College Football Week 9 - USC vs Utah

Football Betting at VietBet — USC Expecting Rugged Time Against Utah

By Charles Jay

The USC Trojans are in a good position right now to route themselves to the Pac-12 championship game, but there is still a lot of work to do. On Saturday they are going to have to bring their “A” game as they travel to Salt Lake City for football betting action as they take on the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium in a 10 PM ET kickoff.

These teams are very close together in the national rankings. USC, which is 5-2 straight-up and 4-3 against the football pointspread, is 20th according to the Associated Press and 21st in the coaches’ poll. Utah is 5-1 both straight-up and ATS, and is 19th in both major polls.

Last week, USC got a school record of seven touchdown passes by Cody Kessler, in the process of beating Colorado by a 56-28 score. Utah had a much more difficult time of it, having to go into two overtimes to defeat Oregon State.

bas 728x90 - College Football Week 9 - USC vs Utah

College Football betting line from BetAnySports:

In the college football betting lines that have been established at BetAnySports on this contest, Utah is the very slight favorite:

  • Utah Utes -1
  • USC Trojans +1
  • Over/Under 52 Points -110

Utah is generally known as a very physical team, and they also possess a lot of mental toughness, as they had previous scored road victories over Michigan and UCLA (two places where it is tough to win) before last week’s trip to Corvallis. And they really know how to pressure the quarterback; Utah has registered 33 sacks on the season, which tops in the nation by a considerable margin. As VietBet customers saw, they made life very difficult for UCLA’s Brett Hundley a few weeks ago, dumping him ten times.

Kessler has been sacked 16 times, and his touchdown-to-interception ratio is out of this world, at 18-1. It was expected that he could make some strides under first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian, the former USC offensive coordinator who returned for the head job after a stint at Washington. But Kessler’s accuracy (a shade under 70%) and his ability to avoid costly mistakes probably exceeded any expectations on the part of football bettors.

Javroius Allen really went off against Arizona a couple of weeks back, with 205 yards and a three touchdowns. And he can change the complexion of any game. But Utah coach Kyle Whittingham has the ability to apply a little variety to his quarterback situation, using either Kendal Thompson (more of a runner) or dropback passer Travis Wilson, who came on in a relief role last week. VietBet patrons who want to talk about a “hot hand” at running back, the Utes have one in Devontae Booker, who has gained 563 yards over the last three games. Whittingham is unequivocal in his praise of Booker, calling him “the best back in the Pac-12.”

The key here is for that Utah pass rush to make Kessler throw earlier than he wants to, and not allow him to get through all his progressions. This is a team that has lost three straight to the Trojans, and this year they may have the horses to break that mini-drought. Last year Wilson had a bad finger on his throwing hand, accounting for an awful performance in the 19-3 loss, so he wants to make up for it.

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