NCAAF Underdog of the Week: Pick Utah Victory vs. Stanford

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, November 14, 2014 10:10 PM GMT

Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 10:10 PM GMT

Intangibles play a huge part in this contest with Stanford’s 4 losses providing far less motivation than in recent years for post-season aspiration.  Meanwhile, the Utes are moving up the PAC 12 ladder, after going 5-13 SU their first 2 years in the league.

When it comes to our UNDERDOG OF THE WEEKm we are 8-3 ATS with our College Football picks.  Last week, however, the UNDERDOG OF THE WEEK got bitten when TCU romped over Kansas St. Each week in selecting the UNDERDOG, I search for value with a team I believe can win the game outright.  Among the parameters that are strongly considered, include coaching, defense, offensive balance, as well as situational analysis and technical trends.  This week, I expect an outright winner with an UNDERDOG selection that offers huge College Football betting value

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Each of these teams played their previous game against Oregon.  Stanford lost (45-16) allowing Oregon to run up 525 yards as the Ducks gained their double revenge.  After that Stanford victory, Oregon traveled to Utah last week in a game that had letdown written all over it.  Such appeared to be the case in the early going.  Utah jumped to an early 7-0 lead.  It looked like that would soar to 14-0, until Oregon turned what looked like a certain Utah TD into a 99-yard pick 6 and a momentum building swing from which Utah never recovered.  The 51-27 final saw the Ducks aided by a +3 net TO margin, though the yardage was a competitive 508-440.   With a 5-4 SU record, many will favor the Cardinal to soar to this comfortable victory behind their Dandy Defense which allows just 16 PPG and 281 YPG.  After all, Stanford is 6-0 ATS following their last 6 losses and has the motivation of 27-21 revenge.   Before you take off that rubber band, however, note that the Utes are one of the most underrated teams in the land. This is because this well-coached team concentrates on fundamentals (making that performance against Oregon an outlier from which they will bounce back) and is also the No. 1 sack team in the country with 43 to their credit.  With a recent 6-1 ATS dog log to their credit, figure this to be a highly competitive game by the Utes against a Stanford team, whose lack of ground game at 140/4.2 is making them a less consistent entity this season.

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Finally, let’s consider the mental state of these two programs.  After two years of trying to ascend the PAC 12 ladder with results of 5-13 SU, 7-11 ATS, the Utes are now confident they can compete in this league.  Their record for this season is 3-3 SU, 4-2 ATS in league play.  At the other end of the spectrum is a Stanford team, who the last 4 years has gone 46-8 SU, often being in contention for the national title.  Though this team still has the motivation of getting the 6th win for Bowl eligibility, it would be a minor carrot compared to the ones they have been vying for in recent seasons.  Nice intangible mental edge for the visiting underdog Utes! 

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