The repeat Pac-12 champion Utah Utes return to Pasadena, where they’ll face the 10-2 Penn State Nittany Lions in a mouth-watering Rose Bowl clash. Who emerges as the winner of the marquee event of the college football bowl season? We’ve got all the latest college football betting odds and a Penn State vs. Utah prediction for the 2023 Rose Bowl.
Penn State vs. Utah Betting Preview
Utah (-120), Penn State (+100)
- Game time
5 p.m. ET
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
- Predicted weather
54.9 degrees, sunny, 8.4 mph winds
- How to watch
Are you looking to make some loot on the Utes? Can the Nittany Lions turn your nickels into a nice amount on Monday afternoon? Let’s examine the Penn State vs. Utah odds to find the best betting value in the Rose Bowl.
These two teams have been successful against the spread this season, making for an interesting Penn State vs. Utah prediction. The Utes are 8-5 ATS this year, covering in 61.5% of their games. Meanwhile, Penn State is 8-3-1, covering in 72.7% of their games.
Interestingly, Utah has failed to cover the spread in any of the games where they’ve been a single-digit spread favorite this season, going 0-4 ATS but 2-2 straight up. That could be decisive in a game where they’re a 1.5-point favorite. Meanwhile, Penn State is 0-2 straight up in games where they’re an underdog.
The two teams combine to be 15-10 in covering the over this season. Utah has covered the 53-point line in seven of their games, as has Penn State. With both teams missing a key defensive player, as we’ll get to in our Penn State vs. Utah prediction, we could be in for a high-scoring affair.
Prediction for Penn State vs. Utah
Utah returns to Pasadena, the scene of an exciting Rose Bowl one year ago that ended in defeat for the Utes, looking to win the Pac-12’s premier bowl game for the first time in program history.
Although Penn State has a Rose Bowl win on their record, they’ve lost the last two times they’ve played in Pasadena, and they haven’t represented the Big Ten in their annual postseason party since 2016.
So, which team will emerge as the winner on Monday evening?
Utah comes into the game as the favorite, and it’s easy to understand why. They played College Football Playoff spoiler in the Pac-12 Championship Game, embarrassing a USC team who was on the verge of breaking the conference’s voodoo to the final four.
You can argue that a hobbled Caleb Williams helped Utah win that game, but they were defensively dominant while finding success on the ground and through the air. The Utes have a solid running back rotation with Ja’Quinden Jackson and Micah Bernard, even without leading rushing Tavion Thomas who has opted out.
The ground game is helped out by quarterback Cameron Rising, who has added 409 rushing yards and six scores to his 2,939 passing yards and 25 touchdowns this year. Rising is the face of this program, a determined and gritty leader who is capable of strapping a team to his back and leading them to victory.
He’ll have to do that in the Rose Bowl without leading target Dalton Kincaid. Although Devaughn Vele and Money Parks have been impactful in the passing game, Kincaid leads the Utes with 890 yards and eight touchdowns. His opt-out is a significant loss for Utah’s chances of beating Penn State in the Rose Bowl.
The Utes have a significant defensive opt-out to contend with too. Clark Phillips III has routinely proven himself to be one of the best defensive backs in college football for the past three seasons and will take his talents to the NFL without suiting up in the Rose Bowl. The Utes have allowed just 20.4 points per game this year, but that stinginess could be tested on Monday.
Penn State has its own defensive losses to contend with. Rising can attack the Nittany Lions’ secondary safely knowing that Joey Porter Jr. will be prowling the sidelines and not the deep third. The star cornerback is as significant a loss to Penn State as Phillips is to the Utes. Nevertheless, they will have leading disruptor Kalen King patrolling the secondary.
Even without Porter, Penn State has the pieces to stymy the Utes’ ground game. The Nittany Lions allowed just 3.21 yards per carry to the ground game this year, with 13 rushing touchdowns. Utah also boasts an effective run defense, allowing just 3.83 yards per carry, 107 yards per game, and 15 touchdowns on the ground.
With that said, they haven’t faced anything like Penn State’s RB room, and I think that could be the difference-maker for the Nittany Lions as they bid for a first Rose Bowl win since 1994. In Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton, PSU has two of the most exciting young backs in the nation.
Sign me up for at least one score for each, with the Nittany Lions winning a close-fought matchup as the sun sets on the picture postcard Pasadena-based bowl game.
Prediction: Penn State 30, Utah 28