The college football season is less than a couple of months away, so it’s time to dive into some plays in the future market. For this play, we’re going to the PAC-12 with a team that we backed often last season. I think this squad could take things to the next level in 2022.
Let’s make some money on DraftKings Sportsbook.
As you’ll notice by all the plays in this article, Utah is my favorite team to exceed expectations in 2022. I’ll be backing the Utes in a handful of ways. But simply put, this is a really, really good team that got over some early growing pains in 2021 and returns almost all of the top-end talent.
In 2021, Utah went with Charlie Brewer at QB to begin the season — a transfer from Baylor. That was a massive mistake, as the Utes began the season a disappointing 1-2. From there, Utah made the switch to Cam Rising and were one of the best teams in college football — 9-1 overall in PAC-12 play, including a dominating win over Oregon in the PAC-12 title game.
Utah also held its own in the Rose Bowl against a team many thought had a chance to make the College Football Playoff, leading much of the game before falling 48-45 in a classic against Ohio State. With 14 returning starters and some huge gets in the transfer portal, we should see the Utah team we saw in those final 11 games of 2021, only a better and more experienced group with another year under their belts.
If we go through the schedule, it’s very possible Utah could be favored in all 12 regular season games. They open up on the road at Florida, which could be a tough game. However, after opening as a dog, the Utes have already moved to two-point favorites. I expect that number to keep moving, and like Utah in the game.
DKSB has Utah as a dog in just one game — +1 on the road at Oregon, so close to a coin-flip game. I think by the time we get to this game, Utah should be the favorite. Keep in mind, these teams met twice in 2021, and Utah won by a combined score of 76-17 while Oregon was ranked in the top-10 in both matchups.
When Phil Steele joined me on the Unreasonable Odds Podcast, we agreed that this was a double-digit win team. Steele made reference multiple times to the idea of an undefeated Utah team reaching the College Football Playoff — which is +500 on DKSB. In Phil’s nine sets of power ratings that he does each season in his magazine, four of them called for Utah to go 12-0 in the regular season. Athlon Sports agrees in their magazine, with Utah finishing the regular season 10-2 with a win in the PAC-12 title game.
It’s worth noting that you probably can hold off on betting this win total until closer to the season. Some shops opened 8.5 on Utah, so I don’t see this number getting much higher than the current price at nine wins flat. DKSB should release some alternate win totals, so we might be able to also bet a juicy 8.5 rather than a flat number.
Speaking of the PAC-12 title game, I think we can potentially get a better bet than the win total on Utah by just betting them at plus-money to land in the title game. This team won the PAC-12 last year, and is in position to do so again. We also have a rule change in the PAC-12 — this game will no longer be the winner of the North versus South Divisions. The top-two teams in terms of conference win percentage will play in this game, which helps the Utes.
Oregon is in a far softer division, and should find its way to nine or 10 wins with the potential to reach this game. However, USC and Utah could both wind up 10 or 11 win teams in the South Division, yet face each other in the game. Regardless, I think Utah is winning 10 or more games, which will be enough to get them into this game. At +115, that’s worth betting just as large as the win total.
Not much analysis needed at this point. Utah has a chance to run the table or show up in this game the winner of 11 regular season games. I obviously want some exposure to them to win this game at +250.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
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