College Football Picks: Stanford vs. Utah

Joe Freda

Thursday, October 10, 2013 11:35 AM GMT

The Stanford Cardinal hit the road this weekend to face the Utah Utes. Have odds makers left any doors open for our college football picks in this battle?

The Stanford Cardinal survived last weekend’s battle with the Washington Huskies, staying unbeaten with a 31-28 victory. Saturday’s NCAAF betting has David Shaw’s squad visiting the Utah Utes, who have notched 43.8 PPG at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Take a look at my College Football Picks: Opening Odds Report for Week 7.

Cardinal edge out Huskies

Stanford wide out Ty Montgomery got his side off to an early 7-0 lead in last Saturday’s win, returning the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown. The junior added a team-high 56 yards of receiving, including a scoring strike from quarterback Kevin Hogan.

Hogan completed 10-of-12 attempts, while tacking on 37 rushing yards as part of 10 keepers. Cardinal running back Tyler Gaffney took in an 11-yard touchdown, reaching paydirt for the sixth time this year.

Stanford’s defense surrendered 489 total yards, giving up a ‘back door’ touchdown with three minutes left to blow the team’s cover as nine-point home ‘chalk.’  Cardinal linebacker A.J. Tarpley grabbed an interception for Washington’s sole turnover, while the duel’s combined 59 points jumped OVER the ‘total’ of 52.

Utes fall to UCLA

Utah logged a second loss in three games with last Thursday’s 34-27 setback to the UCLA Bruins, failing to collect as a five-point home dog. Utes quarterback Travis Wilson tossed six interceptions in 27 minutes of possession, while his offense was held to a 2-for-13 mark in third-down conversions.

Wilson found mates Dres Anderson and Sean Fitzgerald for one scoring strike each, with the duo uniting for 159 receiving yards on 11 catches. Utah’s Kelvin York dashed for a season-high 51 yards out of the backfield, while defensive back Keith McGill returned an interception for a touchdown – tying the matchup, 24-24, with 13 minutes remaining.

The contest’s 61 points ducked UNDER the ‘total’ of 64 ½, with both sides combining for 19 penalties (160 yards). Utes placekicker Andy Phillips stayed perfect on the year, adding field goals from 44 and 37 yards out.

[gameodds]6/246687/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Back the Utes at home

College football odds opened Stanford as an eight-point road favorite, with early wagers on the Cardinal lifting the number to 8 ½. Salt Lake City’s weather forecast calls for a 56 degree day, with partly cloudy skies and calm winds.

I am adding Utah to this week’s college football picks, taking the points in what should be another close contest for Wilson and Co.

Utah has cashed with an 8-3 spread record in its last 11 matchups that followed a loss, including last month’s 20-13 upset win over BYU as a seven-point road dog. Utes wide out Dres Anderson ranks fifth in the Pacific-12 for receiving (510 yards), while Travis Wilson’s quarterback rating (146.2) is just two rungs behind Stanford’s Kevin Hogan (162.2).

Stanford began losing some steam with last week’s tight win, dropping to an overvalued 2-3 ATS this year. The Cardinal saw their octane dip to season-low scoring, while giving up a sizable 350 yards through the air.

Look for Utah to regroup here for a cashed ticket, adding another cashed wager to the team’s 3-2 spread record through its last five spots as an underdog.

Pick:  Utah Utes +8 ½ at The Greek