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Oregon at Utah Football Picks, Predictions & Betting Preview

David Caraviello for Bookies.com

David Caraviello  | 6 mins

Oregon at Utah Football Picks, Predictions & Betting Preview

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Ah, the wacky Pac-12 – home to late games, strange scores, and enough unpredictability to age a bettor five years in four quarters. And now, another quirk: Oregon and Utah play Saturday, two weeks before the same teams likely meet again in the conference championship game.

Oregon is 9-1 overall and Utah has won six of its last seven, but it’s still a wagering minefield considering both teams have losing records against the spread. The Ducks shock Ohio State, then lose to a Stanford team that currently stands at 2-6. Utah handles Arizona State and UCLA, then struggles to shake off Arizona as a 24-point favorite. The teams have covered eight times in 20 games combined. You get the picture.

Oregon has won five of the seven meetings since the Utes joined the Pac-12, but Utah won the last game in Salt Lake and is favored Saturday over a top-five opponent. Expect lots of college football betting interest for the prime-time kickoff, and brace for the usual craziness from America’s strangest league.

Odds subject to change.

Oregon vs Utah Key Matchups

Utah’s offensive line vs. Kayvon Thibodeaux: The Ducks’ star outside linebacker, Thibodeaux is among the Pac-12 leaders in sacks and tackles for loss despite missing two games with an injury. His speed on the outside will be key in containing a Utah attack that often puts the quarterback on the run.

Oregon’s front seven vs. Cameron Rising: The Utah offense all flows through the quarterback Rising, a Texas transfer who ranks ninth in the conference in total offense and is responsible for 17 total touchdowns.

Utah’s defense vs. Anthony Brown: Oregon quarterback Brown is a Boston College transfer who has run for eight scores, passed for 12 more, and ranks third in the league in total offense.

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5 Key Oregon vs Utah Stats

2-0: Oregon’s record as a road underdog so far this season; the Ducks won as 14.5-point underdogs at Ohio State and as a 1-point underdog at UCLA.

10-7: Oregon’s record in road games against the spread under coach Mario Cristobal, who was hired prior to the 2018 season.

29-23: Utah’s record against the spread as a home favorite over the past decade.

9: The number of times a Utah tailback has rushed for over 100 yards this season, with Tavion Thomas doing it four times, T.J. Pledger three times, and Micah Bernard twice.

30: Number of combined tackles for loss by Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd and defensive end Mika Tafua, who have 19 and 11 respectively.

Oregon vs Utah Weather Forecast

Forecasts early in the week call for cool and cloudy conditions Saturday in Salt Lake City, with temperatures in the low 40s for the 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff. There’s roughly a 25% chance of rain all day in the Utah capital, so those making college football picks on this contest should monitor weather closer to game time.

Oregon vs Utah Moneyline

Utah is a -158 moneyline favorite, according to sportsbooks, while Oregon is a +128 underdog. The Utes are trying to beat a top-five opponent for the first time since 2013 when they won at No. 5 Stanford. Utah is unbeaten at home, perhaps why it’s a slight favorite despite Oregon’s superior record.

Since winning at Ohio State, the Ducks have hardly looked invincible, losing at Stanford and playing close games against Cal, Washington and Washington State. This one should be close, too, but Oregon’s rushing offense and opportunistic defense were made for road games like this, leading us to take the moneyline on the Ducks.

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Oregon vs Utah Point Spread

The Utes are 2.5-point favorites, according to betting apps, although the spread hasn’t been kind to those playing college football odds on these teams this season. But for all the teeth-gnashing in Eugene over Oregon’s closer-than-expected victories over Washington and Wazzu the past two weeks, the Ducks covered in both instances.

They head to SLC having covered three of four, easily their best stretch against the spread all year. Brown is the Pac-12’s best dual-threat QB, Thibodeaux is the league’s best pass-rusher, and Oregon has enough to cover the spread and win a close one outright. You can get Oregon +3 (-110) at DraftKings.

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Oregon vs Utah Totals

The total is 59.5, according to betting sites. Finally, a category where we find some consistency: Utah has gone over the number in six straight games and seven of its last eight, while Oregon has gone over in three of four.

The Utes and Ducks rank 1-2 in the Pac-12 in scoring offense, and both sides have potent playmakers - Brown and tailback Travis Dye on the Oregon side, Rising and tailback Thomas on Utah’s. Even though these are both run-oriented offenses that can burn lots of time off the clock, the over seems the natural play. You can get Over 59.5 (-108) at FanDuel.

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About the Author

David Caraviello for Bookies.com
David Caraviello
Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.