Loyal Cougars

The 9-Line Prediction: BYU vs. Utah

You know what time it is. Nine specific predictions presented as over-under betting lines.

BYU tries to snap its three-game losing streak to in-state rival Utah in a battle of former conference foes. Here are nine Vegas-style lines, some serious, some not, to watch for on Saturday.

  1. Minutes of broadcast spent pontificating re: BYU Honor Code – Line: 0:47 – Apparently something happened to Spencer Hadley this week.  OVER
  2. Whittingham Face – Line: 3.5 – I like Kyle Whittingham. He is a really good football coach and from what I have heard of his persona, a pretty good guy. I also enjoy Whittingham Face. Whittingham Face is one-part incredulity, another part surliness. It comes about whether Utah is winning or losing. UNDER
  3. Combined personal foul penalties – LINE: 4.5 – Rivalry games bring out extra adrenaline. Increased adrenaline can cause men to act irrationally. Irrational actors have a tendency to forget about discipline in the heat-of-the-moment.  OVER
  4. Bad snaps by BYU center: LINE – 2.5 – I don’t need to remind you that bad snaps in 2011 and 2012 were directly responsible for two Utah touchdowns (and one nullified safety). Taysom Hill has had to handle his share of bad snaps during the first two weeks of the season. Is this yet another recipe for destruction? Sure, you want to execute perfectly in the quarterback-center exchange, but all I am asking for is that if it does happen, it does not lead directly to points for the guys in red. Also, I’m not sure my emotional health is quite ready for a snap flying over Hill’s head and the entire BYU offense scurrying to fall on the football. UNDER
  5. 3-and-Outs forced by Bronco D — Line 5.5 — The BYU defense forced eight 3-and-outs against Virginia. The Zion Curtain forced four three-and-outs during the first three (and only competitive) quarters against Texas. Field position will be immensely important in this low scoring affair and the BYU defense will have a heavy burden upon its back.  UNDER
  6. Travis Wilson average yards per completion – 9.0 – Last week, mere seconds into the second half, Travis Wilson was intercepted and the ball subsequently returned for a touchdown by the Oregon State defender. The Utes trailed 27-10. Wilson responded by throwing two additional interceptions during the final 29+ minutes of play. It was Wilson’s tremendous running ability, not his arm, that led the Utes back from the brink. BYU will force Wilson to take the check down and execute over the long haul. No big plays. UNDER
  7. Jamaal Williams rushing yards — LINE: 120.5 – JSwaggDaddy had himself a game rushing the football against the Texas Longhorns. Williams remains in the Top 20 nationally in total rushing yards despite having played just two games. Utah will load the box and force Taysom Hill to beat them through the air. Implicit in this defensive strategy is the fact that Williams won’t have as much room to operate. UNDER
  8. Total Points Scored: 61 – If 61 sounds really high to you, you are not alone. According to sports statistician Paul Bessire, only six of the last 28 games involving BYU and just six of the last 28 games played by Utah have resulted in more than a 61 point total. Low-scoring games are the new normal in both Provo and Salt Lake City. Only one of the last five BYU-Utah matchups crossed the 61-point total. Both defensive backfields can be beaten, but the strength of each respective front-seven should compensate. UNDER
  9. Line: BYU by -6.5 – NOT COVER – BYU 23 UTAH 18