The college football season came to an end with Michigan putting past disappointments behind them with a dominating performance in a 34-13 win against Washington in the College Football Playoff title game. Michigan had little trouble covering as the Wolverines were listed by the college football lines as anywhere from a 5-5½-point favorite.
With players making themselves eligible for the NFL Draft or hitting the transfer portal, it can be a little challenging to project the teams that will be in the best position to win the 2025 College Football Playoff.
Georgia, which won the two previous national titles, has the best odds at +400 to win the national title, according to our sportsbook. Alabama is next at +600 followed by Ohio State (+800) and Texas (+900).
For those wondering, Michigan (+850) trailed Georgia, Alabama and Ohio State in the odds of winning the NCAAF national title when the season began. Washington (+4000) was tied for 13th in the championship odds and cashed out at +240 for those who took the Huskies to make it into the College Football Playoff.
Here’s a look back and a look ahead in the world of college football.
No Love for the CFP Finalists
Michigan has the fifth-best odds to win the 2025 national title with the Wolverines coming in +1000. Washington is tied for 17th at +5000.
Some of that has to do with quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and receiver Rome Odunze being among the Huskies headed off to the NFL. However, if Washington remained in the Pac-12 instead of joining fellow title contenders Michigan and Ohio State in the Big Ten, the odds would have been a little more favorable.
Washington is hoping to fare a little better than last year’s CFP runner-up. Texas Christian went 5-7 and finished tied for ninth in the Big 12 standings.
More Teams Join The Party
Michigan’s win over Washington brought an end to the four-team playoff era.
The field will be expanded to 12 teams beginning in the 2024 season.
Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, Texas, Michigan, Oregon, LSU, Ole Miss, Florida State, Clemson, Penn State, and Notre Dame are the 12 teams with the best college football odds.
However, it is not that simple.
With Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC and Oregon landing in the Big Ten along with Washington, that would mean that nine of those 12 teams will be playing in either the Big Ten or the SEC.
The ACC would be represented by Florida State and Clemson. The Pac-12 as we knew and loved it has ceased to exist. What about the Big 12?
Utah (+5000) and Arizona (+7000) join Kansas State (+7000) with the best championship odds among the teams slated to be in the Big 12.
There is also a spot for the Group of Five conferences.
SMU (+20000) and Boise State (+30000) lead the way among teams from the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, the Mountain West and the Sun Belt.
How Michigan Sealed the Deal
Washington won the Joe Moore Award for having the best offensive line in college football. If the award was given out after watching Monday’s championship game, it would have been presented to the other team on the field at NRG Stadium.
Michigan dominated up front on both offense and defense. Washington’s offensive line got called for multiple holding penalties.
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) January 9, 2024
Washington had five third-down plays of eight yards or more in the second half alone while Michigan put itself in more manageable third downs.
The Wolverines didn’t even need third downs early in the game with running backs Donovan Edwards and Blake Corum getting into the secondary before any Washington defender laid a hand on them.
What Might Have Been
It is hard to pinpoint a play or two in a 21-point game as being the difference. However, a couple of plays do stand out.
While the game’s outcome was still in question, All-American receiver Rome Odunze was all alone on a fourth-down play early in the second quarter.
Washington Michael Penix Jr., who led all Football Bowl Subdivision players in passing yards, missed his favorite receiver as Michigan maintained its 14-point advantage.
The Huskies did pull within seven points by halftime but that was one of the misses by Penix during the game.
Odunze and Penix connected on a 32-yard gain in the second half at a time when the game was getting away from the Huskies, only to have the play wiped out by a holding penalty.
A Look at the Props
The game didn’t start too well for those who went with Washington to score the game’s first points.
The Huskies were priced at +148 to have the game’s first score, but it was Donovan Edwards of Michigan who opened the scoring with a 41-yard scoring run.
Those who went with +167 odds for neither team to score three times in a row were a little happier.
It would have been interesting if Edwards was stopped shy of the goal line on his first carry as there were those hoping to cash out on the +133 odds of the first score not happening in the first six minutes.
As for the player props, Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy had 140 passing yards so those taking the +100 odds for him to go under 201½ yards were the smart ones.
Michael Penix fell short of the 298½ passing yards prop. The payout was -114 no matter which side he landed on.
Here are some of the player props that paid off the best.
- Michigan’s Donovan Edwards to have 91+ rushing yards +1368
- Edwards to be the first touchdown scorer +1100
- Washington’s Jalen McMillan to score a touchdown +200
- Michigan’s Donovan Edwards to score a touchdown +179
- Penix to go under 1½ touchdown passes +170
- Michigan’s Colston Loveland to have 57+ receiving yards +154
- Loveland to have more receiving yards than Ja’Lynn Polk +142
- Washington’s Jack Westover to have 40+ receiving yards +125
- Washington’s Germie Bernard under 1½ receptions +114
- Washington’s Ja’Lynn Polk to go under 56½ receiving yards +100
- Washington’s Jalen McMillan over 5½ receptions +100
Questions Of The Day
Which early season matchups or schedule quirks could significantly impact teams' title odds in the 2025 CFP?
Seeing Pac-12 teams head off to the Big Ten, the Big 12, and seeing a pair of Big 12 powers move into the SEC will change the college football landscape.
How much will major quarterback transfers like Dillon Gabriel (Oregon) and Jake Garcia (Miami) disrupt existing title odds?
It remains to be seen as Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy won a national title without entering the transfer portal while former Indiana QB Michael Penix Jr. changed the fortunes of the Washington program.