College Football predictions: Betting strategies for National Championship Game
One thing Ive learned about betting over the years is that there will always be value going against the script for major stand-alone games like the College Football Playoff National Championship (the Super Bowl, big fights or Triple Crown races also come to mind).
In situations like these, most bettors work from the same starting point.
They hear the pundits, they see the odds and for the most part they stay on that path.
There is nothing wrong with that, of course, but it is also important to remember that anything can happen in a single game of football and you can find a lot of value by exploring alternate markets that are correlated with these headline-grabbing contests straying off script.
For example, the consensus for Monday nights title tilt between Washington and Michigan is that its a hard-to-call game because these two teams are so different.
Michigan is built around an all-world defense and a slug-it-out offense with a great running game, while the Huskies have perhaps the most explosive passing attack in the country balanced with a strong running game that keeps you honest.
Youre going to hear styles make fights plenty of times during the pregame shows on Monday night, but one thing you wont hear is that when you have two teams that are so different playing in a high-stakes environment the chances that it goes according to script become pretty slim.
So how can you bet into the chaos? Here are two options:
Huskies run riot
Washington may have the most talented passing attack weve seen since Joe Burrow and LSU stormed their way to the national championship four years ago.
Michael Penix Jr. looks like a star under center, but hes also got an incredible group of receivers (Rome Odunze, JaLynn Polk and Jalen McMillan) and a great running back (Dillon Johnson) to help make his job easier.
The Huskies averaged 37.6 points per game and led the nation in passing yards.
Rome Odunze Getty ImagesThey blow any defense out of the water if theyre not at their best.
Additionally, Michigans offense isnt set up to keep pace with a team thats running rampant over their defense.
Blake Corum is a standout running back, but the Wolverines just arent going to go score-for-score with teams in an 85-point thriller.
If Penix Jr. and the Huskies unlock this defense, we could see them put away the Wolverines and never look back.
A couple of ways to play into this script is to back Washington -14.5 (+630, FanDuel) or even take a piece of Washington to win by 21 to 30 points at 17/1 (FanDuel).
Betting on College Football?
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Wolverines keep the game quiet
The flip side of the argument above is that Michigan is successful in turning the game into a rock fight.
The Wolverines will be the best defense that Penix has faced all season, so what if they limit the explosive plays and make this look like a Big Ten classic?
If the Wolverines get everything their way, the clock will be moving all night and Washington will be out of sync when it has the ball.
That could make this game ugly and put some value on Under 28.5 at 15/1 (FanDuel).
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