NCAAF: Picks & analysis for the 2023 Las Vegas Bowl

ncaaf betting 2023 las vegas bowl

Updated December 5, 2023By Chris Boline
ncaaf betting 2023 las vegas bowl

Who: Utah Utes vs. Northwestern Wildcats

What: 2023 SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl

When: Saturday, December 23, 2023

Where: Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada

Another game that features two squads with different end-of-year trajectories, Northwestern squares off with Utah in the 2023 Las Vegas Bowl sponsored by SRS Distribution. The former bounced back from a 3-4 start to finish the season on a high note, scoring four Big Ten conference wins down the stretch. Meanwhile, the same could not be said of the Utes who faltered against the upper echelon of the Pac-12 (Washington, Oregon, and a feisty Arizona squad), but still notched an 8-4 mark. The Utes will also still be without stalwart signal-caller Cam Rising as he has been shut down since October with an injury and will rely heavily on their vaunted defense. 

For this report, SBS will be going over what to look for from each team, along with a predicted winner and even more notes about college football wagering. 

2023 Las Vegas BowlThe PickBetOnlineBetUSBetNow

Utah Utes vs. Northwestern WildcatsUtah ML-260-260-260

What to look for from: Utah Utes

The Utes are coming off a solid win over the Deion Sanders-led Colorado Buffaloes to end the season, 23-17, thus giving themselves another campaign in the final season of the Pac-12. With Rising going down back in the fall, quarterback Bryson Barnes has operated capably in his stead, throwing for 12 passing scores this year, along with 1,517 yards. Moreover, the Utes offense has performed steadily this season, averaging 24.5 points per game (ppg) posting a top-30 unit in rushing yards per contest at 186.3 ypg. 

Prior to Rising getting hurt, the Utes were looking solid, picking up wins over Florida and ranked UCLA. While the squad had somewhat mixed results in the elite Pac-12 since his injury, they still were able to knock off ranked USC in Los Angeles and also pummel a hapless Arizona State team, 55-3. As noted above, the Utes are noted for their stellar defense, which is a top-25 unit in the country for ppg allowed at 19.8. Defensive end Jonah Elliss had a sensational year with 12 sacks with a ridiculous 100 yards lost. 

What to look for from: Northwestern Wildcats

Northwestern ended the year on somewhat of a hot streak, rattling off wins at Illinois, Purdue at home, and also against Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium. In the regular season finale against the Illini, the Wildcats eked out a 45-43 win showing they can win in all kinds of fashion this year. Moreover, head coach David Braun did an incredible job of steering the program through a hazing scandal and the subsequent firing of former coach Pat Fitzgerald to a 7-5 record, including a mark of 5-4 in Big Ten play. Indeed this is a resilient team that has the ability to provide some feisty competition against any foe they match up against. 

Quarterback Ben Bryant has eerily similar numbers to Utah’s Barnes (1,586 passing yards, 11 scores), but has thrown three less interceptions this year. Moreover, the Wildcats’ offense is more pass-heavy as noted by their roughly 200 passing yards per contest. The defense can shine at times, they are around a top-50 unit in the country, giving up 23.8 ppg. The offense also features two strong Cam players in running back Porter (618 rushing yards and four scores) and wide receiver Johnson (684 receiving yards and five touchdowns). 

Prediction: Per the most recent Sagarin ratings, Northwestern is rated as the No. 58th squad in the country, while Utah is ranked at 25. That difference gives the Utes a big advantage here. 

Utah UtesTo win vs. Northwestern in the 2023 Las Vegas Bowl


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Other thoughts about your Las Vegas Bowl wagers

Once you are all squared away on your Las Vegas Bowl bets for this year, make sure to look into the great variety of resources available to you only at SBS. Of course, for even more news and notes about college football this bowl season, our college football betting sites guide has your back with all of the latest betting markets on the sport. Moreover, for those looking to juice up their bets, the best bonus betting sites rundown is a great page to bookmark. Here you can find a catalog of the latest and greatest welcome bonus offers for you to utilize. Finally, for those on the go, our best betting apps breakdown has all you need to know about mobile betting and always staying on top of the action. 

About the Author

Chris Boline

Chris Boline

As a devout aficionado of sports, Chris Boline has carved a career within the athletic realm. A skilled scribe, he boasts a decade-long portfolio that encompasses coverage of the NBA G League, the Los Angeles Chargers, football in the Mountain West Conference, and basketball.
Beyond his professional pursuits, Chris is deeply invested in his community and dedicates his leisure hours to serving on boards, collaborating with community organizations, and cherishing the company of loved ones.

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