Pac-12 South division teams will do battle at 8:00 p.m. ET when the Oregon State Beavers (2-3) host the #15 Utah Utes (4-1) at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon.
The nationally ranked Utes opened as 14 point favorites, but that number has dropped to either 13 or 13-½ at most sportsbooks. The total opened at 61 and has steadily dropped to 59. It could continue to drop further.
Utes playing at high level
Utah has been dominant through five games with their only slip up being a 30-23 loss on the road against USC. They thrashed in-state rival BYU 30-12 to start the season before cruising to a 35-17 win against NIU and then a 31-0 victory over Idaho State. Last week, they dispatched Washington State 38-13.
The Utes are 43rd in the nation in total offense and 14th overall in total defense. They are tied for 10th in the country with seven interceptions and are one of four defensive units in the country with multiple TDs (2).
The loss to USC means Utah is behind the eight ball in terms of winning the Pac-12 South crown and will have to be flawless the rest of the year to make the Pac-12 Title Game.
Oregon State a hard luck team
The Beavers have lost two games by a combined six points. The first game, a 31-28 loss at Hawaii, came after leading by a TD at halftime. The offense went to sleep in the second half, scoring zero points, and cost them the game.
The other loss, 31-28 to a resurgent Stanford team, was the opposite of the Hawaii game. Oregon State was despondent for the first two quarters of the game, before making a late game rush that saw them come up just short.
Oregon State has been strong on the offensive side of the ball. They rank 25th overall in PPG at 37. Defense hasn’t been so kind though. They’re 97th best at 30.7 PPG.
There have been flashes of brilliance on both sides of the ball, but so far they have yet to produce a complete game. They can definitely surprise bettors and cover the spread if they limit mistakes and play four complete quarters.
Jake Luton keys the Oregon State offense
Senior signal caller Jake Luton looked like Drew Brees last week against UCLA, a team that tends to make players look better than they are. Luton completed 18 of 26 passes for 285 yards and a whopping FIVE touchdowns. He brings a 14 TD and 0 INT spread into this game. Luton is an experienced player that makes very few mistakes which will go a long way.
Tyler Huntley leads Utah attack
Senior QB Tyler Huntley for the Utah Utes is similar to Luton for Oregon State in that he hasn’t thrown an interception this year. He is efficient and experienced. His coaches are trusting him to pass more as his attempts have risen from 16, 19 and 19 in the first three games to 30 in the past two. He can make the long passes as proven by 54 and 82 yard completions this year.
Our Pick – Oregon State +14.5