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Utah vs. BYU picks and best bets for Week 2

Week 2 brings the return of the Holy War.

Utah Utes quarterback Charlie Brewer in a game between the Weber State Wildcats and the Utah Utes on September 2, 2021 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah Photo by Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The return of college football in 2021 means the return of great rivalries that were put on hold last fall because of the pandemic. One of those is the Holy War, where the Utah Utes and BYU Cougars will renew their long, bitter feud in Provo this Saturday at 10:15 p.m. ET.

Both teams are coming off wins in their respective season openers last week. Utah dominated Weber State 40-17 thanks in large part to the play of running back Tavion Thomas (12 carries, 107 yards, two touchdowns) and quarterback Charlie Brewer (19-27, 233 yards, two touchdowns, one interception), who made his Utes debut after transferring from Baylor.

In their first game post-Zach Wilson, BYU handled business with a 24-16 victory over Arizona. QB Jaren Hall played well in his first assignment as the full-time starter and his life was made easier by wide receiver Neil Pau’u, who had eight receptions for 126 yards, and two TD’s. The Cougar defense also managed to compile four sacks in the win.

Here’s all the data you’ll want, and a pick for the game!

SP+ Rankings

Utah: 11th overall, 22nd offense, 9th defense
BYU: 44th overall, 35th offense, 67th defense

Injury update

Utah

Safety R.J. Hubert Out For Season – Achilles

BYU

WR Kody Epps Out Sat – Foot

WR Gunner Romney Doub Sat – Knee

WR Brayden Cosper Out For Season – Undisclosed

DB Keenan Ellis Ques Sat – Neck

LB Max Tooley Ques Sat – Undisclosed

LB Jackson Kaufusi Ques Sat – Undisclosed

WR Puka Nacua Prob Sat – Hamstring

ATS/Total

Against The Spread

Utah: 0-1 ATS
BYU: 0-1 ATS

Total

Utah: Over 1-0
BYU: Over 0-1

Returning/Overall Talent from 247Sports

Utah: 34th overall, 28th offense, 55th defense
BYU: 93rd overall, 86th offense, 94th defense

Current lines at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Utah -7
Total: 49
Moneyline: Utah -280, BYU +225

Opening line: Utah -6
Opening total: 47.5

Weather

57 degrees, 7 MPH wind ESE, 24% chance of rain

The Pick

Utah -7

BYU fans may be riding high this weekend after they officially received an invite to join the Big XII, but that excitement will be somewhat tempered when hosting the Utes. There’s a giant discrepancy in terms of returning talent and the Utes have a season quarterback in Brewer guiding them. Plus, Utah has owned this series for the last decade, winning nine straight dating back to 2010. It doesn’t matter that this game is at the scenic LaVell Edwards Stadium, give me the Utes to cover.

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