Penn State Upsets Utah: Rose Bowl Picks

  • No. 8 Utah (10-3) is a 2-point favorite over No. 11 Penn State (10-2)
  • Nittany Lions are 1-3 all-time in the “Grand Daddy of Them All” while the Utes are looking for their first bowl game win since 2017
  • The 109th Rose Bowl on ESPN kicks off from Pasadena, California on Jan. 2, 2023 at 5pm E.T.

Utah is heading back to Pasadena after losing a 48-45 shootout to Ohio State last year. For the first time in school history, the Utes will face Penn State, which is making its first Rose Bowl appearance since 2016.

Before we check the odds for the New Year’s Six bowl game on January 2, here’s where your can find the latest NCAAF betting opportunities and our guide to betting on the 2022 NCAAF National Championship.

Utah (8) vs Penn State (11)

BetOnline ReviewSpreadMoney LineTotal Points
Penn State+2.0 (-109)Ov 52 (-110)
Utah-2.0 (-111)Un 52 (-110)

The 109th Rose Bowl

Cameron Rising threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns in Utah’s 47-24 beatdown of USC in the Pac-12 Championship Game. In addition to earning the Utes their second-straight trip to Pasadena, the win helped Penn State secure its fifth appearance in “The Granddaddy of Them All.” How?

Well, the Big 10’s Rose Bowl berth usually goes to the highest-ranked conference team not in the College Football Playoff. So, Utah’s victory over USC allowed both Ohio State and Michigan to make the CFP tournament, opening up a Rose Bowl spot for the Nittany Lions.

Sean Clifford’s final send off

Sean Clifford is the Nittany Lions’ all-time leader in passing yards (10,382) and passing touchdowns (84). After leading the program to its first 11-win season since 2019, the senior quarterback’s six-year run at Penn State will come to an end on January 2nd. His final mission? Hand the ball off to Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen. The freshmen running backs combined for 1,771 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns in 2022.

Both Clifford and his RBs could be in tough against the Utes. Utah allowed just 107 rushing yards per game (16th nationally) and racked up 38 sacks this season (tied for eighth).

Utah UtesTo Cover Spread
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Penn StateTo Cover Spread
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Utes vs Nittany Lions

No. 8 Utah is a two-point favorite over No. 11 Penn State in Pasadena and the over-under is set at 52 points. A total that seems kind of low after the Utes and Buckeyes racked up 93 combined points at last year’s Rose Bowl. While they’re not in the same conversation as Ryan Day’s high-powered attack, the Nittany Lions’ top-20 scoring offense outscored four Big Ten opponents 165-40 in four November games.

Penn State’s only losses this season came against No. 2 Michigan and No. 4 Ohio State, who both made the College Football Playoff. Meanwhile, Utah’s losses were to Florida, UCLA (No. 18) and Oregon (No. 15).

While Kyle Whittingham’s club has consecutive Pac-12 championships and four South Division title in five years, the Utes are still looking for their first bowl game victory since 2017. Meanwhile, Penn State is just 1-3 all-time in the Rose Bowl.

The Nittany Lions will be without top cornerback Joey Porter Jr. and Utah will be missing star tight end Dalton Kincaid. Both are skipping the game to prepare for the NFL Draft.

Best Bet

This is Penn State’s first-ever meeting with the Utes, but they are 25-14 all-time against current Pac-12 schools. Most recently defeating Washington 35-28 in the 2017 Fiesta Bowl.

The underrated Nittany Lions will take care of business in the Rose Bowl, handing Utah another hard-fought loss in Pasadena.

Final Score Prediction: Penn State 30, Utah 28

Utah vs Penn State-110
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Steve Starr

Steve is the quintessential American sports enthusiast. He has mastered the art of Sundays, devoting them to football, and barbecue parties. He proudly wears the hats of a good father, husband and a great dog owner. Aside from his decades of contributing to different top-tier sports publications, Steve has also found his niche on Twitter, where he publishes funny and relatable sports-related insights. When he's not busy tweeting, Steve loves to watch each game unfold live. He possesses an innate talent for finding humor in the sports world, appreciating both the thrilling moments and the comedic mishaps that make each event unique.