Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:15 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Penn State -1 -105 over Utah
Rose Bowl Game – Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
5:00 PM EST. The Utes come in as back-to-back Pac 12 Champions and their most recent accolade in the conference championship catapulted their recency bias to new heights when they demolished USC 47-24 in Las Vegas. The entire betting world had their dollars on USC in the rematch of a contest settled by a two-point conversion in Salt Lake City in the regular season but the Utes quickly erased any hope of a cashed ticket when they outscored the Men of Troy 44-7 after trailing early in the second quarter. From that result, we also have an element of a zig-zag, which plays into our approach, as well. However, we must also consider the market’s assessment of the Nittany Lions, which is also pivotal.
Despite qualifying for its fourth Rose Bowl, Penn State has only won it once in its history; that was in 1995 under Joe Paterno when PSU beat the Oregon Ducks, 38-20. Since that storied day, Penn State has been back to Pasadena twice and come away with no wins. When we couple that with Penn State’s overall standing as the third best team in the B1G, the market is reluctant to buy into the Nittany Lions as any form of a threat in this match-up, even if the oddsmakers have priced this game pretty much as a toss-up.
Then there is the narrative fueling betting sentiment that Utah wants to win this game more than Penn State because it let Ohio State get away in last year’s Rose Bowl. We could preach until we are blue in the face about the lack of verity in such a statement because we assure you that Penn State wants to win this game as much as Utah does. After all, winning the Rose Bowl is one of the most coveted prizes in all of college football and Penn State is playing with house money here, as they weren’t even supposed to be here.
The Nittany Lions were sent to Pasadena because two teams (Ohio State and Michigan) went to the College Football Playoff from their conference (the only two teams that Penn State lost to in 2022, by the way). As a result, PSU gets a rare opportunity afforded it and there is little question that they will be looking to make the most of it. Utah meanwhile is “supposed” to win because of its elevated market presence. Utah’s overall body of work wasn’t even that impressive, as they beat up on a bunch of weak teams this year while losing to Florida, UCLA and Oregon. The Utes barely got by Wazzou in a game they were extremely fortunate to win. All the hype on the Utes here is not warranted.
Penn State -1 -105 (Risking 2.1 units - To Win: 2.00)