Free Week 1 Prediction: Utes vs. Cougars Odds
Looking for Utah Utes vs. BYU Cougars free picks? Week 1 betting sees the Utes taking on the Cougars on Thursday, August 29th, 2019 at LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, Utah. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions like this Utah BYU free pick.
College Football Handicapping: Week 1
(0-0) Utah Utes vs. BYU Cougars (0-0)
Date: Thursday, August 29th, 2019
Time: 10:15 PM EST
Venue: LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, Utah
NCAA Football Spread: Utes -5
NCAA Betting Total: 48
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Thursday will see two teams from the state of Utah go head to head. We have the Utah Utes, who are ranked 14th in the country and the BYU Cougars, who are looking to start their season off with an upset.
These teams met in 2018, which saw the Utes come away with a 35-27 win. Utah have won the last 8 meetings in a row dating back to 2010. The last game they lost to BYU was in 2009.
Utah went 9-5 in 2018 an ended their 2018 season with a loss to Northwestern in their bowl game. They also appeared in the 2018 PAC-12 Championship in which they lost 10-3 against Washington. Believe it or not, Lee Corso recently picked Utah to appear in this years National Championship. Take that how you want, but Utah could be a sneaky pick at least to win the conference. They are also ranked in the top 15, so they cannot afford an early loss.
Utah by no means had a top offense last year. Yes, they averaged 28.1 points per game, but were ranked 76th in the country. At least they will return their quarterback, Tyler Huntley. He threw for 1,788 yards, but had 12 passing touchdowns and 4 rushing touchdowns.
Defense is where the Utes were strong. They allowed 18.5 points per game. This was tied for 16th in the country with the Georgia Bulldogs, so it shows how much they like to focus on the defensive side of the ball. I like them to pick up where they left off and really limit BYU in both the running game and passing game.
Shutting down the run game will be a focal point as they were 5th in the country last year, allowing 101.8 yards per game on the ground.
The Cougars went 7-6 last year after their bowl game win. The biggest thing to note is they upset #6 Wisconsin on the road. However, Utah has been a thorn in their side for years, so that makes me worry they will not be to play well here in the season opener.
BYU was just 79th in the country last year in points per game, scoring 27.2 on average. I do not see them doing very much against a strong Utah defense. Maybe they get a couple scores, but I do not think it will be more than 20.
For the Cougars, Zach Wilson returns as the starting quarterback. He threw for 1,578 yards last year and 12 touchdowns. He also threw just 3 interceptions, so he did a great job of taking care of the ball. The run game for the Cougars was very lackluster as they ran for just 153.2 yards per game. This was ranked 90th in the country and will need to improve if they are going to have a chance of pulling the upset.
The BYU defense was decent last year. They allowed 21.7 points per game, but allowed 35 to this Utah team. I expect the defense to keep them in the game for majority of the contest, but near the end is when they will fold.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- UTAH are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games on grass.
- UTAH are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 road games.
- UTAH are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 meetings.
- Under is 7-1 in BYU last 8 vs. Pac-12.
- Under is 13-3 in BYU last 16 games as an underdog.
Free Week 1 NCAA Football Pick
Utah returns as a top 15 team to start the season and I think they will take down their in-state rivals without too much trouble.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Utah -5
The Utes will use their defense to win this game and I believe they will be able to cover.
Week 1 Free Score Prediction: Utah 24 – BYU 14
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