It's the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl and the Utah Utes will take on the Colorado State Rams at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. The game has a start time of 3:30pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ABC. Current Vegas odds have Utah listed as 3 point favorites, while the total is set at 58.5.
Analysis: The Utah Utes had a nice year in the Pac-12 as they went a solid 8-4 overall, which includes a 5-4 conference mark. They did not finish the year strong as they won just 2 of their last 5 games down the stretch. The Utes are 8-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, 7-2 ATS in their last 9 bowl games 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 meetings, while the Over is 4-1 in their last 5 Bowl games and the Under is 21-8-1 in their last 30 vs. a team with a winning record. Utah was not a great offensive team, ranking 87th in total yards, 92nd in passing, 55th in rushing and 59th in scoring (30.2 ppg). The defense for Utah was very average this year as they come in ranked 74th in yards allowed, 92nd vs the pass, 57th vs the run and 61st in points allowed (26.2 ppg).
The Colorado State Rams had a very nice 10-2 season this year, which included a 6-2 mark in the Mountain West Conference. The Rams will have to play this bowl game without Head Coach Jim McElwain, who was hired as Florida's HC. The Rams are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a S.U. loss, 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games and 20-8-1 ATS in their last 29 games overall, while the 4-0 in their last 4 Bowl games and the Under is 5-0 in Rams last 5 vs. a team with a winning record. The Rams have been a very good offensive team this year, ranking 12th in total yards, 8th in passing, 57th in rushing and 22nd in scoring (35.9 ppg). The defense has been defense as they rank 84th in yards allowed (66th vs the pass, 89th vs the run and 34th in points allowed (23.4 ppg).
Pick: Im going with the Rams in this one. I know the Rams will be without McElwain in this one and that will be hard on this team, but I see them stepping up here. The Rams had a sold year going 10-2 and they have done it with a very good offense and a solid defense. The Utes have a very good defense, but their offense is rather weak and I don't expect them to put up enough points to win this one. The Utes have played the tougher schedule, but I just feel that the Rams will be fully motivated for this one come away with the outright win.
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