Utah vs Baylor Odds, Picks, and Predictions: Utes' Defense Shines Through

Both Baykor and Utah could be without their starting quarterbacks for this matchup, opening the door for a low-scoring tilt. Our college football odds are counting on the team's defenses from letting this game get out of hand.

Phil Naessens - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Phil Naessens • Betting Analyst
Sep 9, 2023 • 07:56 ET • 4 min read
Kyle Whittingham Utah Utes NCAAF
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With so much uncertainty surrounding both offenses' quarterback situation, I'm expecting the defenses to make a stand and produce a low-scoring game in Waco come Saturday.

This week's announcement that Baylor Bears' QB Blake Shapen would miss the next 2-3 weeks had bettors scurrying to the window, lifting the Utah Utes to -7.5 away favorites when they travel for a Saturday matchup with the Bears.

The Utes offense has unanswered questions of their own at QB and it's still undecided whether or not QB Cam Rising will dress Saturday. 

One thing is clear: the respective defenses will need to step up big on Saturday. Join me as I've peered through the college football odds for this matchup to bring you my favorite college football picks for Utah vs. Baylor on Saturday, September 9.

Utah vs Baylor best odds

Utah vs Baylor picks and predictions

We have two stout defenses facing offenses with injury issues and uncertainty at the quarterback position, making my best bet Under 47.

The Utah Utes' Week 1 defense held Florida to 346 total yards and 11 points, with the Gators going 1 of 13 on third-down conversion, and I expect the same against a Baylor offense without starting QB Blake Shapen — who suffered a second-half injury in Baylor’s 42-31 home loss to Texas State.

The Bears' defense was better than what the stat sheet revealed. They forced a pair of fumbles and held the Bobcats to 143 rushing yards — with 65 yards accounted for on one play that went for a TD. The Baylor secondary was lit up for 298 yards and three passing TDs but allowed Texas State QB TJ Finley too much time in the pocket and only generated one sack on the day.

I don’t expect Utah QB Cam Rising or TE Brant Kuithe to play on Saturday. Both have returned to full contact practice, and neither has been ruled out,  but the Utes would love to win the Pac-12 in their final season in the conference and may not want to risk their two offensive star's health for a non-conference contest.

The Utes offense struggled without the two against Florida and converted just 3 of their 13 third down attempts. The offense managed just 270 yards of offense with reserve field general Bryson Barnes under center, and the defense carried Utah to a 24-11 home victory. Look for Baylor to stop the run and find a way to get into the Utes offensive backfield far more than what they did against Texas State.

My best bet: Under 47 (-108 at DraftKings)

Utah vs Baylor same-game parlay

Under 46.5

Utah ML

I’ve already explained why I like the Under 47, but please note the SGP number is 46.5 at even money, and while I would prefer the 47 points, the odds for 46.5 are much better, and that number will play.

There is no question in my mind that Utah will win, and it will get a lift if Rising does suit up. Barnes was more than adequate in Week 1, and if he performs the same way against Baylor as he did against Florida, the Utes will win this game. 

Finally, I like the Utah defense coming up big in this battle. It was sometimes impressive against Florida, and now gets to face a Bears side with a reserve quarterback making his first start. The Utes defense will be firing on all cylinders and will get enough stops for the Utes offense to beat Baylor. 

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

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Utah vs Baylor spread and Over/Under analysis

Saturday’s contest opened with Utah as a +1.5 point away underdog before jumping to +5.5 on September 4, and bettors responded to the Shapen news by hammering Utah to the -7.5 currently offered at DraftKings Sportsbook.

The respective defenses will do much of the heavy lifting on Saturday. Utah has the better group of the two, but the question is, can the Utes offense cover the -7.5?

Utah is 5-5 ATS over its past 10 games, covering -5.5 against Florida, and would likely cover the -7.5 if Rising and Kuithe suit up. If the two do indeed suit up, the -7.5 will likely jump to 8-9 points, and that group would cover the -7.5. Without the two, I’m not so sure.

Baylor failed to cover the -27 against Texas State at home and is 4-6 ATS over its past 10 contests. Bears' running back Richard Reese led the team in rushing in 2022 but only rushed for 14 yards on seven attempts against Texas State. They’ll need better production from their sophomore RB, and I expect him to see more touches with better results in Week 2.

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Utah vs Baylor betting trend to know

The Under is 8-1 in Bears last nine games as a home underdog of 3.5-10.0. Find more college football betting trends for Utah vs Baylor.

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Utah vs Baylor game info

Location: McLane Stadium, Waco, TX
Date: Saturday, September 9, 2023
Kickoff: 12:00 p.m. ET

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