The Utes are a solid football team and are naturally favored by odds makers at home against the smaller Utah State. Still, I think there is good value in backing the Aggies in this spot as a live dog.
Utah State Aggies vs Utah Utes Odds
Right now College Football Odds makers have the Aggies at +12 to +12.5 across the board. Most of the action I have seen is taking the home favorite Utes at -12. There are some good odds in backing the Aggies in this spot at that number of +12 like at Pinnacle -106.
Versus Michigan Utah scored 24 points, had 337 total yards, 4.7 yards per play, and a poor third-down conversion rate of 23.08%. With starting quarterback Travis Wilson back for his senior season they looked primed have another solid year. They also have some returners at the skill positions but have some new faces on the offensive line. Last week they did a pretty decent job gaining 129 yards on the ground, but only 3.5 yards per rush. Versus Michigan they were content to stay with the run by running the ball more than 50% of the time. Although the Aggies are the smaller school that offensive line might have some trouble establishing the run against a good Utah State defense.
Defensively Utah allowed 17 points versus Michigan, 355 yards, 4.9 yards per play, and a third-down conversion rate of 37.50%. For playing at home they had decent but not great numbers against Michigan. They did do a nice job though allowing only 76 yard rushing from the Wolverines, with only 2.6 yards per run. This is going to be an interesting matchup for them today against the Aggies who will rely a lot on returning from injury QB Chuckie Keeton.
Utah State Aggies
Last week versus Southern Utah the Aggies only gained 250 total yards, 15 first downs, 140 rushing yards, and 110 passing yards from returning starter Keeton. These are some really poor numbers against not a good team in the Thunderbirds. With some solid returners at the skill positions, but with some question marks on the offensive line is going to be interesting to see how they perform against a solid Utah defense. I am willing to give the Aggies though, who have a solid program going for the last few years, a mulligan in regards to that game and believe it will be much more focused in facing their in-state rival.
Defensively Utah State last week allowed only 163 total yards, nine first downs, 52 rushing yards, and 111 passing yards. Those are some good numbers even against the subpar team that they faced. Of course they will have a much bigger challenge against Utah but this a very good defense that ranked 31st overall in the nation in yards per game in 2014. The defensive line does have some question marks but there are plenty back in the secondary and everyone back at the linebacker position.
Utah State has won 30 games in the last three seasons and that was some through some serious adversity, especially injuries. This a very well coached team and I like their new offensive coordinator Josh Heupel coming over from Oklahoma even though they did not produce last week. This team should come in very focused to face a good Utah team, and for one of my College Football Picks this is just too many points to give them. Look for the Utah Utes to win by around a touchdown but don't be shocked if the Aggies pull off the upset.
College Football Pick: Aggies +12 at Pinnacle Sports