Oregon Ducks vs. Utah Utes Prediction ATS 12/3/21
Oregon Ducks (10-2 SU, 5-7 ATS) vs. Utah Utes (9-3 SU, 5-7 ATS)
When: Friday, December 3, 8 p.m.
Where: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas
Point Spread: ORE +2.5/UTAH -2.5 (BetOnline - A ROCK SOLID place to bet on games! Great bonuses! Awesome live betting! UNBELIEVABLY FAST bitcoin payouts! Under an hour!)
Total: O/U 60
How much have things changed in the past two weeks? We’ve already seen this game once before, in which the Utes completely exposed the Ducks with a 28-0 first half that left Oregon and the Pac-12 well outside the race for the College Football Playoff. But that game was played in Salt Lake City, where elevation can mess with a team’s physical nature and make it difficult to play its game.
This one will be in the Raiders’ dome in Las Vegas, taking both weather and elevation out of the equation completely. But if Utah is able to dominate the line of scrimmage the way it did the first time, the lack of the elements won’t really make much of a difference. In the first meeting, Utah did whatever it wanted on the ground and kept Oregon from getting anything going, winning the rushing battle 208 yards to 63.
Oregon can’t hope to get pounded at the line of scrimmage again and have any hope of winning this contest. But the Ducks can look to the past for three reasons to give themselves a reason to hope. First, we’ve seen this situation happen before in 2017 in the SEC title game when Georgia got drilled by Auburn in the regular season and then turned the tables in the SEC championship game. Second, Utah’s never won a Pac-12 title nor played in the Rose Bowl, having been in this game twice before in 2018 and 2019 and fallen short. Finally, when the Ducks get to the conference title game, they tend to produce their best showings. Oregon has played in the Pac-12 title game four times before, and the Ducks have never lost when they’ve made it here.
How the Public is Betting the Oregon/Utah Game
The public isn’t sure which side to back here, but the sharp money believes in the bounce-back. It’s caused the spread to tick down from +3 to +2.5, with 46 percent of tickets in on the Ducks. The total is unchanged.
Safety Steve Stephens (lower body) and tight end D.J. Johnson (undisclosed) are questionable. Wide receiver Jaylon Redd (undisclosed), wide receiver Johnny Johnson III (lower body), offensive lineman Ryan Walk (leg), offensive lineman Bram Walden (leg), safety Bennett Williams (leg), running back CJ Verdell (leg), defensive tackle Jaylen Smith (undisclosed), tight end Patrick Herbert (knee), running back Sean Dollars (knee), linebacker Jonathan Flowe (leg), linebacker Dru Mathis (knee), tight end Cam McCormick (leg) and safety JJ Greenfield (suspended) are out.
Offensive lineman Jaren Kump (leg), long snapper Keegan Markgraf (undisclosed), defensive tackle Viane Moala (undisclosed), cornerback Jatravis Broughton (undisclosed), and safety R.J. Hubert (Achilles) are out.
When Oregon Has the Ball
With no C.J. Verdell on the field, the running game has fallen to Travis Dye, who quite frankly needs a much bigger commitment to the run than what the Ducks provided in the first meeting with Utah. Dye rushed for 29 yards against Utah in Salt Lake City, but he did it on six carries. Oregon backs only carried the ball 14 times against Utah, suggesting that the Ducks might have done better against the stout Utah run defense had they actually challenged it.
Instead, the Ducks tried to pass their way through the situation and got nowhere. Anthony Brown failed to complete even half his passes against Utah, and the ones he did manage to complete ended up averaging a paltry 6.6 yards per attempt. That won’t get it done against a Utah defense whose strength is its ability to choke off opponent’s offenses and let them make a mistake as they get frustrated. Kris Hutson and Devon Williams are capable of hitting the big play, but outside of two catches against the Utes, neither did a lot in the first meeting. At least one receiver has to come up big here.
When Utah Has the Ball
Unlike Oregon, Utah committed to the run game in the first matchup, giving Tavion Thomas 21 carries and running the ball 50 times overall, compared to the 23 times total the Ducks ran the ball. Utah was able to punish Oregon’s front seven throughout the contest, in large part because the Utes both stuck with the run game and got the key special teams score that broke the game open. But even without the touchdown on Britain Covey’s punt return, Utah still outgained Oregon by nearly 100 yards and controlled the time of possession by 10 minutes.
What Utah did was the most simple yet effective thing in football: winning the battle at the line of scrimmage. The Utes have been strong on the ground all season long, and if they can physically dominate Oregon again, it’s hard to see them losing this one. But whether the Utes can manhandle the Ducks again remains to be seen, as they’ve played multiple physical games this season and now have to do the same thing again just two weeks after winning the first battle. That’s no easy task, especially against a hungry Oregon squad.
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Oregon tends to save its best for big games, covering in four of its past five games against a team above .500. But the one was Utah, and the Utes are also 4-1 in their past five against a team above .500. Utah’s biggest weakness, though, is at play here, as the Utes have failed to cover in their past four games played at a neutral site.
When these teams meet, high scores tend to be the result. The last meeting was actually low-scoring by this series’ standards, as the previous eight meetings had all gone well over 50 points. As a result, the over has cashed in seven of the teams’ past nine contests.
The roof will be closed, so the weather will play no part in this game.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
There’s a big difference between going into the Utah Rockies and facing the Utes in the Las Vegas desert, but I still don’t love the Ducks’ chances here. Utah physically dominated the first game, and I don’t think the Ducks believe they can compete on the offensive line with the Utes.
Oregon might have won this game as a decided underdog in 2019, but that was a different situation. In that game, the Ducks heard that they didn’t belong on the same field as Utah, but they hadn’t played each other that season. This time, they’re coming off a convincing loss just two weeks prior.
I don’t see them turning this around this quickly. Give me Utah. Question: When you bet on sides and totals, are you laying -110 odds or -105? If the answer is -110, you are unnecessarily OVERPAYING for your odds. Why pay ten cents for something when you can pay five cents? It doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up to a HUGE amount over time. Please, help yourself save money and help us stay in business by reading this article: How to Bet on Games at Reduced Odds. It’ll only take a few minutes and it’ll change the way you bet on games forever!