Oregon State vs. Utah College Football Odds & Picks: Bet the Beavers to Cover
Alika Jenner/Getty Images. Pictured: Utah wide receiver Samson Nacua.
- Coming off a huge comeback win over Oregon, Oregon State goes for another upset on the road against Utah.
- The Utes will lean on freshman TY Jordan in the backfield to pace their offense against a poor Beavers rush defense.
- BJ Cunningham is taking Oregon State with the points in Salt Lake City and explains why.
Oregon State vs. Utah Odds
|Oregon State Odds||+11 [BET NOW]|
|Utah Odds||-11 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+325/-425 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||51.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
Oregon State looks to build off an upset win over its in-state rival when it travels to Salt Lake City to take on Utah on Saturday.
After dropping their first two games of the season, the Beavers have rebounded to get back to .500 with two impressive wins at home over California and Oregon. The Beavers are coming off their best season in almost five years.
An Oregon State victory Saturday would continue to lead the program in the right direction under third-year head coach Jonathan Smith.
As for the Utes, this season was always going to be a challenging one for the program. Utah brought back the least returning production of any team in college football, which has shown through its first two games.
The host, which dropped its two games to USC and Washington, needs a win to avoid going winless through its first three games.
Oregon State Beavers
It’s going to take a lot to replicate the offensive numbers Oregon State put up last season. Jake Luton led the Beavers to a top-40 ranking in both Passing and Rushing Success. So far through its first four games, the Oregon State offense is even better than 2019, coming in as the 11th-ranked team in terms of Offensive Success Rate, per College Football Data.
Quarterback Tristan Gebbia has taken the reins in place of Luton but has struggled in his first two starts, throwing for only 6.4 yards per attempt. The Beavers have a solid group of receivers, including redshirt senior Trevon Bradford, who already has 21 catches through their first four games.
However, Gebbia went down with an injury against Oregon and is out against Utah. Junior Jack Colletto will take Gebbia’s place on Saturday night, but he likely won’t be called on much.
The Beavers’ offense revolves around star running back Jermar Jefferson. Oregon State is the No. 2 team in the country in terms of Rushing Success, as Jefferson is rushing the ball for 7.4 yards per attempt and already has seven touchdowns on the season.
Utah’s defense has been stout versus the run through its first two games, but this will be the best rushing offense it has seen this year.
In 2019, Oregon State boasted one of the worst defenses in the Pac-12. The Beavers were in the bottom 30 of college football in Defensive Passing Success, Rushing Success and Havoc. However, the good news for Oregon State is it returns 82% of its defensive production from last season.
Things have slightly improved for the Beavers, but they are still struggling, ranking 109th in Defensive Success Rate, per College Football Data.
The defense is led by outside linebacker Hamilcar Rashed Jr., who broke the school record for sacks (14) and tackles for loss (22.5) last season. Oregon State also has every starter back in its linebacking contingent, which is poised for a breakout year.
The secondary could be the area in which Oregon State shows its biggest improvement. The Beavers have all four starters back, adding a couple of transfers to increase their depth. So far, they have seen some improvement, as they’re allowing only 7.3 yards per attempt, compared to 7.9 in last season.
The Utes will have to replace a lot of production, as 52% of last year’s offense is gone. South Carolina transfer Jake Bentley has taken over at quarterback but has struggled mightily through his first two games, throwing for only 6.2 yards per attempt and four interceptions.
In fact, Bentley failed to break the 200-yard passing mark in both games. He does have experience on the outside, with the tight end and slot receiver returning. However, the passing game will likely struggle with many new faces.
Utah also had to replace all of its production at the running-back position, with Zack Moss moving onto the NFL. So far, freshman running back Ty Jordan has impressed when taking over, rushing for 7.6 yards per attempt through his first two games. I’d expect Utah to lean on the run game Saturday night, given how Bentley has struggled and how bad Oregon State has been versus the run.
The defensive side of the ball is likely going to be the Achilles’ heel of the Utes’ this season. Utah returned an NCAA-low 27% of its production from last season, which includes nine starters.
The front seven has the most talent to replace the lost starters, which has shown through its first two games, as Utah has allowed just 3.2 yards per carry. That has led the Utes to ranking ninth in terms of Defensive Rushing Success. They’re also the No. 1 team in the country in explosive rushing allowed. However, they are going to face their toughest test of the season.
The secondary is going to be a major problem, as Kyle Whittingham had to replace all four starters. So far, they’ve been torched this season, ranking 115th in Defensive Passing Success and allowing 7.3 yards per attempt.
Luckily, Oregon State’s passing attack hasn’t been great by any means, so it might be off the hook.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Oregon State is firing on all cylinders right now after two impressive home wins. The Beavers’ rushing attack should be able to propel them in this game against an inexperienced Utes defense.
Additionally, if Jefferson keeps up his current pace, he could be receiving an invite to New York for the Heisman ceremony.
I only have Utah projected as a -5.82 home favorite, so I think there’s plenty of value on the Beavers at +11 on the number.
Pick: Oregon State +11 (down to +8).