Time: 5 p.m. ET
Venue: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
Where to watch: ESPN
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Utah -2; Utah -125, Penn State +105; O/U 52.5
FanDuel: Utah -2.5; Utah -130, Penn State +108; O/U 52.5
BetMGM: Utah -2.5; Utah -135, Penn State +110; O/U 52.5
Caesars: Utah -2; Utah -130, Penn State +110; O/U 52.5
No. 11 Penn State: 10-2
No. 8 Utah: 10-3
Bowl season is here! There are 42 games that are going to be determining how this season ends. We appreciate you for hanging with us during this college football season, and you know it’s not over yet. We’re going to keep on rolling and giving your our best picks over the course of the next month. All the way up until the College Football Playoff, which is going to have some incredible games. Do you have the right idea when you head to the books for these important games? Our champion handicappers surely have you covered. Will Rogers is running an impressive 24-11-0 in the last month. Al McMordie has also been cashing in heavily with a 40-29-1 mark in college football over the last 30 days. Our guys here have you ready to go for what should be an exciting week. Be tuned to bigal.com for everything!
Penn State - Utah preview, analysis and prediction
Last year, they came up short period in perhaps the most epic game they could have ever played in, they came up just a few points short. This time, destiny is written in the stars for the Utah Utes. And there is no other reason why they should not win the Rose bowl and finally take their place as the top team in the PAC 12. And this is a no disrespect to their opponent, the Penn State Nittany Lions, but when I look at a team and I see how well they played defensively all year long and have gotten timely play from their quarterback to the point where no matter what side of the ball they're playing on, they are playing at full cylinders, why wouldn't you pick Utah?
Sure, you look at Penn State and see that they've won four straight games, each one of them favored by double digits, and they covered in each one of them. Penn State is on A roll. You didn't think they would be able to get on this roll after losing to both Michigan and Ohio State in the span of three weeks, but they have been able to take care of the opponents in front of them. But that is where my problems with Penn State lie. They are beating the teams that are in front of them and are beating the teams that they should be beating.
Utah, on the other hand has been winning games against all comers. The only two losses that they have on their record are at Oregon and at UCLA. But those two teams were not considered the best of the PAC 12. The best of that conference was USC all year long period with the Heisman Trophy winner of the quarterback, with one of the best receivers in college football on that team as a transfer, everything pointed to USC being the team of this conference this year. Utah just goes ahead and beats them twice, once at home and then another time in Las Vegas by the tune of 23 points and they were even underdogs by 2.5.
If we have not given our respect to Utah quarterback Cameron rising then we really need to do that right now. Rising through for 310 yards and three touchdowns in the PAC 12 championship game against USC back in the beginning of December. The running game accounted for more than 200 yards and Utah put on a defensive clinic against the high octane USC offense. Even in a game where Caleb Williams threw for three touchdowns and 363 yards, Utah was flat out better than USC.
Utah has the all around better defense that is capable of stopping the Penn State offense. That is going to be the key in this matchup. Utah has a top 20 defense going against a pedestrian passing game and an OK running game of Penn State. The Penn State defense is going to be an incredible matchup for Utah with the top 20 Penn State defense going up against the electric Utah offense. This is going to be a tremendous game and this is the one that you should be tuning into on January 2nd.
Utah is laying two points in this game and I think that that is a fair number. I just don't think that Penn State has the offense against a stout defense like Utah to make this game competitive. Utah has found ways to get their offense going no matter who the opponent is numerous times again. This time, I do believe Utah finds a way to get it done and finally win the Rose Bowl. Utah 37, Penn State 30
Utah is 36-17 ATS when playing with 2 weeks of rest since 1992.
Utah is 36-20 ATS after allowing 100 rushing yards or less in the last game since 1992.
Utah is 11-2 ATS after outrushing opponents by 150 yards or more in 2 straight games since 1992.
Penn State is 17-35 ATS on the road after allowing 3 points or less in the first half of its last game since 1992.
Passing: Sean Clifford – 2,543 yards, 22 TD, 7 INT
Rushing: Nick Singleton – 941 yards, 10 TD
Receiving: Parker Washington – 611 yards, 2 TD
Passing: Cameron Rising – 2,939 yards, 25 TD, 7 INT
Rushing: Tavion Thomas – 687 yards, 7 TD
Receiving: Dalton Kincaid – 890 yards, 8 TD
Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert football picks today. And if you enjoyed this Penn State - Utah prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily college football projections and previews.