College Football Free ATS Pick: Utah Utes at Texas Longhorns

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In the Valero Alamo Bowl, the No. 12 Utah Utes are favorites as they prepare to battle the Texas Longhorns. The game is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET and ESPN will broadcast the action.

Betting Preview: Utah Utes vs. Texas Longhorns

In this Tuesday game, Utah is getting picked as the favorite and is currently giving up 7 points. In order to take the favorite, moneyline bettors would currently have to lay down $300 to win $100 back on the Utes (-300). The Longhorns are getting +220 moneyline odds. This tilt should provide several decent live betting opportunities, and Vegas has set the over/under (O/U) at 55 points.

The game’s O/U was initially set at 54, but the over is receiving the majority of the early sharp action.

The Utes have recorded 0.6 units so far and are 9-4 against the spread (ATS). They’ve been a good under bet and have posted an O/U mark of 4-8-1.

The Longhorns have gained 0.0 units this season. The team is 6-6 ATS and seven of its games have gone over the total.

The Utes are 11-2 straight up (SU) in 2019 while the Longhorns are 7-5 SU.

The Utes look to bounce back after a 37-15 defeat to Oregon on December 6 in which Tyler Huntley completed 17 passes for 193 yards, two scores and two interceptions. Zack Moss (113 yards on 19 rush attempts) and the signal-caller Huntley (two yards on 14 carries) led the ground attack. Moss (four receptions, 57 yards, one TD) and Demari Simpkins (two catches, 19 yards) handled the receiving duties in the defeat.

Texas is coming off of a 49-24 win over Texas Tech. Sam Ehlinger completed 19-of-27 passes for 348 yards and two touchdowns. Roschon Johnson (105 yards on 23 rush attempts, three TDs) and the signal-caller Ehlinger (83 yards on 10 carries, one TD) mounted the running attack while Devin Duvernay (six receptions, 199 yards, one TD) and Jake Smith (three catches, 51 yards, one TD) led the pass-catching attack in the win.

Utah has run the ball on 65 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Texas has an overall rush percentage of 49.6 percent. The Utes have rushed for 207 yards per game and have 34 touchdowns on the ground this year. The Longhorns are logging 172 rushing yards per game and have 24 total rush TDs.

Judging by the results this season, it appears that the Utes could hold an advantage in all aspects of the ground game. Their backfield has generated 4.9 yards per carry while their defense is allowing a YPC of 2.7 to opponents. The Longhorns have recorded 4.7 yards per carry and given up a YPC of 4.2 to opponents.

The Utes offensive scheme has logged 235.5 yards/game in the air overall and has 19 passing scores so far. The Longhorns have produced 296.2 pass yards per contest and have 29 total pass TDs.

On the defensive side of the ball, Utah appears to have the upper hand in both facets. The team has allowed 70.3 rush yards and 185.9 pass yards per game. The Texas defense has allowed 306.4 yards per game to opposing passers and 139.8 yards per game to opposing runners. The Utes are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of only 4.17 to opposing QBs, while the Longhorns have given up a 7.41 ANY/A.

Offensively, Huntley is up to 2,801 passing yards on the year, and has connected on 73 percent of his 261 attempts with 16 passing scores and only four interceptions. Huntley has a 10.21 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number is 5.50 over the last two outings.

We expect the Utah offense to mix it up in this one. Zack Moss, Brant Kuithe and Jaylen Dixon have combined for 468 total yards and five touchdowns over the last two outings.

Sam Ehlinger has managed to complete 262-of-399 passes for 3,262 yards, 29 TDs and eight INTs for Texas. His ANY/A stands at 7.81 for the year and 7.36 over his last two games.

We expect Ehlinger to spread the ball around early and often in this one. Devin Duvernay (1,216 receiving yards and eight receiving TDs this season), Sam Ehlinger (eight receiving yards), and Roschon Johnson (142 receiving yards, one TD) have collectively put up 297 receiving yards over the last couple of games.

Utah Utes vs. Texas Longhorns NCAA Tip

SU Winner: Utah, ATS Winner: Utah, O/U: Under

Team Betting Trends

  • The Utes offense has registered 13 pass plays of 40 yards or more, while the Longhorns have accounted for nine such plays.
  • The Utah defense has allowed six pass plays of 40 or more yards, while Texas has given up 14 such plays.
  • The Utah offense has created 19 rushing plays of 20+ yards, while Texas has created 11 such runs.
  • The Utes defense has allowed five rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while the Longhorns have given up 12 such runs.
  • The Utah defense has sacked opposing quarterbacks 30 times this season. Texas has recorded just 22 sacks.
  • As a team, Utah has produced 4.9 yards per carry over its last three games and 4.3 over its last two.
  • Texas has averaged 4.8 yards per carry over its last three contests and 5.7 over its past two.