Per usual, the bowl game will happen on New Year's Day and at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena just outside of Los Angeles. Here's what you need to know ahead of big-time matchup:
2021 Rose Bowl Preview
We expect this game to be one of the most bet-on games at bookies for football betting. Given the game's history and holiday kickoff date, the Rose Bowl is synonymous with bowl season. It also happens to feature one of the most marquee programs in all the land, THE Ohio State University. Let's begin our 2021 Rose Bowl preview with them given that pedigree.
Let's be honest, the Buckeyes have to be disappointed to be here — and not in the College Football Playoff. It's the first time in the Ryan Day era that Ohio State isn't one of the "final four." They can thank Michigan for that, who handed them a 15-point loss in the regular season final to send them to LA instead.
One team's disappointment is another's elation though. Utah is one of college football's best stories through 2021. After a 1-2 start, the Utes strung nine wins out of their next ten. Two of those victories were 20-plus-point shellackings of Oregon, a team that was thought to be CFP bound for a large chunk of the season. Making Utah's story even better is this came despite losing two players to tragic deaths in the past year. The program personified resiliency this season.
Over/Under 66 Points: Utah vs. Ohio State
|Over 66 Points||-110||-105|
|Under 66 Points||-110||-115|
The headline above is not a typo, the best online sportsbooks are really setting the over/under at a whopping 66 points — one of the highest point total lines of the entire bowl schedule. We'll cut right to the chase, we think the over is more than doable.
That's because we're talking about Ohio State here. The Buckeyes were the nation's best offense from wire to wire. Here's where they rank nationally in several offensive categories: one in total yards (551.1 yards per game), one in points (45.5), and fifth in passing (365.8). At this point, scoring in bunches is almost a given with this program — no matter who's on the sideline or under center.
The gas that makes the offense go is Heisman finalist C.J. Stroud. If not for the season-ending loss to the Wolverines, he probably would've won the award. The true freshman quarterback lit up the stat sheet with 3,862 passing yards (on a 71 completion percentage), 38 touchdowns, and only five interceptions.
In the Pac-12, the Utes haven't played an offense anywhere near the caliber of the Buckeyes. But that's not to say they don't have anything going for them. All year long, they've shown a knack for pressuring quarterbacks. Utah tallied 41 sacks in 2021, the fifth-highest in the country. Doing the same is its best chance at slowing down Stroud and the vaunted Buckeye attack.
Regardless, we're not optimistic they will. As we alluded to before, the Buckeyes are another stratosphere compared to the likes of Oregon, USC, or Stanford. With that in mind, bet the over despite its incredibly-high tally.
Against The Spread: Ohio State vs. Utah
|Ohio State (-6)||-110||-110|
Remember how we mentioned Utah beat the daylights out of Oregon not once, but twice this season? Welp, one of Ohio State's two losses this year came against those same Ducks. In September, Oregon went on the road and stunned the Buckeyes 35-28. Do those prior performances mean anything when evaluating the Ohio State-Utah spread line?
We think so. While the matchups aren't completely the same, the Utes showed a certain physicality in both those victories versus Oregon. And heck, it was Ohio State's lack of "muscle" that cost them the Michigan game. We believe Utah can parlay that style to trouble the Buckeyes, especially when they're on offense.
Here's another thing worth mentioning: the Buckeyes, rich with NFL-bound talent, will likely suffer from multiple player opt-outs. This will lessen its depth of talent, which is typically its advantage over a 60-minute game. We're not sure if the Utes win outright, but our money says they cover the spread at the very least.
How To Bet The NCAA Rose Bowl?
Check out one of the online sportsbooks below to bet on the NCAA Rose Bowl — or any other bowl matchup for that matter. These bookies have you covered the entire postseason with industry-leading betting lines on college football.
Better yet, you could earn hundreds to thousands of dollars in free play from these same betting sites. That's doable by leveraging the big-money sign-up bonuses offered by these bookies. Details on such offers are covered below so see for yourself!