Utah (-6.5) at Oregon
It’s championship season in College Football and we’ve got a lot on the line in tonight’s PAC-12 Title Game between Utah and Oregon. Utah can sneak into the College Football Playoff with a win this evening (and a little help). Oregon? They’d need a miracle to get in, but they’d still like to end Quarterback Justin Herbert’s career with a PAC-12 trophy.
These have been the two best teams in the conference all year, and Utah in particular has dominated. They’ve out-gained every opponent they’ve played this year (including USC in their only loss, a wild game in Pasadena with a ton of wonky big plays) and they’re 8-0 ATS in their last eight games.
Oregon was in the driver’s seat for a playoff spot before being upset by Arizona State two weeks ago. Now? This becomes their Super Bowl. They’ve been out-gained in three straight games. Will they get up for this one knowing Herbert has a foot out the door prepping for Sundays next season and they’ll likely be in a meaningless bowl game?
These two teams last met a year ago, with Utah prevailing 32-25. Utah was (-4) in that game. They covered then, and we expect them to cover tonight behind their defense. Utah’s formidable defensive unit ranks first in the conference in total defense, scoring defense, third down defense, and has allowed the fewest explosive plays in the conference as well. This is by far the best defense Justin Herbert and Oregon have faced all year, and we expect the senior quarterback to turn it over a time or two.
On offense, look for Utah to control the clock with a dominant rushing attack. They rank number one in the conference and number 25 in the country in rushing. By controlling the clock and turning Herbert over, SII predicts Utah will take the crowd out of the game early and win comfortably.
THE PICK: UTAH (-6.5) wins and waits for help to sneak into the playoff, 31-17.