The Rose Bowl is expected to feature a great matchup this year, with Ohio State taking on Utah. Utah won its first-ever Pac-12 Championship a couple of weeks ago against Oregon after it flew under the radar throughout most of the season.
The Utes finished the regular season 10-3 overall, and they even beat the Ducks twice in three weeks to take home that Pac-12 crown.
Ohio State finished its regular season 10-2 after not being able to return to the Big Ten Championship Game. In their last game of the regular season, the Buckeyes fell to the Wolverines, 42-27, as Hassan Haskins ran wild on their defense.
Can OSU keep chugging along offensively for this matchup?
All NCAAF gameday odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and updated as of 1:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 30.
Utah vs. Ohio State Prediction
Throughout the entire season, the Ohio State Buckeyes were ranked as one of the top four teams in the nation. The Buckeyes seemed to be hitting their stride after that loss to Oregon and needed only two wins to get back to the College Football Playoff.
As I wrote above, that didn’t happen as they lost to the Wolverines, which meant they couldn’t defend their conference championship.
That said, this is still a really dangerous team. Offensively, the Buckeyes can beat any team in multiple ways. C.J. Stroud can do it with his arm or legs, and TreVeyon Henderson is well on his way to becoming one of the top backs in the nation (if he isn’t already).
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Stroud had a Heisman-worthy season, and if it weren’t for Alabama’s Bryce Young, he might have won the award. He finished the regular season with 3,862 yards, and 38 touchdown passes to just five interceptions.
Even against Michigan, Stroud was the only reason that game was close. He had 394 yards passing with two touchdowns and no picks.
On the other side, Utah is also pretty explosive on offense. Quarterback Cameron Rising had a strong year for the Utes after throwing for 2,279 yards along with 18 touchdowns and five interceptions during the regular season.
Utah’s bread and butter, though, is its running game. The Utes have the Buckeyes beat in that department as they had the No. 14 rushing attack during the regular season. OSU comes in at No. 41 overall, even with Henderson having a great year.
This game will be close and high-scoring, but in the end, I have the Buckeyes taking it by one score.
Rose Bowl Prediction: Ohio State 42, Utah 34
Rose Bowl Best Bets
Best Bet: Ohio State -4 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
I’ve been burned many times with these picks in the past, but I like my chances with Ohio State. They have the top offense in college football in terms of total offense (551.4 yards per game), and they also have the fifth-ranked passing offense (364.9 yards per game).
Despite being outside the top 40 in rushing offense, TreVeyon Henderson is always ready to strike. He had a strong regular season as a freshman after he rushed for 1,172 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Receivers Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba haven’t even been mentioned yet after their stellar seasons. They all had 900+ receiving yards and 31 combined touchdowns.
I know Utah is No. 12 overall in total defense, but I think it’s going to be hard for that unit to stop all of the weapons that OSU has.
Best Bet: Over 64 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
With how many high-scoring games both teams have been in this season, this one almost feels too easy. The Buckeyes can score points at will, and with how their defense has played against some top competition, I would expect the Utes to return the favor.
Tavion Thomas finished with 1,040 yards and 20 touchdowns during the regular season for the Utes, so they have their Henderson equivalent ready to go. Buckeye fans better hope that the defense has fixed some things after the Wolverines ran all over them a couple of weeks ago.
I think OSU will be a bit better in the run game, but Thomas and co. should still be able to have a good day. If you couple that with OSU’s rushing and passing attack, you get a ton of points.
Roll with the Over here.
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