No. 10 Utah takes on No. 12 Oregon in a prime-time Pac-12 matchup at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore., on Saturday.
Game time is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET, and it will be televised on ESPN. Both teams are 6-1 in Pac-12 play, so a spot in the conference championship game is a potential prize.
Utah (8-2) remains in the mix to defend its Pac-12 championship from last season under coach Kyle Whittingham. Cameron Rising leads the Utes’ balanced offense and the defense is solid, but Utah has struggled away from home in 2022.
Oregon (8-2) saw its College Football Playoff hopes evaporate in a stunning 37-34 loss to No. 15 Washington. It was a learning experience for first-year coach Dan Lanning and quarterback Bo Nix, and a painful one at that. The Ducks were routed by Utah twice last season, so motivation should not be in short supply.
This will be late-night fun. Oregon leads the Pac-12 with 527.7 yards per game, and they average 42.2 points. Utah averages 39.5 points and 462.4 yards per game. Here is everything you need to know to bet on the Utes and Ducks:
Utah vs. Oregon odds
- Spread: Oregon -3
- Over/under: 61.5
- Moneyline: Oregon -160, Utah +130
This line ticked up a half-point in favor of Oregon, and the Ducks have hit the over seven times in 10 games this season. Utah has hit the over in six of their games. There is value in the Utes knowing that they beat Oregon 38-7 in the 2021 regular season before doubling down in a 38-10 win in the Pac-12 championship game.
Three trends to know
— Oregon is 5-2 S/U in the last seven home matchups against the Utes, and that includes a 2-1 S/U record at home since Utah joined the Pac-12. The Ducks had a streak of five straight covers as a favorite snapped in the loss to Washington.
— The Utes are 2-2 S/U and 1-3 ATS on the road this season, and that includes losses to Florida and UCLA. Utah still has a +2 turnover ratio on the road, but this is a level up in competition.
—Since Utah joined the Pac-12 in 2011, this has been an even season. Oregon is 5-4 in their nine meetings since, but Utah has outscored Oregon 281-265. Only two of those nine games have been decided by seven points or less.
Three things to watch
— Cam Rising on the road. Utah’s quarterback led the Rose Bowl run last season, and he has been brilliant at home. Rising, however, has just three TDs and three interceptions on the road. This could be another showcase game for tight end Dalton Kincaid, who leads Utah with 50 catches for 649 yards and seven TDs. How much impact will D.J. Johnson, a converted tight end turned pass rusher with six sacks this season, factor into getting after Rising, who also is a threat to scramble?
— Bo Nix bounces back. Nix left briefly in last week’s loss to Washington, and the whirlwind ensued. Nix has accounted for at least three total TDs in every game since the opener against Georgia. Utah has a solid defense, but Nix’s consistency has stood out. He should be able to continue that success at home, where he has 16 TDs and no interceptions this season.
— Special teams. In a close game like this, special teams could be the difference. Oregon kicker Camden Lewis is 10 of 11 on field goals, but the Ducks have used a rotation at punter. Utah kickers are 7 of 11 on field goals. Will the huge play come on a return from either Utah’s Micah Bernard or Oregon’s Kris Hutson? We are counting on at least one game-changing play on special teams.
Stat that matters
What led to the blowouts last season? It’s simple. Utah won the rushing battle by a wide margin. The Utes out-rushed the Ducks by a combined total of 399-137, and Oregon never recovered. The Ducks (239.3 ypg.) and Utes (210.1) rank second and third, respectively, in the Pac-12 in rushing offense. Oregon must close that gap to have a chance, and they should be able to at home. Running backs Bucky Irving (837 yards, two TDs) and Tavion Thomas (632 yards, 7 TDs) both could have huge games here.
Utah vs. Oregon prediction
This is a high-stakes game. At least one of these teams has played in the Pac-12 championship game each of the last four years. Can the Ducks flip the script with Nix? This is a show-me game for Lanning, who let the Washington game slip away and is up against Whittingham, who is accustomed to this run in Pac-12 play. Oregon is a different team at home, and they shake off last week’s loss and get off to a fast start. Nix and Rising put on a show, and it’s one of the most-entertaining games of the season. Oregon, however, closes this one out late and gets one step closer to the Pac-12 championship game.
Final score: Oregon 41, Utah 37