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Utah Utes vs. BYU Cougars Odds & Game Pick (2021)

by September 9, 2021
Charlie Brewer

For just the second time since the 1940s, the Holy War rivalry that is BYU and Utah wasn’t played in 2020 due to COVID scheduling restrictions. It was also the first season since 2009 that BYU didn’t lose the matchup. As usual, both teams come into this season with high expectations; BYU 11-1 in 2020, including a big win in their Bowl game against UCF (49-23).

Let’s take a look at this weekend’s matchup to find some betting value.

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  • Opening Line: Utah -7, O/U 47
  • Current Line: Utah -7, O/U 49
  • Last meeting: August 29, 2019, Utah 30, BYU 12


I expect the Utes to focus their defensive game plan around shutting down Hall’s favorite target, Neil Pau’u, who finished Week 1 with a career-high 126 yards and two touchdowns. Look for Utah’s shutdown corner Clark Phillips III to get assigned that job in this one. The former four-star recruit and future NFL star will respond accordingly.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Cougars return just four starters. Their remaining players accounted for only 58% of the tackles last season, which is especially rough for a season where seniors received an extra year of eligibility. Their vulnerabilities were on display in Week 1: they allowed Arizona quarterback Gunner Cruz to pass for 336 yards and the team’s running backs to go for 99 rushing yards. 

Is there any team in the country that gets discounted more consistently each year than the Utah Utes? In what will be head coach Kyle Wittingham’s 17th season as the man in charge, and he will bring in one of his most experienced and deepest teams to date — and potentially one of his best quarterbacks in a decade. 

Charlie Brewer had a successful career at Baylor. He threw for 9,700 yards, rushed for 1,095, and finished with a touchdown to interception ratio of 65:28. He transferred to Utah this summer, and he should make an impact right away. Coming in behind an offensive line that returns all five starters and a receiving corps that includes its top two targets, Brewer should easily improve upon the 30 points per game this offense put up last season.

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  • Utah is 5-0 ATS in their last five at BYU
  • The road team is 4-0 ATS in the last four games
  • Under is 5-1 in the last six of this matchup

Bottom Line 

With the top offensive and defensive lines in the PAC-12, the Utes should be favored against every opponent this season except USC, and for good reason. What I like the most about them in this one is that they’ll face a familiar foe in BYU. Their inexperience in the secondary should allow the Brewer-led Utes to announce to the Nation they are a PAC-12 title contender.

Pick: Utah -6.5

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Johnny Perun is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Johnny, check out his archive and follow him @JohnnyCovers.

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