Free Dallas Bowl Prediction: Utes vs Mountaineers Odds
Looking forUtah Utes vs. West Virginia Mountaineers free picks? Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl betting sees the Utes taking on the Mountaineers Tuesday December 26th at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football bowl season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions like this Utah West Virginia free pick.
College Football Handicapping: Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl
(6-6) Utah Utes vs. West Virginia Mountaineers (7-5)
Date: Tuesday, December 26th
Time: 1:30 pm EST
Venue: Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
NCAA Football Spread: UTAH -7
NCAA Betting Total: OFF
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An iconic college football theater is the host for the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl, as the Pac 12’s Utah Utes travel to north Texas to take on the Big 12 representative West Virginia Mountaineers in the Cotton Bowl.
Even if you’re still full from a holiday feast, there should be a healthy serving of offense on display in Dallas, the day after Christmas. Both teams have the ability to light up the scoreboard and both come from conferences where scoring, rather than stingy defense, is the norm.
The difference likely will be a timely turnover from the defense or an uncharacteristic mistake from a quarterback, in a match-up that should bring both groups of fans out of their seats.
Though finishing with just a .500 record (6-6), the Utes feature a well-balanced attack to pressurize opponents, aerially or running the ball. A 3-6 conference record won’t instill too much fear in outsiders, and frankly the Utes are lucky to be bowling this season; the bowl committee no doubt saw the narrow losses Utah suffered to USC, Stanford and Washington State – all by a touchdown or less.
In order to be successful on the trip east, the Utes will need a strong performance from sophomore QB Tyler Huntley (2,246 pass yards, 15 TDs along with 480 rush yards and four rush scores in 2017), RB Zack Moss (1,023 yards, nine majors) and rangy senior WR Darren Carrington (66 receptions, 918 yards, six TDs). That’s a nice offensive triumvirate for Utah, and they should find room to operate against a rather porous West Virginia defense.
On the other side of the ball, Utah notoriously haemhorrages yards – but let’s remember they have to go up against the likes of QBs like Sam Darnold, Luke Falk and Josh Rosen, doubtlessly future high NFL draft picks. The Pac-12 isn’t an easy environment in which to exist if you’re a defensive co-ordinator. The Mountaineers feature QB Will Grier, so the Utes’ “D” will have another skilled pivot that they must navigate.
West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia will hope plenty of their passionate fans make the trip southwest from Morgantown to cheer them on in a classic college pigskin locale. The fans have had something to get worked up about in 2017, as WVU had a pretty solid campaign. They were on a roll until limping through the end of the regular season, with back-to-back losses to Texas and Oklahoma.
Similar to their opponents in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, West Virginia’s calling card is offense rather than defense. Grier had an excellent season, putting up 3,490 yards and 34 TDs. The former transfer Grier is eligible to return for his senior season in 2018, and everyone in Morgantown hopes he does just that. Elsewhere, West Virginia clicks with the RB duo of Justin Crawford and Kennedy McKoy, who combined for 1,616 yards and 14 TDs.
The receiver trio of Gary Jennings, David Sills and Ka’Raun White get the majority of Grier’s action, as they all have more than 50 receptions and are all hovering around the 1,000-yard mark on the year. The Mountaineers finished 12th in the country in passing yard average (325 per) and 19th nationally in points for (averaging more than 36 points per contest). Clearly, Utah will have lots to be wary of in Dallas on December 26th.
Free Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl NCAA Football Pick
Teams from the state of Utah always seem to have a strong showing come bowl season – look at the Utes and their rival Brigham Young Cougars for proof of that – and perhaps there’s an element of that which fuels prognosticator’s selection of the Utes in this game. I don’t see it.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: West Virginia -10.
West Virginia has a superior attack and the ‘Neers were really on a roll until the Red River slip-ups recently. WVU finished a respectable fourth in the Big 12 and had a winning record in conference play. Grier, a former Florida Gators commit, is an undeniable talent.
The Mountaineers’ defense will have to be careful of Utah’s quick-strike capability, but I see West Virginia being the superior outfit in the comfort of Texas Big 12 territory, and I like them to come away with the victory in the Cotton Bowl.
*BOWL GAME NAME* Free Score Prediction: West Virginia 42 – Utah 28
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