Bowl PicksCollege Football

Las Vegas Bowl: Utah Utes vs. Northwestern Wildcats Pick & Preview

It’s college football bowl season, and there is a full slate of games scheduled to take place on Saturday, December 23rd. The Utah Utes are going to face off against the Northwestern Wildcats in the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl at Allegiant Stadium for a big matchup.

Utah is representing the Pac-12 Conference in this game and the Utes had a pretty solid season at 8-4 on the year. This team did go just 2-3 in their last five games and will be looking for a strong finish to the year. 

Northwestern was expected to finish in last place in the Big Ten Conference this season, but they surprised everyone. The Wildcats finished the year by winning three straight games to get to 7-5 on the season. 

Utah is coming into this game as a 6.5-point betting favorite over Northwestern in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Utes Can Be Explosive

The Utah Utes scored just 24.5 points per game during the regular season, but they also faced some tough competition in the Pac-12 Conference. Utah has the ability to be explosive on offense, and they are rushing for over 186 yards per game. 

Running back Ja’Quinden Jackson was the top offensive performer for the team this season as he racked up 742 rushing yards. Utah will need to hit on some deep passes in this game, but they can set the tone on the ground. 

This Utah defense was tested all year long by some great Pac-12 offenses, and that unit should be ready to shine in this game. Look for the Utes to pressure the quarterback, and they will create some turnovers.

Wildcats Winning WIth Defense

Northwestern is averaging just 22.8 points per game this and no one is going to accuse them of being a good offensive team. Running the football has been a real challenge for the Wildcats as they are rushing for just 105 yards per game. 

Quarterback Ben Bryant threw for just 1,585 yards this season, but his main goal in this game is to limit the turnovers. Northwestern is comfortable winning games with its defense, and that unit has played well all season. 

The Wildcats have been able to keep some very good offenses in the 20s this season, and that will be the strategy in this matchup. Northwestern can’t beat Utah in a high-scoring affair, but that’s not the way that this team wants to play. 

Utes Win Over Wildcats

It was a terrific regular season for the Northwestern Wildcats, but they were able to take advantage of some bad teams in the Big Ten West. Northwestern was able to win with defense this season, but stopping the Utes is never easy. 

Utah has been able to win games with a backup quarterback all season long, and that offense will be ready to shine in this game. The Utes are also playing close to home, and they will get a slight boost from the home crowd. 

Bet on the Utah Utes at -6.5 as they are going to roll to a blowout win over Northwestern in the Las Vegas Bowl. 

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