The Utah Utes take on the Oregon Ducks. Check out our college football odds series for our Utah Oregon prediction and pick.

This game has become a very uncertain event for anyone thinking about betting on it. Let’s get you up to date on what has happened. First, Oregon quarterback Bo Nix got injured late in last week’s game against Washington. He had to leave the game for a few plays. He came back in for Oregon’s final drive, but his mobility was clearly limited. He was still able to throw the ball with reasonably good velocity, but his running ability was clearly hampered. The expectation at the start of this week was that Nix would play, but in the middle of the week, a comment by Oregon receiver Kris Hutson strongly pointed to Nix not being able to play. Oregon coach Dan Lanning made cryptic, imprecise statements which seemed to display a refusal to directly address Nix’s health status. The logical assumption reinforced Hutson’s comments. Nix was not ready to play.

Given all of this intrigue — and Oregon’s lack of confidence about Nix’s readiness for this huge game, whose winner is almost certain to play in the Pac-12 Championship Game — the betting line moved from Oregon being favored by two points to Utah being favored by two and a half points. A 4.5-point line movement reflects the clear belief that Nix will not play. If he can’t, Oregon backup Ty Thompson is likely to get the call. Thompson could not beat out Anthony Brown last season, and he has not gotten many reps this season behind Nix. It is very doubtful that Thompson can beat Utah in a 60-minute game. Playing a few isolated snaps in relief of Nix, maybe, but certainly not as the start-to-finish quarterback for a full game.

Oregon has been very guarded about this situation, though. It could simply be playing around with Utah, not wanting to give the Utes too much certainty about Nix’s health status. Is this a ploy or the honest truth? Is Nix that unhealthy, or will he be able to give it a go? This very mysterious and intriguing drama is the dominant story of this game, and it’s hard to look past it, because its outcome will likely decide who wins and loses.

Here are the Utah-Oregon NCAA Football Odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

College Football Odds: Utah-Oregon Odds

Utah Utes: -2.5 (-115)

Oregon Ducks: +2.5 (-105)

Over: 60.5 (-112)

Under: 60.5 (-108)

Why Utah Could Cover the Spread

If Bo Nix can’t play, Oregon is at a huge disadvantage with Ty Thompson at quarterback. Thompson has not played very much, which is itself an indication of how the Oregon coaching staff values him compared to Nix. Thompson is highly unlikely to lead Oregon’s offense with a level of quality which is anywhere close to what Nix brought to the table. If you learn just before kickoff or early in the game that Nix will not play — and it’s solid, reliable information — you should jump on the chance to bet Utah.

Why Oregon Could Cover the Spread

The idea that Bo Nix won’t be able to play at all in this game just seems strange. He played against Washington after his injury. Are the Ducks really going to keep him completely out of this game? It’s hard to buy that, despite the chatter and the lack of public confidence from the coaching staff this week.

Final Utah-Oregon Prediction & Pick

You shoud not go anywhere near this game unless or until you know that Bo Nix will not play in this game. If Nix plays, you might be able to get significant value on Oregon. Just wait for solid, clear information before you do anything with this game.

Final Utah-Oregon Prediction & Pick: Oregon +2.5