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2024 College Football National Championship Odds

Thomas Snodgrass

Updated: Jan 8, 2024

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The 2023 NCAAF season will officially come to a close with the National Championship game being played on January 8th, 2024, at NRG Stadium in Houston.

After two thrilling College Football Playoff Semi-Final matchups, we’re down to the final two teams: the Washington Huskies and the Michigan Wolverines.

Let’s examine the odds for this upcoming National Title game and dig into the numbers behind Michigan and Washington’s successful campaigns.

The Moneyline

FinalistsMoneylineBest Odds
Washington+160bet365
Michigan-185BetMGM

Washington Record: 14-0

Michigan Record: 14-0

This National Championship will feature NCAA Football’s final two undefeated teams.

Liberty and Florida State were the only other two undefeated teams before their bowl losses on December 31st.

So, for bettors that backed Washington and Michigan on every moneyline this season, congratulations.

Washington’s run to the College Football Playoff Championship has been largely credited to their passing offense, led by senior quarterback Michael Penix Jr.

The Huskies’ passing offense sits first in the NCAA, averaging 350 passing yards per game, with Penix entering the championship with 4,648 yards and 35 passing touchdowns.

Washington also boasts a wildly productive receiving combo of Rome Odunze and Ja’Lynn Polk.

Odunze has tallied 1,553 yards and 13 touchdowns on 87 receptions, while Pole hauled in 65 catches for 1,122 yards and nine touchdowns.

It will be interesting to see how the Huskies’ passing attack fares against the Michigan Wolverines’s 2nd-ranked passing defense, allowing only 150 yards per game.

In fact, the Wolverines’ defense only allowed two quarterbacks to record over 200 passing yards ALL SEASON LONG; Taulia Tagovailoa of Maryland and Kyle McCord of Ohio State.

Offensively, Michigan employs a closer-to-balanced offense, but leans heavily on running back Blake Corum.

Corum enters the championship game with 1,111 yards on 237 carries (4.7 ypc), and 26 touchdowns (one receiving).

Washington’s rushing defense was respectable, allowing 137.1 yards per game, so Corum could be frustrated at times when trying to find a gap.

However, the subpar passing defense of the Huskies could be exploited by Wolverines’ QB J.J. McCarthy.

McCarthy is not what one may call a ‘gunslinger’, but he’s very efficient.

McCarthy has completed 73.2% of his passes for 2,851 yards and 22 touchdowns, and has also ran in three scores. Plus, his passer rating of 170.1 bests Penix Jr.’s rating of 163.5.

In a matter of strengths, it appears the biggest determining factor for the winner of the College Football Playoff will be Washinton’s passing offense versus Michigan’s defense.

The Spread

FinalistsSpreadBest Odds
Washington+4.5(-105) FanDuel
Michigan-4.5(-105) BetMGM

Washington ATS Record: 7-6-1 (53.9% Cover Rate)

Michigan ATS Record: 8-5-1 (61.5% Cover Rate)

Washington played in a lot of close contests, winning eight of their fourteen games by seven points or less.

On the other hand, Michigan played in only three games this season that finished with a final scoring margin of seven points or less.

The Wolverines’ three close contests came against Maryland (31-24), Ohio State (30-24), and Alabama (27-20 OT).

Maryland and Ohio State kept it close against Michigan, and considering that Tagovailoa and McCord were the only QBs to throw for 200+ yards against the Wolverines, maybe Penix’s arm can keep this game close, too.

All three of Michigan’s one-possession games came in their last four games, and all eight of the Huskies one-possession games came in their last nine games played.

It’s amazing how Washington always seems to have an exciting finish to their contests.

The Huskies are 2-0 against the spread when set as underdogs, defeating the Oregon State Beavers as narrow one-point underdogs on November 18th, then edging out the Oregon Ducks in the Pac-12 Championship as 10-point underdogs on December 1st.

The Wolverines have not been underdogs on the spread all season, and they won’t be underdogs in the championship either.

When favored by five points or less, Michigan is 3-0 against the spread, taking down the Penn State Nittany Lions, Ohio State Buckeyes, and Alabama Crimson Tide in those closely set matchups.

The Total

WASH vs. MICHTotalBest Odds
Over55.5(-110) Caesars
Under55.5(-110) BetMGM

Washington Over Record: 7-7 (50% Over, 50% Under)

Michigan Over Record: 7-6-1 (53.9% Over, 46.2% Under)

The average total for a Washington contest this season was 61.7 points, while the average total for a Michigan game was 46.2 points.

The Huskies had eight games finish with a total over 60 points, with the highest total of the season being 94 points in a 52-42 win over the USC Trojans on November 4th.

The lowest total for Washington was 22 total points in a 15-7 win against the Arizona State Sun Devils on October 21st.

Michigan finished with only one game above 60 total points, a 52-10 drubbing of the Minnesota Golden Gophers back on October 7th and their lowest total of the season was slightly higher than the Huskies’, with a low total of only 26 points in the Wolverines’ Big Ten Championship shutout victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Despite being a defense first unit, and playing in a conference with better defenses, the Wolverines finished with a slightly higher over rate than Washington, showing that their offenses may be parallel in the scoring department.

CFB Playoff Format

The 2023 season will be the last time we see a college football playoff format that invites only four teams.

Currently, there is a 13-member committee that determines which four teams will advance to the CFB playoffs.

The four teams are ranked, with the number one and number four ranked teams in one semi-final game and the second and third-ranked teams playing each other in the second semi-final game.

The two semi-final winners advance to the national championship.

Previous to the 13-member committee, polls and complicated computer rankings determined the four playoff teams.

The 2024 season will see a brand new playoff format, with 12 teams now advancing to the playoffs.

Some of the new playoff features will include:

  • A first-round bye for the four highest-ranked conference winners.
  • Of the remaining eight teams without a bye, the four highest-ranked teams will host a first-round game in December.
  • Quarter and semi-final games will be played as part of the “New Year’s Six” bowl games. (Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Peach, Sugar and Rose)

College Football Champions

The current CFP format was introduced in 2014, and the Ohio State Buckeyes were crowned the first national champion under this existing structure.

NCAAF – National Champions

YearMatch UpPoint SpreadResult
2022Georgia vs TCUGeorgia -13.565-7 Georgia (favorite)
2021Georgia vs AlabamaGeorgia -333-18 Georgia (favorite)
2020Alabama vs Ohio St.Alabama -9.552-24 Alabama (favorite)
2019LSU vs ClemsonLSU -4.542-25 LSU (favorite)
2018Alabama vs ClemsonAlabama -544-16 Clemson (underdog)
2017Alabama vs GeorgiaAlabama -3.526-23 Alabama (underdog)
2016Alabama vs ClemsonAlabama -6.535-31 Clemson (underdog)
2015Alabama vs ClemsonAlabama -6.545-40 Alabama (underdog)
2014Oregon vs Ohio St.Oregon -5.542-20 Ohio St (underdog)

In the nine seasons with the current CFP format in place, Alabama has played in the national championship game six times.

What Alabama is currently accomplishing is amazing for a team that turns over so many players each year because so many of them get drafted into the NFL.

That said, the Georgia Bulldogs are the back-to-back champs, not the Crimson Tide.

Maybe the single biggest takeaway from our table above, other than Nick Saban’s greatness as a coach, is that the National Championship game tends to be very high-scoring.

The combined score has reached 60 or more points in seven of the nine games. Only one time did the total finish UNDER 50.

Always Shop Around

Betting on our favorite college football teams to win a national championship will always be a lot of fun, even when the final results don’t go our way.

Who doesn’t enjoy the thrilling roller coaster ride and emotional swings throughout a season that is college football betting?

2023 NCAAF – Championship Odds

TeamsFanDuelDraftKingsCaesars
Alabama+750+650+600
Oregon+900+850+750
Texas+1800+2000+1800

Whether you are an enthusiastic alum who will only bet on your alma mater or a savvy gambler trying to find the best value on the odds board, our greatest advantage as bettors is the ability to shop around for the Best Odds.

By reaching the championship game in six of the past nine seasons, Nick Saban has shown Alabama is a perennial threat to win it all.

However, there is a significant difference between betting the Crimson Tide at +600 to win it all, when we can find much better odds.

By shopping around for the best odds available, we can significantly impact our overall ROI and be confident that we are giving ourselves the best chance at winning long-term.

National Championship Handicapping

Look, guys, handicapping is not an exact science.

But, you can put yourself into a position where you can find an edge on the oddsmakers.

Bet Online On The National Championship Game

As we said before, this is like Christmas for NCAAF bettors.

Sportsbooks know this, they throw big bonuses where you can boost your bets and win the big bucks without needing to throw the house out of the window.

Large deposits will only multiply your possible winnings while mitigating risks.

By betting online, you also have access to lots and lots of markets, including pre-match, live betting, props, etc.

Last but not least, you can shop lines to find the best college football odds available to make the most of the reward. The best odds, the best payout. Simple.

Coaching Matters A Lot

College Football is a very strategic game.

Yes, you can have a great head coach, but if your talent is limited, there is little to nothing you can do.

However, in the National Championship game, you have the best two programs. Here, coaching is the difference between winning and losing.

There’s a reason Nick Saban, Dabo Sweeney, Lincoln Riley, and others win the big bucks. They can be the difference makers.

So don’t bet without considering what the coaching has looked like during the season.

Resume

Considering the National Championship is the result of a long season, you have a lot of footage to go and study.

The resume matters, the fatigue matters, everything matters.

It’s not the same as having to overcome one or two tough matches, as having to endure a tough conference.

Take into consideration the programs that the two finalists faced.

As always, remember, this is a massive game in real life, but in the betting world, it pays the same.

So, it’s important for you to analyze and note which betting type is the one you need to choose.

These are some of the most popular ones:

Moneyline

Betting on the moneyline means you are putting your money on the straight-up winner of the game.

The underdogs will get a plus number in the odds, while the favorites will have minus-odds attached to them.

For example, you would look something like this in a sportsbook.

  • Alabama -170
  • Ohio State +150

What this means is Alabama is the favorite. It implies that you have to lay $170 to win $100. For Ohio State, a $100 wager will win you $150.

In other words, the minus odds are what you need to risk to earn $100. The plus odds are what you’d be winning in a $100 bet.

Point Spread

In this type of bet, you’re betting on a team to win by an expected number of points.

In the case of an underdog, it means they can win or lose by less than the projected points handicapped to the favorite.

Let’s take a look at an example.

  • Alabama -5.5 (-110)
  • Ohio State +5.5 (-110)

In this case, Alabama is favored to win by 5.5 points. This means that to win the spread, Bama needs to win by six points or more.

Ohio State can win or lose by no more than five points and still cash.

Totals

Known as Over/Under bets. The sportsbook will come with a projected number of points to be scored between both teams.

You, as a totals bettor, will choose if the teams combine to go over or under that number. It looks like this:

  • Alabama -5.5 (-110)
  • Ohio State +5.5 (-110)
  • Totals: 60.5

Don’t be scared to watch the totals be so high. It happens in College Football. Scores are too high compared to the NFL, for example.

Take into consideration that the National Championship pits the best two teams.

This means usually two prolific attacks are there.

National Championship Betting Strategy

There are some betting strategies you can use to approach the big game to put yourself in a better position to win.

And now, we will present you with some of the strategies to bet on the National Championship game.

Stats Aren’t Everything

This comes hand in hand with our tip before the resumes.

If a team has a lighter schedule on their way to the National Championship game, their stats will look even better than what they might actually be.

If you don’t face top opposition, and you are a top program, of course, you’re going to crush them. So run your analysis to a further point.

Lines Move, Get Going

If you are betting for the favorite, chances are betting early is the best option for you, because this means most bettors will put money on it.

This will make the line get bigger, hence minimizing your chances of winning.

If you bet on the underdog, it’s the opposite.

Wait until sharps shift the line away from the underdog, buying yourself a margin of more points.

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About the author

A fan of both the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, which is rare! Thomas provides sports betting content with the intent to educate and enter...

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