SpreadKnowledge NCAAF Free Pick of the Day – Thursday, August 29

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on  Twitter @14AdotWalsh
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[10:15 p.m. EST] #14 Utah Utes (-6.5) at BYU Cougars

Tonight will be the 100th installment of the Holy War rivalry as the BYU Cougars host the No. 14 Utah Utes. This game might not resonate with most of the country, but these two teams from The Beehive State absolutely despise each other and that should make for some great late-night TV on ESPN for us East coast viewers.

Utah won last year’s game by the score of 35-27, having to overcome a daunting 20-0 halftime deficit. The Utes outscored the Cougars 21-0 in the final quarter before walking away with the victory.

That loss was a massive blow for the entire BYU community, and it’ll certainly be in the back of their minds. However, the game is played on the field, and Utah’s personnel (particularly on offense) is much better than that of BYU.

Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley and running Zack Moss both missed last year’s game against BYU and a good chunk of the Utes’ final stretch run in 2018. They’ll certainly be excited to show the Cougars, and the rest of the nation, what people have missing for so long. Add in a very deep, and talented, Utes’ receiving core and new offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, and we’ve got smiles from ear to ear for this one.

Expect the ball to get spread around quite a bit tonight for the Utes. In addition to Moss, Utah has other talented running backs that can tote the rock as well.

BYU does have a talented quarterback in Zach Wilson, who completed all 18 of his passes for 317 yards and four touchdowns in the 2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl win over Western Michigan. However, that defense is nothing like the one he’ll be facing tonight.

Utah’s defensive line boasts numerous guys up front that’ll likely be playing on Sundays in the near future. While BYU’s O-line isn’t one to be considered a slouch, this will certainly make life difficult on their offense. Senior transfer Ty’Son Williams from South Carolina is expected to have a big year, but it could very well get off to a rocky start if Utah’s D-line brings their A-game.

That major comeback from last year’s game isn’t only on the minds of BYU. Expect Utah to come out with lots of energy and not let that same deficit haunt them this time around.

It’s important for bettors to act early and get that 6.5-point Utes’ spread, as opposed to the 7.0 one that might be floating around before kickoff.

* Final Score Prediction * Utah Utes: 31 – BYU Cougars: 20