Free Week 1 Prediction: Thunderbirds vs Utes Odds
Looking for Southern Utah Thunderbirds vs. Utah Utes free picks? Week 1 College football betting sees the Thunderbirds taking on the Utes Thursday September 1st at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions.
Southern Utah Thunderbirds (0-0) vs. Utah Utes (0-0)
Date: Thursday, September 1st
Time: 8:00 PM
Venue: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah
NCAA Football Spread: OFF as of 2:40AM Wednesday
NCAA Betting Total: OFF as of 2:40AM Wednesday
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The Southern Utah Thunderbirds and Utah Utes welcome college football back on September 1st when they square-off at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. Both the Birds and Utes are coming off more-than-respectable seasons.
The Thunderbirds, who play in the Big Sky Conference of the Football Championship Subdivision, rode a wave of momentum throughout the 2015 season to come away with a Big Sky Conference Championship and an impressive 8-4 record.
The Utes of the Pac-12, meanwhile, made an emphatic statement of their own, going 10-3 with victories over the likes of Oregon and Michigan.
But as both teams will tell you, 2016 is a completely different year with new challenges.
Not only will the Thunderbirds replace their head coach, they have to fill the holes that Leshaun Sims, James Cowser, and Miles Killebrew left when they left for the NFL.
Easing the pain is the return of much of their tenacious defense that should keep a reloading Utah Utes offense relatively in check.
Speaking of that Ute offense, it looks to replace Travis Wilson at QB and the ever-talented Devontae Booker, which may lead to some rough patches early on in the season as it establishes itself.
However, despite what may seem a good matchup for the Thunderbirds, the Utes still reign over Utah and should handle Southern Utah, though the game may be closer than some may predict. 31-14 is my call in this one.
Southern Utah Thunderbirds
As mentioned above Southern Utah is coming off one of its most successful years in program history. An 8-4 record and Big Sky Conference Championship are more than admirable.
However, losses on the defensive side of the ball to the NFL may make their 2016 a little tougher than expected. Add that to a brand new head coach and 2016 may see the Thunderbirds slightly regress.
But don’t count them completely out, as they were picked to finish eighth in their conference last year and shocked the Big Sky and FCS.
It didn’t take long for the 2015 Utah Utes to put themselves on the college football national radar, as they downed Michigan in their opener and proceeded to wallop Oregon at Autzen Stadium.
But things may not remain so cheery in 2016. Not only do the Utes have to replace Travis Wilson and Devontae Booker, they are no longer flying under the radar in a challenging Pac-12 South.
Luckily for Utah they will get to work out some kinks against Southern Utah before embarking upon a grueling schedule later this year.
Don’t be surprised to see a tandem at QB and a heavy emphasis on the run game. As always, Kyle Wittingham’s defense should be more than adequate in keeping the Utes in games.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Utes went 10-3 in 2015 with victories over Michigan and Oregon.
- Southern Utah may make things interesting as they are ranked 24th in the FCS Poll.
- Utes have not lost a season opener since a 24-7 loss to Oregon State in 2007.
Free Week 1 NCAA Football Prediction
While Southern Utah may do well in the Big Sky Conference this season, the Utes of the Pac-12 South are just too loaded for the Thunderbirds to contend, especially at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Look for Utah to establish a dominant run game en route to victory.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Utah 31 Southern Utah 14.
While there are no odds for this game I feel pretty confident in picking this score. Southern Utah may give the Utes some trouble early on, but once Utah establishes their run game they will be too much to handle.
Look for Utah to pile on the points quick while the Thunderbirds should get a couple of scores towards the end of the game with backups in.
Week 1 Free Score Prediction: Utah 31 – Southern Utah 14
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