It’s been an impressive three seasons for Utah football, racking up 28 wins and being ranked in every College Football Playoff poll since its inception. Utah is turning over a lot of talent going into the 2017 season, including almost all of the offensive line, a super productive running back, the team’s best wide out, and a completely rebuilt secondary. Due to all that, Vegas sees Utah, specifically the Bovada, winning 6.5 this upcoming season. After seasons of 9, 10 and 9 wins, will Utah take a step back?
Here’s the schedule Utah is looking at:
San Jose State
That schedule includes seven games at home, with five coming on the road, so that’s a bonus, but that’s a tough schedule. It’s also interesting that there really isn’t a road or home stand, it’s virtually alternating games home and away all season, until UCLA and Wazzu.
Here’s how I would break down the schedule the Utes, and I’ll classify it right now as wins, losses, and toss up games.
Wins: North Dakota, San Jose, Arizona, Stanford, ASU, CU
Losses: USC, Washington
Toss up: BYU, Oregon, UCLA, Wazzu
With the wins, I have Utah at six, just shy of the 6.5. Of course, I’m not super sold on many of these, as I penciled them in, other than two of the non-conference games. I know some of these probably caught some attention and where I have them.
First of all, I think as of now, Stanford is a win. At RES, I like Utah against the Cardinal. They are a good matchup for the Utes, and the Utes have had their number, being 2-0 against them since joining the league. I think losing the Wildcaff hurts too.
In the toss up, I know BYU caught people’s attention. The way I see it, after six straight losses, and under Kalani, the Cougs are going to come out with everything they have in this game. And frankly, if they don’t beat Utah this year, when will they? Of course, I think Utah is the more talented team, and that should win out, but Kalani will have those boys fired up.
I really want to pick the Utes over UCLA and Washington State too, especially at home, but UCLA is always so talented, especially with Josh Rosen, and Wazzu is a nightmare to defend. You could throw out a potential result to me on both of these games, and I could totally buy it. Close wins or blow outs, either way.
Bottom line, I see Utah getting to six, and depending on how the unknowns develop, I could see Utah getting to eight or nine wins. I think Utah has a young talent, and if it gels, then they could pick up those swing games. If they don’t, and if the Troy Taylor offense doesn’t take off, getting to six could be tough. I probably fall somewhere in the middle, and I think Utah probably gets two of those toss up games and finish with eight wins, but I couldn’t be convinced to change that. I’ll revisit this as we get closer to camp and the season.
What are your thoughts? Are you taking the over or under on the Bovada line of 6.5 wins?