Rose Bowl Betting Picks – Penn State vs. Utah

By Mike Rose

The Utah Utes find themselves back in the Rose Bowl a second straight season after rattling off a 10-3 campaign that ended with a Pac-12 title game win over the USC Trojans. They went 8-5 against the college football betting odds and played to the over on seven of 13 occasions. The Penn State Nittany Lions procured a double-digit win tally for the first time since the 2019 season that saw James Franklin’s kids go 7-5 against the spread and play to the under at a 9-3 clip. Unfortunately, a couple big name players have decided to sit this game out and some of the names are very notable with each making big impacts for their respective teams on either side of the ball. Dalton Kincaid of the Utes is the biggest name to have opted out in the bowl season! As such, I’m going to fade the betting market and look for points to be a bit tougher to come by than expected in this Big Ten/Pac-12 showdown.


Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Utah Utes

Date and Time: Monday, January 2, 2023 at 4:00 PM EST

Location: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California

TV Coverage: ESPN


Betting Line


PointsBet Sportsbook opened the Rose Bowl betting lines up at a pick ‘em with the total set at 48.5. Though Utah will be without its premiere tight end, the betting market has still gravitated towards Kyle Whittingham’s kids with the Utes bet up to 2.5-point favorites even though its only received 49 percent of the bets and 42 percent of the money per current wager reports. Utah has been terrible as a favorite in the bowl season of late dropping each of the last two instances to Texas (-7) and Northwestern (-6.5) in the Alamo Bowl and Holiday Bowl respectively. Penn State’s only won four of its last 10 bowl appearances and stands 0-3 SU and 1-2 ATS the last three times it went off the board dogged.


Total bettors have hit the over like they already saw the final score in Biff’s Almanac! Linemakers have had very little luck piquing interest on the under with the number to beat all the way up to 52.5 by way of 94 percent of the bets and money funneling in on the high side of the impost. Makes sense considering the Nittany Lions have cashed over tickets in the bowl season in four of their last five appearances. As for Utah, it’s played to the over in two of its last three post season appearances.


Points-Bet-Banner-Oct-04-2022-07-33-02-41-PMPenn State Nittany Lions


PSU marches an above average offense onto the gridiron. It’s ranked No. 35 overall in averaging over 432 yards per game and dented scoreboards for just over 35.0 points per game (No. 19). Sean Clifford was the ringleader of the nation’s No. 51 ranked passing attack that averaged over 250 yards per game and 7.5 yards per pass attempt (No. 56). His favorite target was Parker Washington, but he’s injured and already declared for the NFL Draft. The Nittany Lions No. 43 ranked rushing attack spearheaded by Nicholas Singleton will have its hands full navigating through and around the Utes No. 16 ranked run defense that only allowed 107.0 yards per game.


Utah Utes


Utah was an incredibly fun offense to watch pick apart opposing defenses over the course of the regular season. Cameron Rising is one of those quarterback dynamos that can hurt you with both his arm and his legs. The junior threw for over 2,900 yards and a 25:7 TD/INT ratio and added another 409 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. His favorite target proved to be Kincaid whom he hooked up with 70 times for 890 yards and 8 TD. He however won’t be in the huddle for this game. Fully loaded and ready to go however will be a loaded stable of running backs led by Tavion Thomas and his 687 yards and 4.8 yard per carry average looking to do damage against a rock solid Penn State run defense (No. 15).


The Wager


Though Utah will be without its best cover man in Clark Phillips III, I still think Penn State’s passing attack has issues doing much of any damage through the air. On the flipside, Kincaid’s absence will take Rising’s security blanket out of the equation for the Utes. As such, points are going to be tougher to come by than the betting public expects. At least I hope! This matchup pits two of the best defenses the Pac-12 and B1G up against one another, and I firmly expect each to flex their muscles in “The Granddaddy of Them All” to keep the scoring in check.


Bet the Rose Bowl between Penn State and Utah at PointsBet Sportsbook