2023 Sugar Bowl Odds: Texas Longhorns vs. Washington Huskies Preview

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The Texas Longhorns won the Big 12 championship this season for the first time since 2009. When they won the Big 12 in 2009, they reached the national championship game of college football, losing to Alabama in the Bowl Championship Series title game in January of 2010.

Fourteen years later, Texas is back in the national championship hunt, facing the Washington Huskies and is favored, according to the 2023 Sugar Bowl odds. This will be the second College Football Playoff semifinal after Alabama plays Michigan in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. Washington is in the playoff for the first time since 2016.

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The Huskies lost to Alabama in the Peach Bowl. Washington is also the first Pac-12 team to make the playoff since its 2016 run. Texas and Washington could be playing for a chance to face Bama one more time in the January 8 championship game, but they have to worry about this game in New Orleans first. Let's take a closer look at the best sports betting strategy in this contest.

Texas Longhorns vs Washington Huskies

Date: Monday, January 1st, 2024 – 8:45 PM ET

Location: Superdome, New Orleans, LA

2023 Sugar Bowl Odds: Texas -4

*Odds courtesy of YouWager. Check out the full YouWager review for more about the book.

Texas Longhorns

The Longhorns lost to Oklahoma in October but took care of business in all of their other games this season. They won 34-24 at Alabama early in the season, a game which is centrally responsible for getting them a playoff spot. Quinn Ewers is the richly talented quarterback who leads the Texas offense. Texas has fast wide receivers and tough running backs, and Texas coach Steve Sarkisian does a very good job of not only getting all his players involved, but also using various weapons to draw the attention of defenses in certain directions, only to set up plays in different directions later in the game.

Texas had some close calls in Big 12 play in the regular season, most notably against Kansas State in a game which easily could have gone the other way, but in its final few games, the Longhorns were dominant. They crushed Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship Game to make their way to the playoff. The Big 12 Conference was not especially strong this year, which is a reason to be skeptical of the Longhorns heading into this game. However, in New Orleans, Texas should have a partisan crowd to provide a home-game feel for this playoff showdown.

Washington Huskies

The Huskies struggled for a good portion of their season. They did not play especially well in the second half of their season after beating Oregon on October 14. Washington was taking the best shot from each of its opponents, and it played a series of very close and tense games in which the outcome wasn’t certain until the final seconds. Washington squeaked by Arizona State, Oregon State, and Washington State while also having a tougher-than-expected battle versus both Utah and Stanford. Yet, as shaky as they were in those games – sometimes on offense, sometimes on defense – the Huskies did pull through each time. They won against Washington State on the last play of the game, they beat Oregon State despite being shut out in the second half and they beat Arizona State even though they didn’t score an offensive touchdown.

Their only touchdown was a pick-six. Washington did regroup, however, against Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game. The Huskies played their two best games of the year against Oregon, a quality opponent. UW will try to play another high-level game against an elite opponent in the Sugar Bowl. Washington beat Texas in the Alamo Bowl last season, so these teams will be meeting in a bowl game in consecutive seasons.

Texas vs. Washington Prediction:

Washington 41, Texas 38