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Utah vs. Northwestern Las Vegas Bowl Analysis and Predictions

Get the latest insights on the Utah vs. Northwestern showdown in the Las Vegas Bowl. Our comprehensive analysis covers odds, trends, key players, and expert predictions for this exciting college football clash.

Key Takeaways
  • Utah (7-5) and Northwestern (8-4) are set to face off in the Las Vegas Bowl, promising a defensive battle with both teams showcasing strong defensive records.
  • Utah’s Bryson Barnes and Northwestern’s Ben Bryant are pivotal quarterbacks, with their performances likely to influence the game’s outcome.
  • Utah’s history as a strong contender against the spread (6-5-1 ATS) contrasts with Northwestern’s impressive 8-4 ATS record, making the betting aspect of the game highly intriguing.

Game Analysis and Odds

Northwestern’s Resilient Season

Under the guidance of their newly appointed head coach David Braun, Northwestern has overcome a turbulent offseason to secure a bowl game spot. Ben Bryant’s leadership as quarterback, despite injuries, has been a cornerstone of their success.

Utah’s Challenging Season

Despite injuries plaguing their season, Utah, led by Bryson Barnes in the absence of Nate Johnson, looks to cap off their season with a victory. Utah’s defense, particularly their impressive defensive line, is expected to pose a significant challenge for Northwestern.

Odds and Betting Trends

  • Utah is 6-5-1 against the spread this season.
  • Northwestern stands at 8-4 ATS.
  • Both teams have a history of performing well in defensive situations, likely impacting the total score.

How to Watch

  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 23
  • Game Time: 7:30 PM EST
  • Venue: Allegiant Stadium
  • TV Broadcast: ABC

Key Players to Watch


  • Bryson Barnes: Stepping up as the starting quarterback, Barnes has shown promise with a 12-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio and 1,410 passing yards.


  • Ben Bryant: Despite injuries, Bryant has maintained a 65% completion rate and a strong passing game, essential for Northwestern’s offense.

Predictions and Preview

The Expected Gameplay

This game is projected to be defensively dominated, with neither team showing explosive offensive tendencies. Utah’s defensive line, ranked in the top 20, will be a significant obstacle for Northwestern.

Utah’s Offensive and Defensive Outlook

While Utah struggles in offensive yards per play and red zone touchdown percentage, their defense ranks 22nd in points allowed and is robust against the run.

Northwestern’s Strategy

Northwestern is expected to leverage their top 40 explosive pass and rush defense, challenging Utah’s offense to strategize effectively down the field.

Final Prediction and Insights

The game is expected to be a defensive battle, with both teams exerting pressure and control over the field. Utah’s experienced defense might edge out Northwestern, but the underdog Wildcats are known for their resilience.

Prediction: Expect a tightly contested game focusing on field position and defense, with a lean towards the under in total points.