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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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College Football Preview: Utah vs Utah State Start Time, Odds and Free Pick

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Neighboring rivals Utah and Utah State are set to meet on the gridiron in a stand alone Friday night college football battle. Start time in this evening’s nationally televised contest (ESPN2) is scheduled for 8:00pm ET. Utah vs Utah State Odds are favoring the visiting Utes at -6.5 against the spread. The hosting Aggies are drawing +220 moneyline odds to snap their 10 game losing streak against Utah.

Last week provided little evidence as to what kind of teams either Utah or Utah State will be by season’s end. Both schools beat up on lesser competition, the Utes running Northern Colorado into the ground 41-0 while the Aggies pummeled the Big Sky’s Southern Utah 34-3.

What is known, no matter how the rest of the year plays out, is that Utah is the big brother in this match-up, having whipped Utah State 10 straight times with the last thrashing coming in 2009. The Utes, who the betting public is backing tonight (78 percent of the spread money is on Utah), won that contest 35-17, but the Aggies did enough to cover the 21 point spread.

Apparently the odds makers believe the gap between the two programs has closed some with tonight’s line at 6.5 points, but from this vantage point it appears they are undervaluing Utah. Head Coach Kyle Whittingham did see his streak of three consecutive double digit win seasons come to an end last year after the school joined the Pac 12; however, it may have an opportunity to reach 10 wins this time around.

Utah brings back 16 starters and 58 lettermen from a squad that, aside from a major collapse in last year’s finale against Colorado, showed vast improvement down the stretch. The Utes won four of their last five regular season games and they topped a good Georgia Tech team 30-17 in overtime at the Sun Bowl.

The Aggies are no slouch either, despite the lack of name recognition. Head Coach Gary Anderson guided the school to its first winning record (7-6) since Moses parted the Red Sea, and he even took his team bowling as the Aggies squared off against Ohio in the Idaho Potato Bowl (lost 23-24 as a two point favorite).

The Aggies have 12 starters back and a real play maker under center in sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton; however, this is Utah’s game to lose as its offense should move the ball with relative ease against Utah State’s defense. 

Free Pick: Take the Utes -6.5 points.

Utah vs Utah State Odds:

Utah Utes -6.5 (-115), Over 52.5 (-110), -260 (Moneyline)

Utah State Aggies +6.5 (-110), Under 52.5 (-110), +220 (Moneyline)

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