Utah vs. Oregon Prediction, Pick Against the Spread, and Latest Odds

Utah vs. Oregon prediction and pick for Friday's Pac-12 championship game. The Pac-12 kicks off Championship Weekend on Friday. Who comes out on top? Mike Spector breaks down the game and gives his pick
Mike Spector |
Mon, November 29, 8:49 AM EST | 4 min read
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Utah vs. Oregon Prediction, Pick Against the Spread, and Latest Odds

Utah Utes vs. Oregon Ducks

Spread: Utah -2.5

Total: 59.5

Game time: Friday, 8 p.m. ET

Where to watch: ABC

Utah vs. Oregon odds

Utah vs. Oregon Prediction

This year’s Pac-12 Championship Game is a rematch from 2019 in which the Oregon Ducks beat the Utah Utes 37-15. Oregon aims for their third consecutive Pac-12 championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl, while Utah is searching for their first-ever conference championship in the 11-year history of the newly aligned conference. This is Utah’s third championship game appearance in the last four years. Is this the year they get over the hump, or will Oregon once again prove why they have been the class of the conference the last three years?

Oregon needed a win over rival Oregon State last week to secure their spot in this week’s conference championship game. They raced out to a 24-3 halftime lead, but things got dicey in the second half, and sealing the victory was not as easy as head coach Mario Cristobal would have liked it to be. The Beavers did precisely what a team playing spoiler typically would do, resorting to trick plays and onside kicks to claw back into it. However, the Ducks have to be happy with their overall balanced offensive performance, as they threw for 275 yards and ran for 231 more. Ducks quarterback Anthony Brown’s 82.1% completion percentage was his highest of the season, and his 275 yards were the most since a win on October 30 against Colorado.

While Oregon needed a win last week to secure their title game berth, Utah already had theirs locked up heading into last week’s game against Colorado. That part showed in Utah’s uninspiring 28-13 win, though they did have two running backs with more than 100 yards on the ground. Tavion Thomas ran for 142 yards, TD Pledger added 103, and the Utes outgained the Buffaloes 444-148. Utah’s 8-1 conference record was their best since the Pac-12 expanded to 12 teams in 2011.

This week’s Oregon-Utah class is a rematch of a game the Utes dominated in Salt Lake City two weeks ago. Just like last week’s win against Colorado, Utah dominated the line of scrimmage in their 38-7 win against the Ducks, holding the explosive Oregon rushing attack to just 63 yards on the ground and 2.7 yards per carry. Conversely, the Utes ran for 208 yards and 4.2 yards per carry, which helped them win the time of possession battle by close to 11 minutes.

While that game was never in doubt two weeks ago, Oregon certainly did not help themselves with all their special teams blunders. The Ducks missed two field goals (one was blocked), and Utah had a 78-yard punt return for a touchdown as time expired in the first half. That helped the Utes build a 28-0 halftime lead, and the second half was a mere formality after that.

It is hard to envision a different outcome in a game that was as one-sided as the first meeting between these teams. How will Oregon’s squad all of a sudden compete better in the trenches and move the ball offensively against a Utah defense that has allowed less than 170 total yards twice in the last four weeks? Cleaning up shoddy special teams play and playing the same opponent twice in three weeks will help keep the game close. But the motivation level is clearly with Utah, as this would be head coach Kyle Whittingham’s biggest win of his career and one of the biggest in school history.

Utah has the second-best rush defense and scoring defense in the country, which will be the difference in this rematch. Look for Oregon to employ a more aggressive offensive game plan and throw the ball more than usual, knowing they cannot consistently win the battle in the trenches. However, chucking the ball all over the yard is not Anthony Brown’s forte, and he is most effective when he has a complementary running attack, which he will not have in this game.

Utah is 4-1 ATS against teams with a winning record, and is 16-7 ATS in their last 23 conference games. Look for the Utes to secure their first-ever Pac-12 championship title this week.

Utah vs. Oregon Pick

Mike Spector
@MikeSpector01

Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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