Ohio State vs. Utah Rose Bowl Bet Preview
The Ohio State Buckeyes and the Utah Utes will travel to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl, which takes place on New Year's Day at 5 p.m. on ESPN.
Ohio State finished fifth and Utah 12th in the final College Football Playoff rankings.
Ohio State was 10-2 in the regular season, where they fell to Oregon early on and Michigan in their final game to lose their Playoff spot to the Wolverines. They had one big marquee win at home against Michigan State but were able to blow out most teams to keep their ranking high.
The Utes had an impressive 10-3 season with losses to BYU and San Diego State early in the season and Oregon State midway through. After the Oregon State loss, they rattled off six straight wins, including two against Oregon.
One of those wins was in the Pac 12 Championship, crowning themselves victors of the conference.
Let's look ahead at the betting odds and keys to the game.
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Ohio State is a slight four-point favorite with odds of -120 at -4. Utah, at +4, has odds of +100 to cover the spread. The over/under for the game is 64, with odds of -110 to bet the over or under.
Ohio State and Utah have odds of -195 and +165, respectively, to win the game straight up.
The Buckeyes and their opponents have combined to score over 64 points in six of twelve games this season compared to the Utes, who have done it only four times in ten possible tries. Their combined points per game for these two teams is 81. Against the spread, Ohio State is 7-5, and Utah is 4-6.
Keys to the Game - Ohio State
The key for the Buckeyes, which has been the key for them all season, has been their incredible offense behind Heisman runner-up CJ Stroud.
They rank first in points per game, yards per game, points per play, and yards per play. The Utes will have to pull out all the stops to prevent this Ohio State team from scoring.
The defense has been the weaker point for the Buckeyes and the main reason they are not playing on New Year's Eve. If they can keep the Utes on the ground, which they excel at defending, and force them into third down situations, Ohio State will have the upper hand on both sides of the ball in this one.
Keys to the Game - Utah
This should be an interesting matchup between a solid run defense and Tavion Thomas and the Utes rushing offense. Thomas ran for over 1,000 yards this season as a Sophomore and added 20 touchdowns on top of that. He is averaging 5.6 yards per carry, and he will need to be successful for the Utes to win this game.
Utah has been solid on defense but will need to turn it up a notch against, statistically, the best offense they have faced this season. They rank twelfth in yards given up per game and eleventh in opponent yards per pass.
They will need to prevent the big play and force Ohio State to score on long drives to stay in this game.
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