Utah Utes (10-3) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2)
January 1, 2022 5:00 pm EDT
The Line: Ohio State Buckeyes -6.5 ; Over/Under: 65.5
(Click here for latest betting odds)
The Ohio State Buckeyes and Utah Utes clash Saturday afternoon in the college football Rose Bowl from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Utah is 10-3 on the season overall. The Utes managed a win over Oregon in their last game. As for Ohio State, they’re sitting at 10-2 and coming off a loss to Michigan. Check back all season long for free college football picks at Sports Chat Place.
Utah began the year at 1-2 with losses to BYU and San Diego State. The Utes went on a three-game win streak before losing another one to Oregon State. Since then it’s been wins over UCLA, Stanford, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado and Oregon again.
Utah bagged their first Pac-12 Championship against Oregon back on December 3. The Utes scored in every quarter on the way to a dominant 38-10 victory. QB Cameron Rising had 170 yards with a TD and two picks. Tavion Thomas led the rush on 63 yards and two scores.
Over on the Ohio State side, they had an early loss to Oregon in game two but otherwise took wins over Minnesota, Tulsa, Akron, Rutgers, Maryland, Indiana, Penn State, Nebraska, Purdue and Michigan State in their first 11 games. The Buckeyes would then fall to Michigan in game 12.
Back on November 27 against the Wolverines, Ohio State was down 14-13 at the break. The Buckeyes gave up 28 points in the second half on the way to a disappointing 42-27 loss. QB CJ Stroud managed 394 yards with two scores, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba put up 11 catches for 127 yards.
The Utes are 5-1 ATS versus a team with a winning record and 6-2 ATS in their last eight versus the Big Ten. Utah is 47-22-2 ATS in their last 71 as an underdog and 1-4 ATS in their last five neutral-site games.
Meanwhile, the Buckeyes are 5-1 ATS in their last six in January and 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 versus the Pac-12. Ohio State is 6-2 ATS in their last eight bowl games and 1-4 ATS in their last five neutral-site games.
PICK: I’m probably sticking with Ohio State here. The Buckeyes were overwhelmed in the second half of their last game, ultimately giving up 487 total yards (297 rush yards) to a fired-up Michigan squad. Statistically Ohio State didn’t play horribly in that one, but couldn’t run the ball (64 yards) and had 10 penalties which didn’t help.
As for the Utes, they get a ton of credit for a great effort against Oregon their last time out. Utah has hit 28 or more points in each of their last nine games, so I expect them to put some points on the board here. If it turns into a shootout (which it probably will) I like Ohio State a little better on the cover. Should be yet another great bowl game matchup.