CFP National Championship score predictions: Washington gets the nod

The time has almost come to crown the national champion in college football, with the Michigan Wolverines facing the Washington Huskies (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

In the semifinals, Michigan knocked off Alabama and Washington held off Texas, setting up an intriguing battle of unbeatens. One team will walk away with its first title in more than 25 years.

In anticipation of Monday night’s clash, we asked ESPN’s college football reporters, analysts, commentators and pundits for their predictions for the final score — and the results were a bit of a surprise.

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Washington has the advantage, 32-16

Although Michigan is the betting favorite and has the advantage based on various metrics, our experts sided with Washington by a 2-1 margin. The Huskies were the pick of 32 of our 48 prognosticators.

Of those who picked Washington, 24 of 32 (75%) expect the winning margin to be 4 points or less. Michigan backers are a bit more confident, with 7 of 16 calling for a victory of more than 4 points.

Our selectors also are expecting a shootout, with the average total points prediction at 58.9. The over/under betting total is 56.5. The lowest point total predicted was 38, the highest was 77.

The most popular score pick was Washington winning 31-27 (predicted five times).

ESPN BET line: Michigan -5; over/under 56.5

ESPN’s Football Power Index: FPI gives Michigan a 74.3% chance to win


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Predicting a Washington win (32)

Jay Alter, play-by-play commentator: 38-34
Blake Baumgartner, reporter: 31-28
Kyle Bonagura, reporter: 28-24
Forrest Conoly, analyst: 34-21
Mike Corey, play-by-play commentator: 31-27
Chris Cotter, studio anchor: 31-27
Wes Durham, ACC Network: 31-27
Joe Fortenbaugh, sports betting analyst: 31-30
Tiffany Greene, play-by-play commentator: 38-35
David Hale, reporter: 30-28
Tom Hart, SEC Network: 63-14
Craig Haubert, recruiting insider/analyst: 34-31
Rene Ingoglia, analyst: 31-28
Chris Low, reporter: 31-27
Tom Luginbill, recruiting insider/analyst: 35-31
Harry Lyles Jr., reporter/analyst: 34-28
EJ Manuel, ACC Network: 37-31
Ryan McGee, reporter/commentator: 31-24
Beth Mowins, play-by-play commentator: 31-30
Dan Mullen, analyst: 34-31
Aaron Murray, analyst: 34-31
Dave Neal, play-by-play commentator: 35-31
Mark Neely, play-by-play commentator: 28-24
Brock Osweiler, analyst: 27-24
Roy Philpott, play-by-play commentator: 30-24
Alex Scarborough, reporter: 35-31
Anish Shroff, play-by-play commentator: 31-27
Paolo Uggetti, reporter: 27-24
Christine Williamson, Countdown to GameDay host: 34-31
Dave Wilson, reporter: 28-23
Field Yates, NFL analyst: 27-23
Taylor Zarzour, play-by-play commentator: 30-20


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Predicting a Michigan win (16)

Andrea Adelson, reporter: 31-28
Rocky Boiman, analyst: 34-27
Peter Burns, SEC Network: 27-23
Paul Carcaterra, sideline reporter: 34-28
Bill Connelly, reporter: 35-28
Chris Doering, SEC Network: 31-27
Erin Dolan, sports betting analyst: 27-24
Dusty Dvoracek, analyst: 28-24
Quint Kessenich, analyst/reporter: 31-25
Skubie Mageza, studio host: 32-28
Connor Onion, play-by-play commentator: 27-23
Adam Rittenberg, reporter: 33-31
Matt Schick, studio host: 31-23
Jess Sims, College GameDay reporter: 21-17
Tom VanHaaren, reporter: 38-31
Bob Wischusen, play-by-play commentator: 34-27

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