Upcoming Match-ups

First Responder Bowl Odds and Picks – Memphis vs Utah State Prediction

Chris Wassel

by Chris Wassel in College Football

Updated Dec 24, 2022 · 6:15 AM PST

Memphis Tigers quarterback Seth Henigan passes the ball
Nov 26, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Memphis Tigers quarterback Seth Henigan (5) passes the ball against Southern Methodist Mustangs defensive end Nelson Paul (9) during the second half at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
  • Memphis takes on Utah State this Tuesday afternoon in the First Responder Bowl on December 27th
  • The Tigers are currently 7.5-point betting favorites against the Aggies in the CFB odds
  • Read below for Memphis vs Utah State odds, spread and prediction for this bowl matchup

The First Responder Bowl features Memphis and Utah State on December 27. Kickoff is set for just after 3:15 PM ET at Gerald J. Ford Stadium (Dallas, Texas), and the game will be live on ESPN as part of their “Bowl Week”. Now, both teams are trying to end their season above .500.

Memphis is currently a 7.5-point betting favorite and the total is set at 60.5 for this contest. The Tigers are solid favorites.

Let’s examine the Memphis vs Utah State odds and offer you our best bets and predictions.

Memphis vs Utah State Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Memphis -7.5 (-110) -275 Over 60.5 (-110)
Utah State +7.5 (-110) +220 Under 60.5 (-110)

Odds as of December 23rd at BetMGM Sportsbook. Get the BetMGM promo code for Memphis vs Utah State. 

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Memphis is -275 on the moneyline in the college football odds, giving them 73.33% implied probability to win.

Memphis Quite A Balancing Act

So, Head Coach Ryan Silverfield performed well out of conference, but managed just a 3-5 record in the AAC. That was en route to a 6-6 season. While the Memphis Tigers could score quite a bit (35.1 points per game), they allowed 30 or more points to five of their last six conference opponents. A 4-1 start quickly evaporated as the Tigers became bowl eligible just barely.

Yes, they ranked 75th out of 131 Division I teams defensively in terms of points allowed. However, that ranking was more in the bottom third over the second half.

Now, that is some good news for Memphis. Caden Prieskorn has real game-breaking ability. He led a balanced Memphis wide receiving corps with 46 catches, 593 yards, and six touchdowns. Six receivers had more than 300 yards as Seth Henigan passed for nearly 3,000 yards on the season (19 touchdowns to eight interceptions).

The key for the Tigers is keeping that balance. While their rushing attack averages only 3.8 yards per game, Jeyvon Ducker and Asa Martin both have some considerable speed. There is no dominant back, however.

This boils down to Memphis getting first downs and Henigan keeping mistakes to a minimum. Utah State can be dangerous at times on offense. Fortunately, the Aggies’ defense is vulnerable, but again can the Tigers stick to their game plan? Too often in the second half, they strayed and it cost them dearly.

Utah State Caught A Second Wind

Head coach Blake Anderson and his Aggies started the season slow. Utah State began the 2022 year losing four out of five games. The low point came in a 35-7 rout at the hands of Non-Major Weber State. There were calls for Anderson’s job and worse. Utah State gained some momentum in a close loss to then 19th-ranked BYU. Anderson’s team won five out of their final seven games which included a solid win over Air Force.

Yes, the Aggies lost to Boise State emphatically but were bowl eligible by then. That being said, Utah State has a few concerns.

This game asks the following question. Can Utah State’s rushing defense somewhat hold Memphis on Tuesday? Remember, the Tigers run several running backs at teams. The Aggies allow 4.9 yards per carry and 198.2 yards per contest on the ground. If Memphis starts playing downhill, Blake Anderson and Utah State are in serious trouble. Utah State must control the turnovers from the quarterback position. They had 18 interceptions alone in 2022.

The keys for Utah State are hold on to the ball and maintain some control of the line of scrimmage.

Utah State’s preseason NCAAF win total of 7.5 victories was torpedoed during that early season funk. A win Tuesday would salvage a mostly disappointing season.

Memphis vs Utah State Prediction

Most pundits have Memphis winning. but covering being an issue. If Utah State can keep the game close, the Aggies have a chance on Tuesday afternoon.

Given that Memphis struggled more over the second half and Utah State started to play better, maybe there is a chance.

Utah State getting 7.5 points seems fair in what expects to be a higher-scoring game. Both teams gave up chunks of yards and points over the second half. Entertainment value should be high in this bowl contest.

Pick:  Utah State +7.5 (-110)

 

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