The College Football Playoffs are set and we are down to four teams vying for the National Championship.
Undefeated PAC-12 Champions Washington take on Big 12 Champion Texas in the Sugar Bowl and a spot in the National Championship.
Both teams have high-octane offenses but have won differently throughout the year as Texas has been able to outpace teams and overwhelm its opponents en route to convincing victories.
Meanwhile, despite some nervy moments, Washington has found ways to win in a myriad of ways. Whether it's a pick-six against Arizona State at home and winning without scoring a touchdown or kicking a walk-off field goal against Washington State. Washington has won games both tight and in blowout fashion.
Here are the early betting odds and preview for the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day. You can find ALL our bowl coverage here, and also a no-sweat first bet of up to $1,000 when you use the link below to join Caesars Sportsbook!
Texas vs. Washington Odds, Spread and Total
Texas News and Notes
Texas enters on a heater, finishing its season by beating Texas Tech in the regular season finale 57-7 and blitzed Oklahoma State in the Big 12 title game, winning 49-21.
Quarterback Quinn Ewers has recovered fully from a shoulder injury in the middle of Big 12 play and has passed for eight touchdowns in four games with only three interceptions while passing for more than 280 yards in three of those games.
However, Texas isn't fully healthy. The team is still looking for a consistent answer at running back after 1,000-yard rusher Jonathon Brooks suffered a torn ACL a few weeks back. The team has cycled through the likes of CJ Baxter, Jaydon Blue, and Keilan Robinson in his place.
Further, the team's most trusted weapon in the passing game may be out. Leading receiver Xavier Worthy, who has 66 catches for 846 yards and five touchdowns suffered an ankle injury in the second half of the Big 12 Championship Game.
Head coach Steve Sarkisian said that x-rays came back negative, but it's unclear how severe the injury is. Thankfully, he has nearly a month to heal before the Rose Bowl.
On the other side of the ball, Texas's defense is set to face arguably the best passing offense in the country in Washington, which is 10th in EPA/Play through the air and eighth in passing success rate. The only other time the Longhorns faced an elite passing game was Oklahoma (3rd in EPA/Pass and sixth in passing success rate). The Sooners passed for 285 yards in that game in Texas' lone loss.
Washington News and Notes
Washington enters this game in dire need of a break. The team won eight of its last nine games by single digits and is fresh off beating a top-10 Oregon team for the season straight time.
The offense has as much talent as any team left in the field, but it's been far more volatile than the team would hope with a veteran in Michael Penix Jr. under center. Can Penix Jr. benefit from a month off to get back on track against a Texas secondary that is outside the top 100 in explosive pass rate with future first-round pick Rome Odunze and another pair of future pros in Ja'Lynn Polk and Jalen McMillan?
It's worth noting that Dillon Johnson was also battling a foot injury and still managed to rush for 80 or more yards in five straight games to close the regular season. He now also gets some time to recover.
However, can the Huskies slow down the Texas offense that scored 30 or more in all but two games this season? The secondary came on strong down the stretch, 48th in EPA/Pass, but the defensive line remains a big concern, the team is bottom five in defensive line yards and 125th in rushing success rate allowed. Can Steve Sarkisian use the extra time to generate a sound ground attack to take advantage of Washington?
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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