The odds are slim, but Utah has a chance to make the College Football Playoff and it would do itself well if it blew out Colorado in this matchup. The Utes were -28.5 point home favorites early in the week with an over/under of 49.
After Oregon surprisingly fell at Arizona State last week, it’s up to Utah to run the table and make the CFP. Even then, it’s not guaranteed, but the Utes at least have a chance.
They’re beating up weaker teams in the Pac-12, allowing seven points or less in five of their last six games. While the Buffaloes are on a winning streak, it’s hard to see them stealing this one.
They’ve taken down Stanford and Washington the last two weeks, but those came in altitude at home and against teams who have their own issues. Plus, the Buffs have failed to score more than 20 points in their last three and already managed just three points against the Ducks.
Utah may have the best defense in the conference, allowing 243.8 yards per game and 2.3 yards per carry. The Buffs have been decent running the ball this season, but that probably won’t work in this matchup.
They’re averaging 4.3 yards per carry as a team with Alex Fontenot leading the way with 825 yards and five touchdowns. If he can’t find room, quarterback Steven Montez will be in charge of getting the offense going, though it’s possible he’ll be under pressure the majority of the game.
Either way, his numbers are down across the board as a senior, averaging 7.0 yards per attempt for 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Top receiver Laviska Shenault is healthy, but that probably won’t be enough to surpass 10 points.
Colorado’s defense has looked better in recent games, yet that’s mostly because of opponent. It’s still giving up 4.4 yards per carry and more than 30 points per game. The Utes have had one of the more consistent and balanced offenses in the conference.
Quarterback Tyler Huntley is completing 75.0% of his passes on 11.2 yards per attempt, but the offense goes through Zack Moss, who is averaging 6.4 yards per carry for 1,158 yards and 14 touchdowns. With this game in Utah, there’s little reason to suggest Colorado’s defense will limit Huntley or Moss.
The Buffs have lost their last three road games by at least 17 points with two of those coming by more than 30. While the Utes could look ahead to the Pac-12 title game, it’s talent should shine through in this matchup, similar to previous years as Utah has won the last two by 23 and 21 points.
The under is 6-1 in Colorado’s last seven games on field turf, while Utah has covered its last four at home and last seven overall. The under has hit in the last four meetings between these schools and the underdog is 6-2 ATS in the last eight.
Our Pick – Under 49