Game of the Day: Utah at Oregon State

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Utah Utes at Oregon State Beavers (+2.5,
52.5)

Utah quarterback Kendal Thompson is expected to make his first
start Thursday when the Utes visit Oregon State, which won last
season’s meeting 51-48 in overtime. Thompson, who transferred
in the offseason from Oklahoma, replaced an inefficient Travis
Wilson and rushed for 83 yards to spark No. 23 Utah’s 30-28
upset of UCLA on Oct. 4. Utes coach Kyle Whittingham hasn’t
named a starter for Thursday, but all signs point to Thompson
getting the nod.

After opening Pac-12 play with a 35-10 loss at USC, Oregon
State bounced back from a with a 36-31 victory at Colorado on
Oct. 4. Beavers senior quarterback Sean Mannion threw five
touchdowns in last year’s win over Utah, but brings a 5-to-4
touchdown-to-interception ratio into this season’s matchup.
While Mannion and his young receiving corps has struggled
throughout the first half of the season, Oregon State ranks
second in the Pac-12 in total defense at 331.4 yards allowed
per game.

TV: 10 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1.

LINE HISTORY:
Utah opened as 2-point road favorites
and were bet as high as -3, before settling at -2.5. The total
opened at 52 and is now up to 52.5.

INJURY REPORT: Oregon State – OL Garrett
Weinreich (questionable Thursday, knee). Utah – N/A.

WEATHER REPORT: It will be mostly cloudy at
kickoff with seven mile per hour wind blowing towards the
northwest endzone. There will be a slight nine percent chance
of rain.

COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Utah (-10.5) – Oregon
State (-4) + home field (-3) = Oregon State +3.5

WHAT BOOKS SAY: “We opened Utah as a 1.5
point favorite on the road on Sunday and quickly went to -2 as
we took a sharp bet at the 1.5 number. On Monday we went up to
Utah -3 but by the end of the day we settled on Utah -2.5 were
we currently sit with 64 percent of the action.  We opened
the total 54.5 yesterday and saw a flood of public money come
in on the under pushing us to 53.5 this morning we adjusted to
53 then to 51.5 where we had some sharp money come in on the
over at that number forcing us back up to 53 with 59% of the
action now on the over.” – Michael Stewart of Carbonsports.ag

WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “Pac-12 rivals Utah and
Oregon State will meet in Corvallis on Thursday night. Both
teams are 4-1, and both are well rested coming off a bye. The
Utes though have climbed into the rankings after upsetting UCLA
in Pasadena. The Beavers will likely have their hands full
trying to stop Utah’s power running game.” – Covers
Expert Jesse Schule.

CHEERLEADER WAR:

ABOUT UTAH (4-1, 4-1 ATS, 2-3 O/U): Running
back Devontae Booker had 156 yards on 33 carries against UCLA
and could post similar numbers against an Oregon State front
seven that is missing two injured starters. The Utes’ defense
leads the nation in sacks (5.6 per game) and tackles for loss
(10.2 per game), and defensive end Nate Orchard ranks first in
the country with 8.5 sacks. The Utes boast one of the top
special teams units in the country, led by kicker Andy Phillips
and kick returner Kaelin Clay, who leads the Pac-12 in punt
return average (23.1).

ABOUT OREGON STATE (4-1, 2-3 ATS, 2-3 O/U):
Terron
Ward provided a boost for the Beavers’ offense with 102 rushing
yards and two touchdowns against Colorado, but Mannion has
struggled at times while waiting for receivers such as Victor
Bolden and Richard Mullaney to become consistent downfield
threats. The Beavers rank second in the league in passing
efficiency defense, led by linebackers Michael Doctor, D.J.
Alexander and Jabral Johnson. Kicker Trevor Romaine has been on
a tear since missing the first two games, going 8-for-8 on
extra points and 4-for-4 on field goals, including a 47-yarder.

TWEET BEAT:

TRENDS:

* Oregon State is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
* Utah is 4-0 ATS versus a team with a winning record.
* Under is 7-1 in Utah’s last eight games versus a team with a
winning record.
* Under is 5-1 in Oregon State’s last six home games.

COVERS CONSENSUS:
Just under 52 percent of wagers are
backing Utah at -2.5.

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