College Football Preview: Utah Set for Rumble at Oregon State
In a bit of dark irony, the Pac-12 appears to be at its strongest point in the past 20 years. It is a shame the conference will essentially be dissolved by next season.
For a meeting between two of the more gritty Pac-12 football teams, Friday night offers what should be a physical battle in the Pacific Northwest between the No. 10 Utah Utes and No. 19 Oregon State Beavers.
The Beavs are coming off a loss against the No. 16 Washington State Cougars; can they rebound at home in Corvallis? On the other side, the Utes are fresh off a grinding win over the UCLA Bruins. Utah should expect a similar-style clash come Friday night.
With kickoff swiftly approaching, let's dive into the Utah-Oregon State odds, keeping an emphasis on the most valuable of the traditional betting markets.
All college football odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.
Utah at Oregon State Betting Odds: Spread, Moneyline and Total
Kickoff: Friday (Sept. 29), 9 p.m. EST on FS1
Spread: Oregon State -3.5 (-120)
- Utah: +152
- Oregon State: -184
Total: 44.5 (-112/-108)
Utah at Oregon State Matchup Analysis
The Beavers and Utes each play their own scrappy brand of football. A season ago, Oregon State boasted the best defense in the conference, holding opponents to just 20.0 points and 332.8 total yards per game. For Utah, they have won back-to-back Pac-12 football titles. At the moment, the Utes are also displaying defensive dominance, surrendering only 9.5 points per game in 2023.
Oregon State returns several defensive stars from 2022,such as Easton Mascarenas-Arnold, Sione Lolohea and Kitan Oladapo. The group had a rough time in Pullman last weekend, surrendering five touchdowns, but that was against prolific dual-threat quarterback Cam Ward. The Beavs will face a more stationary target in Week 5.
The offense in Corvallis has playmakers, as well. Transfer quaterback D.J. Uiagalelei has a big arm; he currently shows a 78.1 QBR (24th in FBS). After him, the skill group is filled out with quality athletes in Damien Martinez, Silas Bolden and Anthony Gould.
As with any visiting team that approaches Reser Stadium, the Utes will have an arduous task winning in Beaver territory. Starting in 2021, Oregon State has gone 13-1 at home. That same year (Utah would eventually win the conference), the Beavs defeated the Utes 42-34.
In 2023, Utah is still awaiting the return of quarterback Cameron Rising. The 2022 Pac-12 Championship MVP is still rehabbing through an ACL injury suffered in the most recent Rose Bowl. Since then, Nate Johnson has been the most consistent fill-in. Reports suggest the two are splitting reps in practice, but Rising has not been cleared for game action just yet.
It was mentioned that the Utes are currently flying around on defense, and that claim is absolutely valid. Through four contests in 2023, they are allowing a mere 51.0 rushing yards per game. That is the definition of stout. Juniors Jonah Elliss (8.0 TFL) and Cole Bishop (15 tackles, 1 INT) lead a fiery bunch from Salt Lake City.
Against the spread, Oregon State is split at 2-2 while Utah is 2-1-1. However, the Beavers' home advantage built under head coach (and star alum) Jonathan Smith is not to be disrespected. For me, laying a field goal with a hook on ORST feels like the better side, but transparently, I am more comfortable with the Beavers ML (-184).
With the total currently set at 44.5 (-112 to the over), I don't mind a play on the under. Considering Utah only scored 14 points in a narrow win versus UCLA last Saturday, their offense could continue to sputter in Corvallis. On numberFire's CFB game projections, Oregon State is estimated to win by a score of 22.82-21.18. That would give us a razor-thin margin toward the under.
The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.