Arizona is the only winless team in the Pac-12 South Division so it’s a must win for the Wildcats on Saturday as they visit No. 24 Utah, which sits a game out of the first-place lead in the division held by surprising Colorado. The Utes are solid favorites in online college football betting.
Here’s a Look at the Arizona at Utah Free Pick, Betting Spread & TV Info
When: Saturday, Oct. 10, 8 PM ET
Where: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City
TV: Fox Sports 1
Opening NCAA Football Lines: Utah -9 (54.5)
Why Bet on Arizona?
The Wildcats come off a 45-24 loss to UCLA. The injury-riddled Wildcats (2-3, 0-2) saw their offensive ranks further depleted. Quarterback Brandon Dawkins took a big hit from linebacker Kenny Young in the second quarter and was replaced after halftime. Running back Nick Wilson came up limping late in the first quarter.
Dawkins had been in the midst of a brilliant, breakout stretch. He was second in the Pac-12 in rushing entering Saturday’s game, and he led Arizona to a 7-0 lead with a 30-yard run, a 34-yard pass and a 3-yard touchdown toss. But later in the first half, Dawkins got hurt. He tried to stay in the game but couldn’t. With Week 1 starter Anu Solomon (knee) not making the trip, Coach Rich Rodriguez turned to walk-on Zach Werlinger in the hopes of somehow generating some offense while preserving freshman Khalil Tate’s redshirt. But when Werlinger proved ineffective – he failed to complete any of his five pass attempts – Rodriguez turned to Tate.
Tate came in at quarterback on Arizona’s second possession of the second half, leading a drive that ended in a Josh Pollack field goal. Tate’s next drive ended with a 31-yard touchdown to Shun Brown. Tate finished 5 for 9 for 72 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also rushed for 79 yards on 15 carries. Tate is the first true freshman to see time at quarterback for Arizona since Matt Scott in 2008. Tate is the first true freshman to throw multiple touchdown passes in his debut since Willie Tuitama in 2005. Against Oregon, Tuitama threw for 182 yards and two touchdowns to go with an interception.
Now that Tate’s redshirt has been burned, he becomes a more available option, and he insists he’ll be ready to play once again if he’s called upon.
“Coach encourages competition,” Tate said. “Every week it’s anybody’s job. If you practice really well, you’re probably get a shot in the game and that’s what happened.”
Senior wide receiver Nate Phillips had a pair of catches Saturday and now has at least one catch in 38 straight games. That’s tied for the fifth-longest streak in the nation and tied for the longest by a player in a Power 5 conference.
Why Bet on Utah?
The Utes (4-1, 1-1) lost 28-23 at California. Utah rallied from an early 14-0 deficit and held California to its lowest offensive output this season before the Utes were stopped at the one-yard line in the final seconds. Coach Kyle Whittingham defended the final three play calls within Cal’s 2-yard line, none of which made it in the end zone. He defended the decision to run the game’s final play with freshman Zack Moss over sophomore Armand Shyne, who was one yard shy of being Utah’s first 100-yard back this year.
“No regrets whatsoever,” Whittingham said. “We wouldn’t be in the position we were in the game had we not gone for it on numerous fourth downs. And so the one we didn’t get at the end, you know, you gotta be aggressive.”
Utah went 4-for- 5 in fourth down conversions, converting four straight before failing on a conversion on 4th-and- 1 in the fourth quarter. The Utes are 9-for- 10 in fourth down conversions this year.
The Utes held the Bears to their lowest scoring output and fewest total yards of the season, out-gaining the Bears 442-362 yards. Cal entered the game averaging 45 points and 594.5 yards a game. After relinquishing 174 yards and 14 points in the first quarter, the Utah defense held Cal to 14 points and 188 yards over the final three quarters.
Utah got career games from Shyne (99 yards rushing and two touchdowns) and Raelon Singleton (98 yards receiving). Troy Williams threw for 266 yards, going 24-for- 43 with no interceptions. Utah had over 400 yards of total offense for the fourth time this year (442).
My Free Pick
Wildcats are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
Wildcats are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings in Utah.
Underdog is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
Road team is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
Going against the trends here and taking Utah in NCAA football betting and the under.