Intro: I’ve never experienced a UofA sports team that was more difficult to bet on than this Wildcats football team. Granted, it’s not often that a midseason coaching change takes place or that a team endures so many injuries. Regardless, it’s become anybody’s guess as to which team will show up on a weekly basis. Ironically, it was fairly easy to predict that Washington would cover against the Cats last week in Seattle but only the most sadistic would’ve predicted that the always incompetent Pac-12 refs would play such a major role in determining the outcome.
The line: UofA -3.5 vs. Utah. Not much of a surprise here. A presumably angry Wildcats team, a 4pm kickoff, and the energy of Homecoming; that line seems about right.
What the line says: Sometimes, when bookies are having a hard time getting a pulse on the public’s perception of a team, you’ll see a conservative line like this to act as an anchor point. The line opened at UofA -4.5 so a one-point swing in Utah’s direction tells you quite a bit.
Wise guy says: Bet on the Cats to cover the 3.5 points. My advice would be to wait until Saturday to put your money down, though. If the line keeps moving in Utah’s direction, an extra half-point or even a full point would be a huge bonus for you. The over/under is 52.5 so if you need to make your rent payment, bet the over big!
What wise guy sees: The Wildcats have gotten younger, more exciting and a lot less predictable in the past three weeks. They all of the sudden have a kicking game (Bonanooooo!) and have a lot more talent than the Utes. As boring and predictable as the Utes have always been, they’ve had completely mixed results on the road so far this season. They were stellar in wins at BYU and Pitt and listless in losses at Cal and USC. The UofA is always inches away from a meltdown so don’t bet this game heavy but feel confident that the Cats will play loosely and let their athletes carry them to victory. Prediction: Cats 37, Utes 27.
Other lines I like: Michigan -4, AS”U” -8.5, ND -13.5, LSU +6, Washington +17