NCAA College Football: Utah vs. BYU Odds, Preview, and Free Prediction

The Utah Utes are taking the 45-mile trek to Provo, Utah this Saturday to face rival BYU. Kickoff for the annual matchup is scheduled at 10:15 EST from LaVell Edwards Stadium, and will be televised on ESPN2.

Utah vs. BYU Vegas Point Spread Odds and Game Preview

BYU had a rough go of it last weekend. They spent their Saturday in Death Valley, Louisiana getting waxed by LSU. When they finally gained some time of possession, they couldn’t put up any points (27-0), and showed few signs of life from their inexperienced defensive line.

They still have faith QB Tanner Mangum can sling the ball around enough to give them the late-game magic they’ve had the past two years. They’ll also rely on an experienced linebacking group to pull the defense together after giving up 479 yards to the 97 they generated.

Utah wasn’t entirely sharp against North Dakota either, in what was a 37-16 victory. They come into their matchup with BYU having recently owned the series. They’ve won 16 of the last 23 they’ve played versus the Cougars.
Their biggest strengths lie in their front seven, where they return four of seven starters from a squad which was the best run defense in the Pac-12.

BYU is presently 2.5-point favorites, with the over/under positioned low at 45.5.

College Football Free Point Spread Prediction: Utah +2.5

After not being able to shake the cobwebs against Portland State, BYU was trounced by LSU. They’re struggling to find any resemblance of a ground game, and they just so happen to be playing the team that stuffed the run unlike any other team in their conference last year. In their first game, Utah gave up only 55 yards rushing on 28 carries to North Dakota. BYU had minus rush yards vs. LSU, so thinking the ground game will surface now is a pipedream.

And though the Utah secondary is fairly raw, BYU QB Tanner Mangum hasn’t been the gunslinger he once was. They’ll be relying on him to ignite an offense in desperate need of some oomph. And their defense was rarely better last week. Even LSU QB Danny Etling was 14-17 against them. A team already 96th in stopping the pass could have issues with sophomore Tyler Huntley, who’s coming into his own in the revamped Utah offense.

The Utes won’t put up a ton of points. But with Mangum erratic with his throws and the BYU running game nonexistent, they won’t have to punch it in too many times.

Besides, Utah is on a roll versus BYU, beating them all six times they’ve played this decade. They’re likewise 4-1 ATS in their last five vs. the Cougars. Also, they’re 5-2 ATS in their last 7, and 13-5 SU in the last 18 road contests.

It’ll be a close game either way. BYU had seven games with the score a touchdown or closer last year, and Utah had eight. BYU has yet to gain their footing at home or in a high-level game, so a rivalry is all that can help now. They may right the ship late for another close matchup, but the Utes are the more stable pick here.

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