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2005 Utah Utes Handicapping Review


By Tom Wilkinson


Under head coach Urban Meyer, who served only in the 2003 and 2004 seasons, the Utah Utes became a sports handicapping cash cow after having suffered two of their previous three seasons in the red. Just as important, Utah offered classic sports handicapping lessons on value, public perception, and momentum. In the end it can be said that the general sports betting public did not catch on to what was taking place at Utah under Meyer until it was far too late but to the perceptive sports bettor who had his eyes and mind open, it was apparent early on in 2003 that Meyer and Utah were something special.

Utah finished the 2002 season having lost seven of their final nine games against the odds. While Meyer had proven to be a quick success at Bowling Green his hiring at Utah slipped under the general radar screen as Bowling Green was a low profile Mid American Conference team and Utah was not exactly a high profile team either in the Mountain West Conference. Both teams were and still are non Bowl Championship Series schools. Meyer and Utah beat the sports betting odds in their first seven games of 2003, including high profile covers at Texas A&M, (a 26-28 loss as 9.5-point dogs), and at home against California, (a 31-24 win in a pick ‘em game), and Oregon (a 17-13 win as 3-point dogs). Utah had basically lost much of its sports handicapping value by the time they headed into the stretch drive of 2003 and they covered just two of their final four games.

Entering 2004 one would have expected the Utes to face the likelihood of a strong sports handicapping market correction but that was not the case. They started the campaign with a 41-21 ESPN Thursday Night win and started off 3-0 both straight up and against the odds. While Utah did receive some mention on the online sports betting blogs and was appearing on more lists of football picks, they still slipped under the attention of much of the general sports betting public when in comparison to teams such as USC, Oklahoma, Miami, Michigan, Texas, Florida, Notre Dame and Nebraska. While some of these “name brand” teams were struggling they were also still “name brand” teams and getting much of the media and online sports betting blog attention.

Utah finished the 2004 season 12-0 straight up and 10-2 against the odds as the sports handicapping market correction never occurred. Meyer departed for Florida for the 2005 season.






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