The Utah defense has been impenetrable in recent weeks – and now, the Utes boast an offense that should allow it to atone for last year’s humbling loss to Washington as the Pac-12 rivals duel Saturday at hostile Husky Stadium. The Utes have outscored their last four opponents by a combined 123 points in preparation for this weekend’s rematch.
Sportsbook Odds Analysis
The Utes opened as ever-so-slight road favorites, marking the first time in the past six meetings that Utah is favored. The Utes have failed to cover in back-to-back games vs Washington following a three-game cover streak in the head-to-head series.
Utah News & Notes
Defensively, the Utes are as good as any team in the nation. They come in ranked first in the country in rushing defense (56.6 yards per game allowed), third in total defense (231.2 ypg against) and fourth in scoring defense (10.2 ppg). And they’ve ratcheted things up over the past month, limiting Washington State, Oregon State, Arizona State and Cal to a combined 23 points.
But while people expected Utah to bring the defensive intensity, it’s been the team’s offensive showing that is turning heads – and making believers out of the betting public. The Utes have averaged 36.5 points over the course of their four-game winning streak, covering all four while moving into the top 40 in the country in scoring offense (33.1 ppg).
Washington News & Notes
The Huskies are still stinging over last weekend’s 35-31 home loss to the Oregon Ducks, a game Washington led 28-14 early in the third quarter. The hosts went just 3-for-13 on third down in the defeat – and that has been the story of the season for the Huskies, who come into Week 10 ranked 106th in the country in third-down success rate (35.4 percent).
Washington used a stout defensive effort to subdue Utah 10-3 in last year’s meeting, but with the Utes looking infinitely more dangerous on offense, the Huskies will need to produce more points. That puts the focus on running back Salvon Ahmed, who had 140 rushing yards and a TD vs Oregon – only one running back has rushed for more than 51 yards in a game against Utah this season.
Betting Pick: Utah ATS
Defense wins championships, as they say – and while there’s no title on the line here, it’s hard to go against a Utes team playing some of the best D in the country.