It’s the classic offense vs defense matchup in Saturday afternoon’s Utah at Washington betting matchup. The #18 Utes (7-2) are coming off a game in which they held Arizona State to just 83 total yards while the #5 Huskies (9-0) have the #1 passing offense and are the #4 scoring team in the country.
Washington is a -8.5 favorite for this meeting which is actually down from a -10.5 open. 65% of the betting public like the Huskies here as they try to win out their last three games of the season and make their way to the college football playoff.
Why Utah Has Value at +8.5
Obviously getting on the Utes earlier in the week at +10.5 has tremendous value, but with this defense the +8.5 still seems like a lot of points. Arizona State sits at the bottom of the Pac 12, but Utah holding them to 43 yards rushing on 29 attempts as well as just 40 yards through the air is still impressive.
Overall Utah is #9 in the country in total yards allowed (282.3), #6 in rushing defense (81.2), and give up just 15.9 ppg which is also in the top 10 in the nation. The Utes are also a respectable 33rd in the country in passing defense (201.1) which is obviously going to be put to the test against the high powered Huskies offense – but that’s still some nice momentum for the Utes.
Although their defense has been impressive, a major reason the Utes have solid value at +8.5 is because of their ground game. Utah runs for 192.7 yards/game and amassed 352 on the ground vs. Arizona State last week and there’s no better way to contain the Washington passing attack than by keeping them off the field.
Why Washington Has Value at -8.5
Utah has an elite defense, but don’t be surprised if Washington is not impressed. All the Huskies need to do is look at the Utes game against Oregon in week 9 when the Ducks won 35-6 behind a 24/31, 248 yards, 2 TD game from OU quarterback Bo Nix. That contest was in Salt Lake City as well, so what are the Utes going to give up on the road.
Everybody knows the Washington passing offense is prolific, with QB Michael Penix, Jr. being a Heisman Trophy front runner who has already thrown for 3,201 yards with three games to go. What the Huskies did last week is flex their muscles on the ground – albeit against a horrible USC defense – running for 316 yards in the 52-42 win over the Trojans.
Utah’s main offensive strength is their rushing game, but Washington’s defense struggles more against the pass – which the Utes do not do well (159.4 ypg). Saturday afternoon’s O/U is just 49.5 which doesn’t point to a shootout, but if this does become a back-and-forth scoring game it’s hard to see Utah being able to hang with the Huskies.
Free Week 11 Utah at Washington Betting Pick
Washington has won 7 of the last 9 head to head meetings, but these two teams often play very close games. They haven’t met since 2020, but five of the last six games have been one score affairs. The Huskies are great, but they’ve had some close calls recently such as a 15-7 win over Arizona State and a 42-33 win over Stanford as -27.5 favorites so you have to take the points here.
Free Pick: Utah +8.5