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Utah State at Utah
Utes Favored by 3 Touchdowns
Sandwiched right between the two ESPN opening night college football games on the betting board is this matchup between Utah and Utah State. The game will be of significant interest in college football circles however, if for no other reason than to see how Utah looks. Utah lost several key players from last years 13-0 squad, a team which was the only undefeated FBS team and a team which some felt had a right to claim a piece of the National Title. The heck with healthcare, if Obama does one thing in office, we hope it's to make sure the National Title is decided on the field and not on paper.
Utah is currently a -20.5 favorite in this game with a total of 52. Some sportsbooks are showing -21 on the game, so as always, make sure you shop for the best line.
As far as this matchup is concerned, sure Utah lost some personnel, but it really shouldn't make a difference. This is simply a case of the haves vs. the have nots. In college football, the haves get the players and the have nots have to make do with what's left. You only need to look back at recent history between these two to see how wide the talent gap is. Utah won this game by 42 points in 2004, 24 points in 2005, 48 points in 2006, by 16 points in 2007 and by a score of 58-10 last season.
Some things will never change in College Football. Where the talent goes, is one of those things. The only thing in doubt here is the margin of victory for Utah. Of course, if you're reading this, you're likely a bettor, and are curious just how wide we think that margin will be. Before we get to that we'll offer a basic handicapping 101 lesson. Don't bet on teams because you think they can "hang". You'll be extremely disappointed in the long run. Sure, 21 point underdogs cover their share of games and even win straight up once in a blue moon. But you really ought to concentrate on "good teams". Capable teams. Utah State doesn't fit the bill. They haven't had a winning season this decade and have a new coach to boot.
Utah meanwhile has won 8 straight Bowl games which is the longest current streak in the Nation. They have had two undefeated seasons recently, last year and in 2004 and have had a winning season every year since 2003 including a 10-2 year to go with the two undefeated seasons. The difference between these two schools is like night and day.
We are not in the habit of laying big numbers. With that in mind, we are going to pass this game. However, if we had to make a selection, we would lay the number with Utah. If you are leaning that way as well, you may as well bet it now as the line currently sits at -20.5. May as well pop it before it's -21 across the board, where you'll increase you're likelihood of a push. That half point is also a good reason you ought to have Skybook in your sportsbook portfolio. They give you a free half point on all your football wagers!!
Most of you probably won't see this game, as the two games on ESPN Thursday night will take center stage. But if you do see this game, take notes. Look for weaknesses on both squads and look for things that may help you further down the road this season. Watching a game that most won't see, you may very well be able to pick something up on one of these teams that others won't.
Good Luck if you bet it and Enjoy the game!