This Saturday the Washington State Cougars (3-1) will host the Utah Utes (2-1). Kickoff is set for 6:00 EST at Martin Stadium and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
Taking a look at the Week 5 college football odds, the books opened the Cougars as a 2-point home favorite, but the line has flip-flopped and it’s the Utes who are currently a 2.5-point road favorite. The total for this matchup is sitting at 50.5 points.
Washington State vs Utah Game Betting Preview & Vegas Odds
The Utes will be returning to action after an early season bye. Utah had started out 2-0 before losing 21-7 at home to Washington in Week 3 as a 4-point dog. The Utes defense did their part in the showdown with the Huskies, limiting Washington’s offense to just 327 total yards.
The Cougars enter off a crushing 39-36 loss at USC last Friday, where they let a 13-point 2nd half lead slip away. Washington State did cover as 4.5-points dogs and are now a perfect 4-0 ATS to start out 2018.
Washington State has won each of the last 3 meetings in the series, though this will be just the second meeting in the last 4 seasons. Last year the No. 19 ranked Cougars went on the road and beat the Utes 33-25 as a 1-point road favorite.
Free NCAA Football Pick Against the Spread: Utah -2.5
I would have to lean towards laying the 2.5-points with Utah in this one. I think this is the perfect spot to jump on the Utes for a lot of reasons. The biggest being that Utah is coming off a bye. The Utes have gone an impressive 20-6 SU and 17-8-1 ATS when coming off a bye under head coach Kyle Whittingham.
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Not only has Utah been great when they get an extra week to prepare for their opponent, but they have been great in the role of the road dog. The Utes are 10-2 ATS over the last 4 seasons as a road underdog. They are also 17-4 in their last 21 road games against a team with a winning home record.
On top of all that, I think this is an ideal bounce back spot for Utah off that loss to Washington and no question this team is going to be out for revenge from last year’s loss at home to the Cougars. As for Washington State, I think they will have a tough time here rebounding from that crushing loss to USC last week. I also don’t think this Cougars team is as good as their 3-1 record would lead you to believe.
I know the offense has looked great to this point, but things are about to get a heck of a lot harder for the Cougars against what I think is an elite Utah defense. The Utes have allowed just 4 touchdowns in 3 games and two of those came with the opposing team getting the ball on their side of the field.
Washington State’s offense is once again a one-dimensional passing attack and that plays right into the strength of this Utah defense. The Utes are No. 1 in the country against the pass, giving up just 93.0 yards/game. Sure that’s aided a bit by their schedule, but they held Washington’s Jake Browning to just 155 yards.
I know Utah’s offense hasn’t exactly been lighting up the scoreboard, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that they have played a really good defense in Northern Illinois and an elite defense in Washington. I think this will be a breakout game for the Utes offensively, as I’m just not all that impressed with Washington State’s defense. I just don’t think it’s asking a lot for Utah to win here by a field goal and I wouldn’t be shocked at all if this turned into a blowout. Give me the Utes -2.5.