Texas Brings Question Marks As Underdog Against Utah


Texas QB Sam Ehlinger flashing the horns

Sam Ehlinger enters the 2019 season with a lot of Heisman hype, in part thanks to an MVP performance in last year's Sugar Bowl win over Georgia. Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire.

  • Unranked Texas (7-5), once ranked as high as No. 9, could win its third-straight bowl for the first time since 2008
  • No. 11 Utah (11-2) could clinch a third 12-win season in its 113-year history
  • See below for game analysis and betting advice

For Texas and Utah, facing off in the Alamo Bowl is the culmination of a season that begs the question, “How did I get here?”

At the start of the year, both schools were ranked in the top 15. Texas lost narrowly to now-No. 1 LSU, but later dropped two games against unranked opponents and fell out of the rankings. Utah hardly wavered all year, never dropping out of the top 20, and finished one win short of a trip to the Rose Bowl — if not a possible spot in the College Football Playoff.

Here’s a look at the Texas vs. Utah odds.

Texas vs. Utah Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total at BetOnline
Texas +225 +7.5 (-113) Over 55.0 (-105)
Utah -275 -7.5 (-107) Under 55.0 (-115)

Odds taken Dec. 20

What’s So Good About Texas?

If you’re new to college football and you see the No. 11 team facing an unranked opponent, that may raise some eyebrows. In truth, there’s a reason Texas was once ranked inside the top 10. The Longhorns, at times, have looked legit this season.

Let’s start with the game against LSU. Texas only lost by a touchdown, keeping the game tight through the fourth quarter.

Later in the year, against Oklahoma (No. 6 at the time, now playoff-bound at No. 4), Texas again lost by just a touchdown.

If one or both of those games flips the other way, let’s just say Texas would not be playing in the Alamo Bowl.

Highly Questionable

Some of Texas’ biggest names are questionable for this matchup, which certainly adds an extra layer to placing a wager. Their top two receivers (Devin Duvernay and Brennan Eagles) are among that group. Duvernay is listed as having a hamstring injury, while Eagles is apparently dealing with a “personal” matter”.

If they are out, that’s a massive blow to the Texas offensive, considering Duvernay and Eagles combined for 133 catches, 1,812 yards and 14 receiving touchdowns.

On the flip side, Utah will be without starting safety Julian Blackmon, after he injured his leg in the PAC 12 title game. Blackmon is fourth on the Utes in tackles (60) and has a team-high four interceptions, as well as a touchdown.

Texas has 12 players listed as questionable, which also includes starting running back Keoantay Ingram. Certainly this is not a great position to be put in as a bettor.

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ATS Analysis

Utah is a solid 9-4 against the spread and had won eight-straight ATS before the PAC 12 title game, where they lost outright to Oregon as 6.5-point favorites.

Utah was favored in every game this season and is 3-2 as a single-digit favorite.

Texas is a pedestrian 6-6 ATS, but they’ve covered in two of their past three games. The Longhorns are just 1-3 as a single-digit underdog this season.

Decision Time

As previously mentioned, the army of questionable Longhorns makes this a very tricky game to pick. Some players might take their decision down to the wire, which is worth keeping an eye on. Texas can be quite explosive when its offensive weapons are present

For now, despite the enticing 7.5-point cushion Texas has, it’s safer to take Utah. Don’t forget, the Utes were one game away from being a featured participant in the College Football Playoff show. They’re down a top safety, but they’ve proven their worth this year.

Pick: Utah, -7.5 (-107)

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Jordan Horrobin



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