In what looks to be a high-scoring affair, it’s easy to say that either Oregon State or Utah State will have reason to smile after the inaugural LA Jimmy Kimmel Bowl on Dec. 18 at SoFi Stadium. But Kimmel is all about making people laugh, and the real question is whether or not bettors will be laughing all the way to the bank after a game that kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC.
The Aggies (10-3) carry momentum into the game after beating San Diego State 46-13 in the Mountain West Conference championship game. Oregon State (7-5) suffered a 38-29 loss to rival Oregon in its regular-season finale.
The total is in the 67 to 68 range as of this post.
NCAAF · Sat (12/18) @ 7:36pm ET
|SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA|
Oregon State (7-5 ST, 7-5 ATS)
Offensively, the Beavers love to run the football with B.J. Baylor leading the way. Baylor led the Pac-12 with 1,259 yards and 13 touchdowns on the season, taking much of the load off of quarterback Chance Nolan. And look for Oregon State to rely heavily on Jack Colletto, a linebacker who is used as a wildcat QB, in short-yardage situations. Colletto has 30 carries for 137 yards and eight touchdowns.
Nolan has completed 183 of 288 attempts for 2,414 yards to go with 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions. His top targets have included Trevon Bradford (40 catches, 606 yards, 5 TDs), Tre’Shaun Harrison (25-346-3), and Champ Flemings (14-267-1). Harrison will miss the game’s first half after being ejected for fighting against Oregon.
Defensively, the Beavers will be without linebacker Avery Roberts due to an ankle injury. Roberts had 128 tackles, including 9.5 for a loss this season.
“What we’re shooting for is to prepare well, and give us an opportunity to play well,” coach Jonathan Smith said, per Oregon Live. “And at the same time, enjoy the experience. These guys will be locked in when it’s time to go to work.”
Utah State (10-3 ST, 9-4 ATS)
First-year coach Blake Anderson, along with a few transfers who followed him from Arkansas State, sparked the Aggies in a season that featured wins at San Jose State and Washington State. Of more interest to Oregon State fans is running back Calvin Tyler Jr., who spent four years with the Beavers before transferring.
All told, it’s led to an offense averaging 454.2 yards per game, with 305.8 yards per game coming through the air. Quarterback Logan Bonner, who played for Anderson at Arkansas State, threw for 3,560 yards and 36 TDs this season. Receivers Deven Thompkins (96 catches, 1,589 yards) and Brandon Bowling (52-784) had nine TDs apiece, while Tyler led the rushing attack with 764 yards and six TDs. Bowling also transferred from Arkansas State.
Defensively, inside linebacker Justin Rice leads the Aggies with 115 tackles and three interceptions after transferring from Arkansas State. Defensive end Nick Heninger has 14 tackles for a loss, including five sacks.
Anderson said his team is excited to be facing another Pac-12 team.
“The challenge that it’ll be to play Oregon State, I mean our guys are getting geeked up,” Anderson said, according to the Deseret News. “You’re playing great football teams in that league, we’ve already seen Washington State up close and were fortunate to win that one. We know what kind of challenge it will be.”
Oregon State-Utah State Betting Trends
Utah State is on a 6-1 ATS run over its last seven games. As an underdog, the Aggies are 5-2 SU and ATS in 2021. They opened the season a 17-point dog against Washington State and won the game outright, 26-23.
Oregon State lost as a 4.5-point favorite at Washington State on October 2, 31-24.