Jeff's 2022 Pac-12 Spotlight Team
Utah Utes (2021: 10-4 SU, 7-7 ATS)
I think the Utes are in prime position to win the Pac-12 title once again. The Utes are stout on the offensive line, returning three starters from a team that ranked No. 21 last season. Junior QB Cameron Rising returns after leading the offense to a Pac-12 Championship. He passed for 2,943 yards with 20 TD's and just 5 interceptions. Tavion Thomas (1,108 rushing yards, 21 TD's) and Micah Bernard (523 rushing yards, 2 TD's) return to form a lethal 1-2 punch in the backfield. Favorite target Brant Kuithe returns after putting up 50 REC, 611 YDS, and 6 TD's last season. Rising should continue to improve after posting a QBR of 84.2, which ranked No. 6 last season. Utah led the nation in most starts by underclassmen in 2021. That bodes very well going forward. Kyle Whittingham is a great teacher and leader since arriving in 2004. His career record is 144-66 and is the all-time leader in wins at Utah. The defense was terrific ranking No. 21 last season at Football Outsiders. I think they will be even better this season. I would not completely rule out a trip to the playoffs!
Utah Best Bet: Over 8.5 -125 (Regular Season)
Utah Best Bet: Pac-12 Champs (+260)
Utah Preferred Bet: Utah +1.5 over Florida (Week 1)