BYU vs. Utah Las Vegas Bowl Pick

Las Vegas Bowl BYU vs. Utah Picks & Predictions

Former conference foes BYU and Utah will meet in the latest installment of the "Holy War" at 3:30PM ET today in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.

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Oddsmakers from online sports book currently list the Utes as 2.5-point favorites over the Cougars for today's game, while the over/under is sitting at 50.5 points.

Capping bowl games can be difficult because bettors don't always know which teams will be motivated to actually win, and which programs will just be going through the motions. But motivation won't be an issue on either side, as both teams hate each other and the Cougars will be looking to give Bronco Mendenhall one last victory before he becomes the next head coach at Virginia.

Thus, picking a side in this contest is tough. There's little to no value in either BYU or Utah, regardless of the points. The spread is exactly where it should be for a rivalry game like this.

That said, there does seem to be some value in the total.

Utah enters today's game banged up. The Utes will be without star running back Devontae Booker (knee) and could be without receivers Britain Covey and Kenneth Scott as well. Coach Kyle Whittingham said the team is in wait and see mode when it comes to their injuries, but did admit that if the Utes were playing their bowl game in January then there wouldn't be a problem. Perhaps he was hinting that neither Covey nor Scott will be 100%.

The Cougars are allowing 21.8 points per game defensively and should be able to keep the Utes in check offensively. On the other side, BYU has to deal with Utah defensive lineman Seni Fauonuku, who already took shots at the Cougars earlier this week by calling them a dirty team.

BYU will have trouble running the ball versus the No. 6 run defense in the nation and Utah is allowing just 21.8 points per game this season itself. Expect a knock-down, drag-out fight between two teams that despise each other and thus, execution on defense should be there throughout.


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