2019 Utah Utes College Football Odds and Expert Betting Picks
2018 Record: 9-5
2019 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 9.0
2019 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Under'
It took a few years, but Utah has finally ingratiated itself into the Pac-12. Last year the Utes made a surprise trip to the conference championship game. And with two of the best players in the league back at quarterback and running back, the expectations are that now is the time for Utah if it is ever going to take the next step.
Tyler Huntley and Zack Moss are both three-year senior starters for coach Kyle Whittingham. They will be the horses for an offense that averaged 35.1 points per game during its final eight regular-season games.
A key for this year's offense will be the development of its offensive line. They lost three starters there.
Utah also lost its top four tacklers, including standouts Cody Barton and Chase Hansen. They will have eight seniors starting on defense but will need to find some leaders on that side of the ball. Overall, this group finished in the Top 15 in scoring defense, total defense and rushing defense. If they perform at that level again, then the Utes will be a legit contender for the league crown.
Utah is built like a poor man's Stanford. They play one of the most physical styles in the league, and they boast one of the Pac-12's best home-field advantages.
Opening night Utah has to head to Provo to take on rival BYU in The Holy War. That game could set the tone for the entire season, especially if Utah can escape with a win.
The Utes have only four Pac-12 road games, and one of them is against weak sister Oregon State. They do have to face USC on the road. But Utah avoids Oregon and Stanford and will be a solid favorite at home against the rest of their league opponents.
I like this Utah team a lot. However, I think that this number is too high. I can't say that they are appreciably better than last year's squad, and they won only nine regular-season games. This year the Utes play their three toughest games - BYU, USC and Washington - all on the road. In order to beat this season win total, they would have to win at least one of those games while avoiding any upsets in a dangerous Pac-12.
I don't see it happening. Arizona State is decent. UCLA, Arizona and Washington State all have the firepower to cause problems on a given Saturday. California's defense could turn that game into a slog.
There are too many potential upsets on the schedule. And if the lose that opening night rivalry game, then Utah would have to go 10-1 the rest of the way to beat this season win total. Utah hasn't won 10 or more regular-season games since joining the Pac-12. I don't think they will do it here. Play 'under'.
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