Utah vs. Oregon State Expert Pick and Prediction – September 30, 2023
UTAH VS. OREGON STATE: EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – September 30, 2023 — When the Pac-12 schedule came out, most people in the know circled this game as a potential pitfall for Utah. The Utes have mostly dominated the series with the Beavers since joining the Pac-12, but most of those wins came during the ill-fated second Mike Riley term and the even more ill-fated Gary Andersen era.
Since Jonathan Smith took over in Corvallis, most Pac-12 coaches have known Reser Stadium as a place where their title dreams go to die. Over the past two seasons, only USC has managed to get out of Corvallis with a victory, and that by a mere three points. The Beavers’ road woes are well documented, but at home, they’re a nightmare for anyone.
Utah learned that the hard way in 2021, as they came to Reser Stadium and left with a 42-34 loss, their only defeat in the Pac-12 that season. The Utes have won the Pac-12 two years in a row, and they’d love to claim the last Pac-12 title on their way to the Big 12. But the Beavers now have no margin for error after losing at Washington State last week, and they’re likely to deliver their best game here.
(4-0 SU, 2-1-1 ATS)
(3-1 SU, 2-2-0 ATS)
When: Friday, September 29th at 9 p.m. EDT
Where: Reser Stadium, Corvallis, Ore.
Public Bets: 58% on Oregon State
Public Money: 93% on Oregon State
Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of September 26th, 2023.
Utah vs. Oregon State In-Season Trends
Betting on Oregon State at Reser Stadium has been one of the easiest ways to make money over the past two years. The Beavers are 13-0 ATS since fans came back to Corvallis and 12-1 SU, with the only loss coming by 3 against USC. The Beavers have done most of that work with defense, as six of their past seven guests have failed to hit 20 points.
Utah has won six of the past seven in the series, but has only covered in three of those games. Five of the past nine meetings have been decided by one score or less.
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This could become a chilly, wet evening in Corvallis. Temperatures could dip as low as 38 degrees, and rain showers are in the forecast, which could make it a difficult night for the offenses to get going.
The biggest question is whether Cam Rising or Nate Johnson takes the field for Utah. The Utes were able to get by without Rising for four games thanks to Johnson’s steady play and excellent defensive work, but they struggled in their one road game when they barely escaped Baylor. With Oregon State rock-solid in stopping the run game, this might be a situation where Johnson has to win the game with his arm.
Oregon State has a different situation, as the Beavers have both their preferred starting quarterback and the leading running back in the conference. Damien Martinez is the only Pac-12 back above 400 yards on the season, and he’s rushed for 100 yards in all three Beaver victories. However, that comes with its own worries, as Utah boasts the Pac-12’s best run defense and D.J. Uiagalelei was ineffective at Washington State. If Martinez can’t find holes in the Utes’ defense, DJU has to be better than last week.
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The under seems to make the most sense here. Both teams defend the run well. Plus, Utah’s offense really hasn’t moved the ball all that well with Rising on the shelf.
It’s tough to trust either offense, but there’s no reason to fade Oregon State at home until the Beavers actually get beat at home. DJU has offered more good than bad this year, and playing at home should get him rolling again.
Related: Dan’s Week 5 College Football Predictions
Oregon State -3.5