Utah Utes vs Stanford Cardinal Prediction & Game Preview - 11/04/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 10:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Stanford Stadium, Stanford, CA
Where to watch: FS1

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Utah -7; O/U 52
BetMGM: Utah -7; O/U 52.5
Caesars: Utah -7; O/U 52

Season record
Utah: 5-3 (4-1 Pac-12)
Stanford: 3-5 (2-4 Pac-12)

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Utah - Stanford preview and analysis


Last week
Utah: won 44-24 vs. UCLA
Stanford: lost 20-13 vs. Washington

The Utah Utes are in cruise control to find their way to the Pac-12 championship game.

For the moment, the Utes have a two-game lead over the Arizona State Sun Devils in the Pac-12 South Division and are a couple of wins from cementing their spot for a chance at the Rose Bowl.

Utah will look to keep this storybook run going when they face the Stanford Cardinal on the road on Friday in hopes of further distancing themselves from the rest of the pac(k).

The Utes are coming off a 20-point victory over the UCLA Bruins, the result of a huge rebound after losing to the Oregon State Beavers the week prior. Cam Rising threw for 179 yards and a touchdown, while Tavion Thomas ran roughshod on the UCLA defense with 160 yards and four touchdowns.

"My O-line was moving that thing. It made it easy for me the way they were working together," Thomas said.

The Utah offense totaled 469 yards of offense and 297 of them came on the ground. Rising added a rushing touchdown on 63 yards on six carries, while TJ Pledger added 61 yards on eight carries. Utah averaged 6.6 yards per carry.

That was against a Bruins run D that came in averaging 94.9 yards on the ground.

"They led the league and we got 297," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. "Tavion was outstanding. He's really turned into a workhorse for us."

One thing that helped Utah was UCLA didn’t have star quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson due to a hand injury. Ethan Garbers played well in relief throwing for 265 yards and two touchdowns, but also an interception. Utah held the UCLA running game to just 4.2 yards per carry on Saturday.

"We got a group of dogs and they just don't stop going. They just keep that gas pedal tilted down and just go. It's really fun and I'm happy to be a part of it," Rising said.

The Utes have a prime opportunity in front of them this week with a struggling Stanford team awaiting them. Ever since their upset victory over No. 3 Oregon almost a month ago, the Cardinal have lost three straight to ASU, Washington State Cougars, and a touchdown loss to the Washington Huskies.

Stanford was held to 265 total yards against Washington, a program that has been underwhelming for lack of a better term. It took a last-second touchdown for the Huskies to win, but it’s still be a rough run for Stanford.

"Not the way we wanted to come out after the bye," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "Honestly (we) played defense good the entire game but once again it comes down to two minutes and we couldn't get the stop to end the game. That's how you lose."

Prediction


This matchup isn’t in Salt Lake City, but the Utes are riding a high right now that’s hard for any team to combat. Time is ticking down for the Cardinal now that October is over, but I don’t see how Stanford can stop that Utah running game and live to tell the tale. Utah by 17

Betting trends


Utah is 14-4 ATS in its last 18 following a conference game.

Utah is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 off a conference win by 10 points or more.

Stanford is 0-7 ATS in its last seven November games.

Statistical leaders


Utah:
Passing: Cameron Rising -- 1,318 yards, 12 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Tavion Thomas -- 565 yards, 10 TD
Receiving: Dalton Kincaid -- 312 yards, 4 TD
Defense: Devin Lloyd -- 72 tackles, 2 INT

Stanford:
Passing: Tanner McKee -- 1,916 yards, 14 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: Nathaniel Peat -- 346 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Elijah Higgins -- 449 yards, 4 TD
Defense: Levani Damuni -- 62 tackles

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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