Stanford vs Utah Betting Odds & Picks: Expect Utes to Run Wild
Chris Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: Cam Rising #7 of the Utah Utes.
- Stanford travels to Utah and is looking to pull off a stunning upset.
- Could the Utes get caught looking ahead to a matchup against Oregon next week?
- Dan Keegan previews the game and shares his best bet below.
Stanford vs Utah Odds
This has been a dreadful season for Stanford — well, other than that win over Notre Dame, which looks more surprising with each passing week.
The Cardinal are 3-6 (1-6 in conference) and have one of the worst defenses in the country. The offense has adopted the Wake Forest “slow mesh” to poor results and now there is internal strife as students, the band, the mascot and the administration are all bickering about who hates fun more.
I’ll tell what you Stanford really hates: stopping the run.
Utah’s playoff hopes are dashed, but this is still an excellent outfit powered by a fantastic offense, although the defense isn’t as physical as some recent Utes teams.
The line is enormous. Utah is a 24-point favorite against a Stanford team that is just playing out the string. Should you lay the points, or is there a better way to approach this game?
It is, without a doubt, been a nightmare season for David Shaw. There have been honest questions about his job security, and this is a man who has been statue-level good for that program.
The offense has regressed significantly. The Wake Forest “slow mesh” RPOs have been a nightmare.
It worked for Dave Clawson’s Demon Deacons because of good pass blocking and playmakers at the skill positions. This year, Wake Forest ranks 54th in PFF pass-blocking grades — and this is a down year for their offense. Last year, at its peak, Wake Forest ranked 12th in that metric.
Stanford is 100th in PFF pass blocking this season. Having the quarterback and running back stand still together and share a football while pass rushers crumble the pocket is not a recipe for much success.
Quarterback Tanner McKee is still a solid pro prospect, but his numbers have regressed this season. His completion percentage, yards per attempt, passer rating and big time throw rate have all ticked down a notch in 2022.
Stanford’s offense is 100th/EPA pass and 98th/EPA rush. And this is not their worst unit.
The defense has absolutely cratered. Stanford is 93rd in defensive SP+, one of the worst figures in the Power Five. The pass defense might be okay, maybe middle of the pack for FBS, but it’s hard to tell because the rush defense is one of the worst in the country.
In the past two games, Stanford surrendered 306 yards on the ground to Washington State and 324 to UCLA. Opponents can rush the ball efficiently (122nd in Success Rate), or for big gains (115th in preventing explosive rushes) against the defense.
Kyle Whittingham is a smart football coach and has a good rushing attack. His Utes will run the ball at will against Stanford.
Utah entered the season with dreams of crashing the College Football Playoff, but those hopes went up in smoke with a close loss to Florida and then in a shootout loss to UCLA.
However, this is still an excellent team. The Utes handed USC their only loss of the season and still have a chance to win the Pac-12 championship. Utah is 14th in offensive SP+ and 33rd in defensive SP+.
The defense struggles with big plays ad ranks 108th in explosives allowed. They don’t have a great pass rush, but they do create Havoc, ranking 22nd in that metric. This is a good defense, but hardly a shutdown one, and not one of the bruising units of recent years.
The offense is excellent this year. They are well-balanced, ranking 20th in EPA/pass and 25th in EPA/rush. They capitalize on their opportunities, ranking 23rd in Parker Fleming’s points per ECKEL metric. They also protect the ball, ranking fourth in Havoc prevention.
We detailed Stanford’s inability to stop the run. Utah isn’t great at creating chunk yardage on the ground — only 87th in the country in explosive rushes — but it is consistent and relentless, ranking 10th in Success Rate on rushing plays.
Utah has four backs that all get a fair amount of carries, and the Utes can run against Stanford without needing to involve quarterback Cam Rising in the run game.
Stanford vs Utah Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Stanford and Utah match up statistically:
Stanford Offense vs. Utah Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)
Utah Offense vs. Stanford Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams
|Seconds per Play
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Stanford vs Utah Betting Pick
Utah will be able to move the ball and score at will.
The Utes are averaging 41.3 points per game at home against FBS opponents. Even if they only call running plays in the second half, they will still move the ball repeatedly on Stanford’s porous front seven.
Tanner McKee is a good quarterback. Maybe he can exploit Utah’s big play weakness, or sneak the Cardinal in through the backdoor — especially if the Utes are looking ahead to a date in Eugene next week.
I won’t take my chances with such a big line. I trust Utah’s offense to score plenty in this game and will take Utah team total over.