Stanford Cardinal vs Utah Utes Vegas Odds, Preview and Free Pick

After two weeks since their last game, the #20 ranked Utah Utes return to action as they host the Stanford Cardinal in a tough Pac-12 conference battle. Will the Utes stay undefeated on the year or will Stanford get a much needed signature win of the season? Kickoff inside of Rice-Eccles Stadium is at 10:15 PM ET.

Stanford Cardinal vs Utah Utes NCAAF Preview and Betting Lines

Stanford (3-2, 2-1 Pac 12) is coming off two straight victories over Pac-12 conference opponents. They’re offense has been clicking ever since they lost two straight games to USC and San Diego State. At first, everyone thought that the loss to SDSU signaled Stanford was going to have a bad season, but we’re all learning that SDSU is actually a good team as they’re currently ranked #19 in the country and remain undefeated. Stanford hopes to head into Salt Lake this weekend and pull off the upset.

Utah (4-0, 1-0 Pac 12) hasn’t played since their hard fought victory over Arizona on Sep 22. In that game, they lost their starting quarterback Tyler Huntley. However, it looks like there is a chance that Huntley can return this week. But, if he can’t, the Utes are in good hands with backup quarterback Troy Williams. Utah has had two weeks to prepare for this game and to get their injured players back. Will they be able to stop the mighty Stanford rushing attack?

The spread opened with Utah getting 3.5 points. It went as high as 6.5 points before settling at 6 points for Utah. The Over/Under opened at 53 points and has gone up to 54.5 total points.

Free Vegas Spread Pick and Game Prediction: Utah Utes +6 points

This game comes down to one thing: the Utah Utes rush defense vs the Stanford Cardinal rushing attack. Whoever wins this battle will win the game. The Stanford rushing attack is averaging 272 yards per game, which is good for 11th in the country. Running back Bryce Love has rushed for 1,088 yards and 8 touchdowns on the season. He leads all running backs in the FBS.

The Utah Utes only allow 87 rushing yards per game, but have done this against some weaker opponents. Stanford has played tougher teams so far and have put up these impressive numbers against them like 39 points per game and 461 yards of total offense. Unfortunately, in Stanford’s two losses on the season they were only able to put up 41 points combined and struggled to get their offense up to full speed as they totaled 254 yards against SDSU and 342 yards against USC.

With Utah’s tough defense, there is a chance that Stanford could be held in check. And, if they’re unable to get up to full speed on offense then there’s a good chance that they will lose just like against SDSU and USC.

For Utah, they average 35 PPG and over 442 total yards per game. Most of their yardage is through the passing game, which might take a step back this week if starting quarterback Tyler Huntley can’t play due to injury. Although backup quarterback Troy Williams is capable of leading this offense, he still isn’t as dynamic as Huntley. The one area where Utah could see increased success is in the run game.

Stanford is giving up 189 rushing yards per game including 214 last week to ASU, 166 to SDSU and 307 to USC a few weeks ago. So, there are opportunities for Utah to gain chunk yards on the ground, which will definitely open up the field for whoever is playing quarterback for Utah.

My only concern for this game is that Utah hasn’t played anyone that good. Outside of Arizona, Utah played a cupcake schedule. Against Arizona, it took a late defensive score to win the game.

Utah does have history going for them as they’re 4-1 all-time against Stanford.

Stanford is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games, 1-5 ATS against teams with a winning record and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after a SU win. Utah is 4-0 ATS versus teams with winning records, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games, and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games.

This game will determine just how good Utah is. I believe they will cover the spread, but I think there’s a chance that Stanford pulls off the upset. The last time they met, Utah won 20-17. I can see Stanford winning by a field goal this time around, something in the ballpark of 23-21. I’m intrigued to see the battle between Utah’s rush defense and Stanford’s rush offense. If Huntley plays then I think Utah gets the win in a close one. If he can’t, then I give the edge to Stanford. Either way, I expect this to be a one score difference.

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