Pac 12 action here as the Arizona Wildcats will travel to take on the Utes. Both programs are coming off big wins, with Utah dominating Stanford for a season-defining road win, while Arizona came from behind to beat Cal. Kevin Sumlin’s squad started off 0-2, but has gone 3-1 over their last four to move to 3-3, while Utah sits at 3-2. The Pac 12 hasn’t gotten off to a great start as a whole, and this game will have major implications for how the second tier of the conference shakes out.
Arizona Gets Lucky Against Cal
Arizona is coming off a big win against Cal, but they were pretty lucky to escape with a win. They were out-gained by over 200 yards, but won because of a pair of Cal pick sixes. As you can see in the clip below, there was one play where Cal threw an interception, the Arizona defender fumbled, and it was then picked up and taken to the house by a different Arizona player. The Wildcats didn’t move the ball on offense most of the night, and almost certainly would’ve lost if it weren’t for a couple of mistakes by Cal’s quarterback.
— The Game Haus Sports (@TGHSports) October 7, 2018
The most important thing to monitor here is the health of Khalil Tate. Tate is clearly playing at well less than 100%, and even had to be subbed out of the game at one point. He was visibly hobbled most of the night, and it’s greatly reduced his effectiveness as a runner. Utah won this matchup last year and Utah will certainly be looking for revenge, but it will be a tough task without a fully healthy Tate.
Utah Gets Biggest Win Of The Season
Utah didn’t just beat the 14th ranked team in the nation, they beat the breaks off them, winning 40-21. They led 24-7 at halftime and the victory was never in doubt. Junior quarterback Tyler Huntley played an incredibly clean game, completing 17 of 21 passes while averaging almost 10 yards per attempt. Utah is currently sitting in the ‘others receiving votes’ section of the polls, and a win here could launch them into the top 25.
Utah is a run first team, with almost as many rushing yards as passing yards on the season. They’ll undoubtedly try to establish the run here, and they should have some success. Arizona is ranked 106th in the nation in rushing defense, giving up over 200 yards per game on the ground. Cal moved the ball relatively effortlessly between the 20’s against Arizona last week, and Utah should have plenty of success offensively. The Wildcats’ porous rush defense combined with Tate’s injury and the strong Utah home crowd have me thinking this could be a lopsided game.
- 3-13 ATS in their last 16 road games
- 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS win
- 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games on fieldturf
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game
- 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Arizona has strung together a few wins recently, but they haven’t looked particularly good. They had to insert a true freshman at quarterback for a while against Cal, and there’s a very good chance that will happen again here. Arizona has been unable to stop what Utah’s offense wants to do, and an immobile Tate won’t be able to do much against an underrated Utes defense. 14 points is a lot, but I think Utah will have no problem winning by multiple touchdowns.
Prediction: Utah -14
Full-Game Total Pick
Utah should have some success on the ground which should burn a lot of clock. Utah isn’t the type to play super fast, and this could be relatively slow-paced. Arizona is used to having a fast-paced high flying offense, but that hasn’t been the case since Tate has been hurt. I think this game will be significantly lower scoring than oddsmakers seem to think, and I like the under a lot here.