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The Utah Utes (10-3 SU, 6-7 ATS) are 8-12 SU and 14-5-1 ATS in their last 20 games as an underdog. The Utes hope to continue the trend of being a feisty underdog when they take on the Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2, 6-5-1) in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.

Rose Bowl: Utah vs Ohio State
  • Date/Time: January 1, 5 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Rose Bowl
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: Ohio State -9.5 | O/U 52 (Line History)
  • Utah vs Ohio State Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Buckeyes opened as 9.5-point favorites in the Rose Bowl, but action on the Utes has driven the line down to Ohio State -6.5. The total is set at 66 points after opening at 65.5 points. The OVER is 11-5 in Utah’s last 16 games.

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Utah News & Notes

Utah rolled to a 38-10 win over the Oregon Ducks in the Pac-12 championship game just two weeks after ending the Ducks’ bid at a spot in the College Football Playoff with a 38-7 win against Oregon. The Utes ended their regular season on a 6-0 SU and 4-2 ATS run, averaging 39.7 points per game over that stretch and winning those six games by an average of 24.7 points. 

The Pac-12 champions enter the Rose Bowl ranked 13th in the nation in total defense, allowing 317.8 total yards per game, and 24th in scoring defense, allowing 20.6 points per game.

Tavion Thomas led the team’s rushing attack with 1,041 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns in 2021 while Cameron Rising had 2,279 passing yards with 18 touchdown passes and only five interceptions.

Ohio State News & Notes

Ohio State entered its regular-season finale against the Michigan Wolverines with a 9-0 SU and 6-3 ATS record as well as control of its own destiny in earning a spot in the College Football Playoff. Despite a strong performance from C.J. Stroud in which the Heisman Trophy finalist went 34-for-49 with 394 passing yards and two passing touchdowns, the Buckeyes fell short in a 42-27 road loss to the Wolverines as 6.5-point favorites.

Stroud has been one of the best quarterbacks in the nation this season, compiling 3,862 passing yards and 38 passing touchdowns with five interceptions in 11 games. The Buckeyes offense ranks best in the nation in both total yards per game (551.1) and points per game (45.5).

How Utah Will Cover

Lack of motivation could be a factor for the Buckeyes after coming so close to a College Football playoff berth and missing out. Utah’s strong defense and balanced offense are good enough to make this a competitive game regardless, but an outright upset could be in the cards if Ohio State doesn’t bring its A-game.

How Ohio State Will Cover

Utah is a rock-solid team on both sides of the ball, but no one on the Utes has the game-breaking talent of C.J. Stroud. If Stroud plays to his potential in the Rose Bowl, he could break the game open and lead the Buckeyes to a convincing win and cover.

Computer Pick: Ohio State -6.5

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For more college football predictions, visit our NCAAF Computer Picks page.

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Shark Bites
  • Utah is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games.
  • OSU is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games vs the Pac-12.
  • The OVER is 12-6 in OSU’s last 18 games.