska in Week 5), with his TD production slowing a bit in the second half of the season. This trend has more to do with Blake Corum's ability to get into the endzone rather than Roman Wilson's ability.

Blake Corum has 26 touchdowns on the season, the most of any non-QB in the country. He has stolen plenty of potential touchdowns from Wilson this season, but I don't know if we will see that same pattern continue in this game.

Washington's pass defense is in the bottom 10% of FBS teams, but their run defense is in the top 30% of FBS teams. Washington's front 7 is pretty good, with future NFL talent all over the place, including future first-round pick Bralen Trice.

Corum could struggle slightly and allow Wilson to take over this offense. We see it every year: somebody unexpectedly shows up big in the National Championship game and puts up an enormous performance. I think this year, it will be Roman Wilson, regardless of whether Michigan wins or loses.

Washington K Grady Gross OVER 6.5 points (-112)

Rob O'Connor
Rob O'Connor

Rob O’Connor is a veteran sports handicapper. He broke into the industry in 2002 and has continued to provide high quality sports handicapping advice ever since.

Washington understands the importance of points in big games. Grady Gross has been asked to make some big kicks in both the PAC-12 Championship game and the semi-final against Texas last week.

He has been a perfect 5-5 in those two games on field goals and he has not missed an extra point all year.

With Michigan having a tough defense, there will be some opportunities in the game for Gross to kick a field goal and give Washington some points.

Two field goals and an extra point make this one a winner, so I'm taking over 6.5 points for Gross.

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