Opening Line: Utah -8.5

Discussion in 'Wildcat Football Board' started by Sheffielder, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Sheffielder

    Sheffielder Well-Known Member
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    With all due respect to Utah, which I think is a solid team that should probably be favored...I'm a little offended by this. They scored THREE points in their title game vs. Washington. Three.
     
  2. GECat2

    GECat2 Well-Known Member
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    I never gamble. With that said..........
     
  3. DrillCat

    DrillCat Well-Known Member
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    Wha!?!? As Wrassler would say, Dang! No respect!! We should be -3!
     
  4. CatMan2006

    CatMan2006 Well-Known Member
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    I’m a lot offended by this. We get no respect.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. zeek55

    zeek55 Well-Known Member
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    Wow. That seems as bad as the Iowa line.

    Hope Fitz plays up the disrespect because that seems like a joke.
     
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  6. Alan Smithee

    Alan Smithee Well-Known Member
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    The Minnesota line was more outlandish than the Ioa line, in my view.

    Anyway, we just lost to a team that got pounded by Purdue, so how can we complain?
     
  7. zeek55

    zeek55 Well-Known Member
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    Yeah, that's why I compared it to the Iowa line.

    I could see Utah as a small favorite due to them receiving a tentative home field advantage, but beyond that, they don't outclass us.
     
  8. Deeringfish

    Deeringfish Well-Known Member
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    Tell you what brothers, I live 50 minutes from campus and Utah is not a thing. We got this.
     
  9. SmellyCat

    SmellyCat Well-Known Member
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    Sagarin says 6.5 I think, and I find the opening lines are generally close to that.
     
  10. zeek55

    zeek55 Well-Known Member
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    Advanced stats love this Utah team. Efficient offense and defense.

    This matchup is a lot like Iowa in that respect.
     
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  11. Purple Pile Driver

    Purple Pile Driver Well-Known Member
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    PAC 12 was brutal this year.
     
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  12. NJcatsfan

    NJcatsfan Well-Known Member
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    I think their QB was out, but could be back for our game, so last week may not be representative...
     
  13. DaCat

    DaCat Well-Known Member
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    Utah is ranked above us, but this is still a slap in the face! Take it from here, Fitz.
     
  14. Alaskawildkat

    Alaskawildkat Well-Known Member
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    Easy to explain. Vegas is a lot closer to SLC than Evanston.

    It is my understanding from one who works for the Gaming Commission that College Sports Betting is not actually a money maker (at least in Nevada) , but it brings people into the casinos.
     
    14 Alaskawildkat, Dec 3, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  15. corbi296

    corbi296 Well-Known Member
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    So was Iowa. The oddsmakers and betting public have yet to recognize how good NU really is. Complete disrespect. I guess they'll get another reminder on New Year's eve.
     
  16. chicagocatfan24

    chicagocatfan24 Well-Known Member
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    Oddsmakers aren't actively trying to "disrespect" anyone. They're trying to make as much money as possible. The line will adjust as money pours onto one side or the other
     
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  17. corbi296

    corbi296 Well-Known Member
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    Where initial lines are set reflect a perception of the teams playing. The oddsmakers and the stats they use have regularly underestimated the strength of this NU team. Usually the betting public has subsequently reinforced that misperception. That has happened repeatedly this year and seems to be happening again in this bowl game matchup.
     
  18. Akeehn0912

    Akeehn0912 Well-Known Member
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    8.5 is a joke. Utah is good, but I’m surprised this is more than 5.
     
  19. corbi296

    corbi296 Well-Known Member
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    I don't know a ton about the Utes yet but from the little I have seen they seem like a program that is very similar to NU. From their coach, to their strength on defense to their spread offense, to the type of players they recruit. It seems like we are playing our mirror image and I would have expected the line to reflect that. Obviously not.
     
  20. Fitz51

    Fitz51 Well-Known Member
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    It's 6.5 to 7 across the market now.
     
  21. dut99002

    dut99002 New Member
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    Utah fan here. The fanbase is really excited to play in the Holiday Bowl and NU may be the best bowl opponent the Utes have faced in about a decade (Alabama in Sugar Bowl '08 season).

    This is probably the best team the Utes have fielded since joining the Pac-12 seven or eight years ago. They have had some key injuries as a few of you have noted. Namely, arguably their three best offensive players - Tyler Huntley (QB who may be back for the game), Zach Moss (NFL-caliber RB who is done for the season), and Britain Covey (slot WR who was hurt in the Pac-12 championship game and is almost assuredly out for many months). That said, despite losing Huntley and Moss the Utes still be Oregon, Colorado, and rival BYU and lost by a TD to Washington in the conference championship game. No bones about it, the Utah offense had a poor showing against Washington and had its worst game of the season, but the defense was excellent holding Washington to 3 offensive points.

    The Utes win bowl games (Coach Whittingham has lost only 1 bowl game ever...something like 10-1), so I'd expect the team to be well-prepared to play on 12/31 and they'll take NU very seriously. The Utes play excellent defense and special team. Their defense is good at every level - DL, LB, and DBs. Chase Hansen (LB #22) is the leader of the defense and is NFL-caliber. They are stout up front and fast on the edges. They play man-to-man generally (like Michigan, I believe).

    The special teams have arguably the best kicking duo in the country. The kicker (Matt Gay) won the Lou Groza award last season and is a finalist this year. The punter (Australian Mitch Wishnowsky) won the Ray Guy award two seasons ago. The head coach leads the special teams and that phase of the game is taken very seriously. Britain Covey being was their best (and most electric) PR and KR, but is out for the game so that may impact the return game.

    For many seasons the team has lacked a strong, consistent offense, which some believe is the reason they've struggled to win their Pac-12 division until this season. This year's offense may be the best overall they've fielded, albeit there have been some "off" games (both games against Washington). The coaching staff adjusted the offense slightly in mid-September which led to a mini-renaissance of sorts leading to a lot of high scoring games (40+ for four straight, including against USC, Stanford, and UCLA). Currently, there is not a single go-to person on offense, but I'd expect them to look to the group as a whole to produce on offense. The Utes tend to spread the ball around, using three different RBs (but mostly Shyne, the RB2), two TEs, and four or five WRs. They generally try to be run-first and use RPO and play action to set up the pass. They OL is big and physical. Either QB who starts is a running threat (Huntley or Shelley), but both are pass-first, in my opinion, but are more than capable of scrambling or running the option (particularly Shelley).

    Overall, expect a very physical team who will not quit or let-up. Along with Stanford and Washington, Utah is one of the more physical teams in their conference. They've faced quite a bit of adversity this season and so I expect them to play very, very hard against the Cats.
     
  22. Fitz51

    Fitz51 Well-Known Member
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  23. DaCat

    DaCat Well-Known Member
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    Utah sounds like a solid team built more like a B1G team than a Pac-12 team. NU is built to succeed in the B1G against the likes of _isconsin and Io_a (we own their "w"s) to whom you sound similar.

    Looking forward to the game.
     
  24. Akeehn0912

    Akeehn0912 Well-Known Member
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    Should be a really good game. I am pumped to see NU draw Utah. I like that they’re facing another division winner, and a team that deserved to be there with several quality wins this year. Expecting a good one in SD.
     
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  25. KramerCat91

    KramerCat91 Well-Known Member
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    Interestingly, Sagarin's recent statistic has us ahead by a quarter point over Utah. I think the game will be close.

    Sagarin is predicting an over-under of 46 which is favorable to our style of play - score relatively few points but keep opponent way below their average.
     
    25 KramerCat91, Dec 3, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  26. zeek55

    zeek55 Well-Known Member
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    Utah's bowl record has been incredibly impressive over the years. Just shows how well prepared your team is for the postseason every year.

    I'm expecting a great defense oriented game that will be close the whole way.
     
  27. hanzelka

    hanzelka New Member
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    As a utah fan I thought the line was a little large (I would guess Utah's bowl record plays into that somewhat). I expect a tough, hard fought game by two teams that rely on their defense and run games. Having watched both teams (although I've obviously seen Utah a lot more) I was impressed with how much they mirror each other. Should be a good game.
     
  28. FloridAlum

    FloridAlum Moderator
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    If I am not mistaken, the opening line was about 8 1/2 and is now about 6 1/2 or seven.
     
  29. hanzelka

    hanzelka New Member
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    Yea, I would have put it at about 3, and maybe either way.
     
  30. zeek55

    zeek55 Well-Known Member
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    Yeah, I'd give the home advantage to Utah (the best? or at least top 2-3 in the Pac-12 in terms of traveling), and then there's Whittingham's bowl record.

    In terms of our teams, we're pretty similar, both defensively oriented and more going for ball control/possession over the course of the final games.

    Utah's QB Huntley returning is an extra wildcard.


    I'd imagine a lot of neutral observers that see this matchup will think it's a close matchup and then just give the edge to Utah because of that bowl record; it's a fact that your teams are well-prepared for these games and find ways to win against all varieties of teams.
     
  31. hanzelka

    hanzelka New Member
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    I'd rather have Moss than Huntley if I had to chose. Shelley was really good in relief. If you watch the Washington game he was hitting receivers, but they kept dropping them. The one score was the return of a bobbled pass when Utah was driving for a go ahead score. Washington has a really good defense and our receivers had a tough time getting separation in both of the Washington games. I thought fatigue played a little into that because we had less recovery time than Washington after both played tough games the week before, but they played on Friday and we were late on Saturday.
     
  32. DaCat

    DaCat Well-Known Member
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    Remember 1981!! Revenge!! #justice #darkages #redemption
     
  33. PZAZ

    PZAZ Well-Known Member
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    Should be a good game. NU plays better in general when we're underdogs, so I imagine they'll have a chip on their shoulder when they go out. And our game against OSU will help in that we played against who I consider the best QB in the country despite the Heisman outcome. Having said that, sounds like we're playing ourselves in many ways, so will be interesting to see what happens.
     
  34. EvanstonCat

    EvanstonCat Well-Known Member
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    Before people go looking at the Washington game, consider their star QB was injured and so think about how many points we are likely to score if Thorson was out and we had to play TJ Green. Their QB is back for this game. Otherwise, you should see the line close a bit.

    Either way, expect the game to be low scoring, but it's not as if our offense has been remotely threatening, even with a healthy Thorson.
     

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