The No. 8 Utah Utes take on the No. 11 Penn State Nittany Lions at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on Monday, January 2.
The Utes have been incredibly tough this season. They played spoiler at USC twice, most recently in the Pac-12 Conference title game. In that contest, Utah pounded the Trojans 47-24 and dashed their playoff hopes. The Utes have won back-to-back conference titles and match up well against their bowl game opponents.
The Nittany Lions had mixed results this season, in and out of high rankings and finishing 10-2. They only dropped games to ranked Michigan and Ohio State, two teams that made the College Football Playoff (CFP). Penn State earned a spot in the Rose Bowl with their tough play throughout the season.
Which of these tough contenders will come out on top in Pasadena?
Here’s everything you need from a betting perspective on the Utah vs. Penn State game, from the point spread, money line, Over/Under total and expert pick (the odds through Bet FOX).
Read RJ Young’s complete list of 2022-23 bowl game predictions and odds
No. 8 Utah vs. no. 11 Penn State (5 p.m. ET Monday, Jan. 2, ESPN)
Distribution of points: Utah -2.5 (Utah is favored to win by more than 2.5 points, otherwise Penn State covers)
Moneyline: Utah -138 favorite to win (bet $10 to win $17.25 total); Penn State +110 underdogs to win (bet $10 to win $21 total)
Total Over/Under Score: 52.5 points scored by the two teams together
Penn State Nittany Lions
Pick through the FOX Sports NFL Analyst Geoff Schwartz:
I would love to play a Pac-12 team in the Rose Bowl, but I can’t. Dalton Kincaid, Utah’s most impactful player, is not playing.
Kincaid is a potential first-round pick, and despite playing through injuries this year, he led all tight ends in the country in receptions and yards. Dalton was targeted 96 times for the Utes, which was 14 more targets than the Utes’ leading receiver. Without him in the lineup, this Utes offense will struggle to move the ball against a very good Penn State defense. Penn State’s defense ranks seventh in points per drive and 30th in explosive game pace. Utah’s offense has no explosive receiving options without Kincaid.
Utah’s defense is also missing an impact player, their top cornerback Clark Phillips. But the Utes should still be ready on defense. The Nittany Lions’ offense ranks 40th in points per drive, and they face a Utes defense that ranks 29th in stopping opponents’ points.
I’m leaning toward Nittany Lions coverage since Kincaid is out. So, I really regret going against my conference and going with Penn State here.
COLLECT: Penn State (+2.5 at FOX Bet) to lose by less than 2.5 points (or win outright)
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