The 109th Rose Bowl will feature a traditional Big Ten vs Pac-12 matchup when No. 8 Utah meets No. 11 Penn State in Pasadena, California on Jan. 2.
The Utes (10-3) are back in the Rose Bowl for the second straight year after falling 48-45 to Ohio State in the 2022 game. Utah won the Pac-12 after stunning USC 47-24 in the Pac-12 Championship on Dec. 2.
The Nittany Lions (10-2) finished third in the Big Ten with their only two losses coming to College Football Playoff qualifiers Michigan and Ohio State. Penn State has not played in the Rose Bowl since the 2017 game when Sam Darnold and USC outlasted the Saquon Barkley-led Nittany Lions 52-49.
Here’s more on the Utah vs Penn State odds.
Penn State vs Utah Odds for Rose Bowl
As of Thursday, Dec. 27, the Utes are listed as a 2.5-point favorite over the Nittany Lions at Caesars Sportsbook.
- Print out your CFP bracket and read more on each matchup.
The game will pit two of the toughest defenses in FBS, but also a pair of high-octane offenses, which is why the Over/Under is reasonably set at 52.5 points.
Penn State vs Utah Prediction for Rose Bowl
Utah 38, Penn State 27
The Utes had the Buckeyes on the ropes in the New Year’s Day game last season, yet it all came unglued in the second half. Utah led 35-21 at the half, but Ohio State outscored them 27-10 in the second half and knocked quarterback Cameron Rising out of the game.
- Read up on more of our CFB bowl predictions.
You can bet Rising and the Utes are still stinging from that defeat, and coach Kyle Whittingham loves playing the underdog/redemption card.
Plus, Utah is a tough and talented team on both sides of the ball, led by Rising and All-American tight end Dalton Kincaid, who logged 890 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on the year.
Penn State should compete offensively, led by senior quarterback Sean Clifford and the two-headed backfield monster of Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton, who each had 1,000-plus yards from scrimmage this season.
But can Penn State’s defense get stops? Utah averaged 40 points per game, the eighth-best mark in the country.
Look for the Nittany Lions to take an early lead, but for the Utes to seize control in the second and third quarters and win going away.
Penn State vs Utah Best Bets for Rose Bowl
Over 52.5 Points (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
There were 93 points in the Rose Bowl a year ago. I already mentioned Utah’s offense, but Penn State ranked 19th in the country in points per game, scoring 35.8 per contest.
- Check out the latest CFB odds.
Plus, coaches tend to dial up special plays in bowl games since there’s essentially nothing to lose, which leads to extra offense.
The weather in Pasadena should be perfect, as always, which lends itself to a high-scoring thriller between two great offenses.
Utah -2.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
Penn State has led in the second half in each of its 12 games, including its losses to Michigan and Ohio State, yet was outscored 56-20 in the second half in its two defeats.
Utah is noteworthy for its ability to win the third and fourth quarters — it outscored USC 30-7 in the second half of the Pac-12 championship.
You can bet Whittingham will put an emphasis on finishing this season strong since the Utes blew the Rose Bowl a year ago. If you think Utah will win, taking them to cover a field goal is a no-brainer.