The Las Vegas Bowl brings an early renewal to the Holy War. The Brigham Young University Cougars and Utah Utes, annual rivalry was suppose to take a two year break after the Utes 20-13 victory in 2013. Thanks to the Las Vegas Bowl, the rivalry will pick up again earlier than expected.
Seven weeks into the season, Utah appeared to be a legit college football playoff contender, the Utes then suffered a 42-24 loss at USC, and finished the season by dropping two of their last three games overall, and last three against the spread.
The Utah defense has led the way in the majority of the Utes victories this season. The Utah rushing game has been the strength of the offense, while the passing game led by quarterback Travis Wilson has been underwhelming at times.
BYU comes into the game riding a two game winning streak with explosive offensive performances against Fresno State and Utah State.
BYU is in a unique spot with head coach Bronco Mendenhall, who has led the team since 2005, coaching the Cougars in this bowl game, despite the fact that he has already been hired as the new head coach of Virginia.
If there is one bowl game that I talked myself out of based on my first impression, it is this one. Currently 90% of the betting public has picked Utah against the spread. Utah however is 1-5 against the spread in its last six games. BYU was 8-4 against the spread this season, 3-1 as an underdog.
Anything can happen in the Holy War, and both of these teams are very evenly matched in talent.
Despite seeing this game as a toss up, I am going with the BYU Cougars +3 , who I believe will break their four game losing streak to Utah, sending coach Mendenhall out a winner.
(BYU 27 Utah 21)
Bet Sports Strong Rating “C”
***Bet Sports Strong Ratings***
A-Bet with confidence
B-Strong lean, but bet with caution
C-Slight lean, enjoy the game but be careful with your money
D-Prediction but not a good feel either way