Alamo Bowl Betting – Utah Utes vs. Texas Longhorns

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

Are the Utah Utes going to be all in for this game after coming so close to participating in the College Football Playoff? Instead Utah is headed to San Antonio to compete in the Alamo Bowl against an opponent they actually have a chance of beating. After watching Oklahoma get smothered by LSU in a CFP semifinal, which is where the Utes were likely headed had they defeated Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship, they are delighted to be taking on the disappointing Texas Longhorns with a chance to win their 16th bowl game since 1999.

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Utah Utes vs. Texas Longhorns

Date and Time: Tuesday, December 31, 2019, 7:30 p.m. ET

Location: Alamodome, San Antonio, TX

Opening College Football Odds: Utah -6.5, O/U 55

Utah vs. Texas TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

Instead of being a double-digit dog in the CFP, Utah opened as a 6.5-point favorite to beat the Longhorns in Texas. UT let a lot of people down with their sad season that started with so much promise. The Horns opened the season ranked 10th after a 10-win season in 2018, and won four of their first five with the lone setback by seven points to LSU, and we know how good the Tigers are. Texas lost four of its last seven games falling to Big 12 leaders Oklahoma and Baylor along the way while going 3-4 ATS in that span. The Horns ended at 7-5 SU and 6-6 ATS. The total hasn’t moved since hitting the board at 55.

Utah Utes

Riding a major heater heading into the Pac-12 title game, maybe the Utes were due for a letdown. With the carrot at the end of the stick being a berth in the CFP you wouldn’t expect that to be the case. So it was quite alarming that Utah’s eight game SU and ATS win streak ended with such a thud in a 37-15 loss to Oregon. A season can’t be defined by one game, but when it’s as big for the program and the conference as the matchup with the Ducks was, well, maybe the Utes just weren’t ready for the spotlight.

I find that hard to believe. Utah has senior leaders at key position and they’ve been here before. The record wasn’t as glossy, but the Utes played for the Pac-12 title in 2018, only to come up empty against Washington. In their two conference title games, the Utes have scored a total of 18 points. Led by seniors Brett Huntley and Zack Moss, they are too good to come up empty again. The Utes don’t throw the football a lot, but when they do Huntley has been efficient. He completed nearly 74 percent of this 278 throws for 2,966 yards and 18 interceptions with only four picks.

The offense will also get a boost from Moss, who is playing even though there’s an NFL career in his future. Moss led the Pac-12 in rushing by a wide margin scampering for 1,359 yards for a 113.3 per game average and 6.2 yards per carry average. And that’s bad news for a porous group of Texas defenders.

Texas Longhorns

The Horns are looking for a similar finish like they had in Tom Herman’s first two years. They ended those campaigns with a bowl victory, but this one carries some importance to it. The team struggled down the stretch and things could’ve been much worse if not for a last-second field goal to beat Kansas. As it was Texas limped to the finish line losing four of six and going 2-4 ATS in those games. A 49-24 win over Texas Tech in the regular season finale at least guaranteed a winning record, but 8-5 sounds a lot sweeter than 7-6, especially after all the trouble they endured.

The sideline on Tuesday will look much different than it did during the regular season. Changes had to be made after the Horns didn’t live up to their billing, and defensive coordinator Todd Orlando paid the price for being the architect of the nation’s 108th ranked unit. The Horns surrendered 446.3 yards per game and over 306 yards through the air. It was easy to see where the problems existed and Herman did his best to change things in time for bowl season.

Texas ranked among the top-20 in total offense, passing offense and scoring per game, but that wasn’t enough for offensive coordinator Tim Beck to escape the wrath of Herman. Beck was reassigned and two offensive assistants were fired. And the question is whether or not the team responds to the new voices.

Bet Utah vs. Texas at

There are a lot of different storylines ahead of this matchup, but ultimately the game will be won or lost on the field. And typically the team with better players wins. Texas played a number of ranked foes while the Utes got by in the weaker division in the Pac. Still, the Utes pounded their opponents with an aggressive defense and explosive offensive. And I see Utah putting that title game loss behind them to finish off with a cover win.

Alamo Bowl Score Prediction: Utah 36, Texas 26

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- Phil Simon,

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