Oregon vs Utah Odds, Picks, and Predictions: Utes Wreak Havoc Against Ducks

The Utah Utes and Oregon Ducks are sure to put on a show Saturday afternoon, with Utah looking to win its 19th straight home game. Bo Nix may be good, but our college football picks expect the Utes to not go down without a fight.

Oct 28, 2023 • 11:57 ET • 4 min read

Enjoy the good times while they last.

It’s been must-watch television when the No. 8 Oregon Ducks and No. 13 Utah Utes have squared off recently, and that’s expected to be the case again in Week 9 between two Top 15 teams. This meeting in Salt Lake City will mark the last before both schools take off for their new respective conferences. 

Looking at college football odds, the Ducks are listed at -6.5 on the road while the total is set at 47.5. 

That’s a lot of points for a Kyle Whittingham team to be catching at home in late October, so I've dove into the matchup to see if this line is warranted or if it’s inflated. Read on for my best bet and free college football picks for Oregon vs. Utah on October 28.  

Oregon vs Utah best odds

Oregon vs Utah picks and predictions

It’ll be strength-on-strength when Oregon has the ball. The Ducks will test their elite offense (second in EPA per play, fourth in success rate) against a tough Utah defense (18th in EPA per play, sixth in success rate). The Utes have dominated inferior opponents but have been hit for 5.9 yards per play by Baylor, 5.8 by Oregon State, and 6.9 by USC. 

Oregon is closer to USC than anyone on that list even though the offensive makeup is a bit different. The Ducks grade out as elite up front (first in line yards, first in front seven havoc, first in PFF’s run-blocking grade, and second in their pass-blocking grade) but will be truly tested for the first time this season.

Utah’s Jonah Elliss in particular has been a terror, racking up 14 TFL and 10 sacks this season as one of the country’s most dominant players regardless of position. He leads a strong front seven that is allowing just 78 rushing yards per game.

The Ducks appear well-equipped to handle this tough Utah front on paper at least, but keep in mind the best defense they’ve faced all year is probably Washington, who ranks just 131st in front seven havoc and 130th in both defensive line yards and stuff rate — the Utes rank ninth in front seven havoc and 16th in stuff rate. 

Oregon’s defense has played well this season, checking it at 28th in EPA per play in what’s been a dramatic improvement since last year. Expect the Ducks to be tested on the ground here by a Utah offense that thrives off controlling games in the trenches and keeping the chains moving with the rushing attack.

The Ducks have not allowed any of their last five opponents to reach 100 rushing yards, but they’ve also benefitted from playing a very poor group of rushing attacks overall this season. Texas Tech managed 174 rushing yards and 5.4 yards per pop while Washington only rushed 23 times for 99 yards (4.3 yards per attempt) and a score.

Those are really the only two times that this Oregon defense has faced a competent running attack, so the Utes will offer a tough test to see what this defense is really made of in the trenches. Since changing up the offense, Utah managed 317 rushing yards and four scores against Cal, and 247 rushing yards and a score against USC.

Oregon’s metrics look better, but it has also faced an extremely easy schedule and has looked mortal in its three games against notable competition.

Utah, meanwhile, has faced five notable teams and is 4-1 in those games despite putting forth some questionable to downright ugly metrics. The Utes have shown clear signs of improvement lately as the offense finds its identity... even if it is a strange one with a converted quarterback at running back, a safety as arguably its most dangerous skill position player, and a fourth-string QB known for his pig farming skills. Don’t you just love college football? 

This line flirted with a flat 7 before dropping back down to 6.5. I’d prefer to wait around for the line to hit 7 before placing my wager but will still grab the points at 6.5 considering Utah always plays its best football at home throughout late October and November. 

My best bet: Utah +6.5 (-108 at DraftKings)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.

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Oregon vs Utah same-game parlay

Utah +6.5

Under 48

Playing Utah plus the points most likely correlates to the Under. That’s the style of play the Whittingham and his team want to force in this game — grind the game down, control the ball and the clock, and win via superior defense and physicality. If the Utes are to cover this spread, it’s more likely to occur in a low-scoring game than it is in a shootout. 

Oregon’s offense has been rolling for two straight years and that could continue to be the case here, but playing on the road at Rice-Eccles is a very different environment and I’m curious to see if the offensive line continues to look so impressive as it steps up in competition. Utah is 5-9 O/U in its last 14 home games and is 2-5 O/U on the year. 

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Oregon vs Utah spread and Over/Under analysis

The Ducks opened at -5.5 but quickly received some love in the market, moving up to a key number of -7 before there was buyback on the home team to settle this line at -6.5 currently. The total has also seen some movement, opening at 50 but dropping down to 47.5. 

Thankfully there will be no more weekly guessing game on the availability of some of Utah’s key players as it was announced QB Cam Rising and Brant Kuithe will be out for the season. Oregon, on the other hand, received some positive news as two of its best players on the roaster — Bucky Irving and Khyree Jackson — have been banged up but will be available against the Utes. 

Laying a touchdown with road Bo Nix — regardless of how he’s played recently away from home — against a well-coached and improving team like Utah is not something I am in a hurry to do. 

I agree with the move on the total as I’d be on the Under if it was still above 50 but think the current line is more accurate. Oregon’s hyper-efficient offense will be tested and I have a feeling the offensive line may show more weaknesses than it has all season given the difficulty of this matchup.

Oregon vs Utah betting trend to know

Utah has won 18 straight home games. Find more college football betting trends for Oregon vs Utah.

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Oregon vs Utah game info

Location: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT
Date: Saturday, October 28, 2023
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET

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