Bowl season is just over a week away from kicking off, and lines are starting to roll out from Vegas. Our friends over at SBNation’s college football home page put together all of the lines and the over/under for each game. The point spreads here are from the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, via Odds Shark. Also included are the early over/under totals for each game.
The line all of the Utah fans are going to care about is, of course, for the Heart of Dallas Bowl against WVU. The Utes have opened up as 4.5-point favorites over WVU, with the o/u set at 54. My first response on this line is that it feels about right. WVU starting QB, Will Grier, will likely miss the game with a nasty finger injury, so the Mountaineers will be turning to the backup Chris Chugunov. Chugunov has 407 yards on the season, with 326 of them coming against Texas and Oklahoma in the final two games of the season. He did not run the ball at all, but he also didn’t throw any picks, so I’d expect WVU to be rather conservative with him. Having almost a month to prepare for the Utes should help, however. In that same timeframe, fans, coaches and players for the Utes are hoping that Utah’s mash unit of a defense will be ready to counter anything WVU throws out there.
Utah will be facing the 104th ranked rush defense in WVU, and with the run game starting to really get rolling with Zack Moss, Devonta’e Henry-Cole, Troy McCormick, and a hopefully healthy Tyler Huntley, Utah should really be able to control the line of scrimmage here and the time of possession. So the 54 o/u also feels about right. I don’t see this being a shoot out, but I do see Utah trying to be rather methodical on offense.
It will be interesting to see how this line changes as we get closer to the game.