Sports writers and pundits love to make predictions just like the rest of us. Many fans turn to them to see into the future, and I think some writers get some degree of joy by getting enraged fan bases (read: Boise State) emailing them about their ridiculous prognostications.
But it's always fun to look at what Las Vegas sports books have to say -- they're the ones with profit on the line, after all. Here's a look at the lines on the day before the game:
(This is for entertainment purposes only, of course. You don't want to lose a game and your bet at the same time -- or have to choose between your bet and your team. So don't do it!)
It is important to note that for college odds, home-field advantage is generally considered to be worth 3 points. Jeff Sagarin, ratings master whose poll is part of the BCS computer rankings, calculates home-field advantage on a season-by-season basis. So far this season, his numbers show home-field advantage at that mark, worth 3.00 points.
The first line that came in on BYU at Utah favored Utah by 1 point.
After some movement, here are where the lines sit now:
LVH: BYU by 3.5 | Over/Under: 46
MGM: BYU by 3.5 | O/U: 46.5
Hill: BYU by 4 | O/U: 45.5
Wynn: BYU by 4 | O/U: 46
Caesars: BYU by 3.5 | O/U: 46.5
Stations: BYU by 3.5 | O/U: 46.5
So according to a combination of the odds and the over-under (total points scored), a consensus would have BYU beating Utah 25-21.
Using Sagarin's ratings, BYU is rated with 82.12 points and Utah is rated with 75.59 -- a difference of 6.53. Factor in the 3.00 points for Utah's home field advantage, and Sagarin's formula also has BYU as a 3.5-point favorite.
BYU hasn't defeated Utah by more than 7 points since 1996. According to these experts, that isn't going to change.
For more odds, visit the NCAA Football odds hub.