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Memphis vs Utah State Prediction, Odds and College Football Betting Picks for First Responder Bowl

College Football Bowl Season continues on Tuesday afternoon with a matchup between teams from the American Athletic and Mountain West Conferences. The Memphis Tigers and the Utah State Aggies will both be seeking to end the year on a winning note when they meet in Dallas for the First Responder Bowl. The Memphis vs Utah State odds and college football betting picks have declared the AAC representative as a decisive favorite for what many believe could be a high-scoring affair.

The following game preview provides the college football betting odds, trends and FEI Index ratings before sharing our official Memphis vs Utah State prediction for the First Responder Bowl matchup.

Memphis vs Utah State Prediction | College Football Betting Picks

First Responder Bowl
Memphis Tigers (6-6, 3-5 AAC) vs. Utah State Aggies (6-6, 5-3 MWC)
Date: Tuesday, December 27, 2022
Time: 3:15 p.m. EST
Venue: Gerald J. Ford Stadium — Dallas, TX
Coverage: ESPN

After a blowout loss to Mississippi State in the season-opener, Memphis was able to rattle off four consecutive wins leading into an October 7th home game against Houston. The Tigers led that game 32-19 with four minutes left but gave up two late touchdowns with an onside kick sandwiched in between to lose by a point. That gut-wrenching defeat was the first of four straight losses for Memphis. Although the Tigers finished under .500 in AAC play, four of their five losses came by seven points or less.

At times, it was tough to remember that Utah State was just one year removed from winning the Mountain West Championship. After getting past UConn in the season-opener, the Aggies went winless in the month of September. The most brutal losses came in the form of a 28-point defeat against FCS-level Weber State and a season-ending injury to veteran quarterback Logan Bonner. Utah State was somehow able to rally and upset Air Force to kick off a stretch of five wins in six games.

Calvin Tyler Jr. Memphis vs Utah State prediction odds college football betting picks First Responder Bowl game predictions
Credit: Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Memphis vs Utah State College Football Betting Picks and Odds

All college football betting odds for Memphis vs Utah State can be found at BetOnline Sportsbook.

Moneyline: MEM: (-260) | USU: (+220)
Point Spread: MEM: -7 (-112) | USU: +7 (-108)
Total: 60.5 — Over: (-108) | Under: (-112)

College Football FEI Ratings

The following table shares the Fremeau Efficiency Index rankings for both teams involved in this First Responder Bowl matchup. The purpose of the FEI ratings is to represent the per-possession scoring advantage that a team would be expected to have on a neutral field against an average opponent. The rankings for offense and defense are out of 131 total FBS-level teams.

Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) ratings are froFootball Outsiders

TeamOverall FEI (Rk)OFEI (Rk)DFEI (Rk)
Memphis.11 (59).19 (53).06 (59)
Utah State-.52 (105)-.61 (100)-.63 (110)
  • Tigers are just 1-5 ATS in their last six bowl games.
  • The OVER is 5-1 in the Tigers’ last six games following a straight up loss.
  • The OVER is 7-1 in the Tigers’ last eight games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Aggies are 1-4 ATS in their last five games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game.
  • Eight of the Aggies’ last nine bowl games have gone UNDER the total.
  • The UNDER is 9-2 in the Aggies’ last 11 games following an ATS loss.
  • It has been over 30 years since the Tigers last faced a Mountain West Conference opponent.

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Memphis vs Utah State Prediction | College Football Betting Picks

From a statistical standpoint, Memphis was head and shoulders above Utah State this season. The Tigers were also very competitive against some of the best Group of 5 teams in the country like Tulane, UCF and Houston. However, with the Memphis vs Utah State odds listing the spread at a full touchdown, laying the points is much easier said than done.

The First Responder Bowl is not expected to be impacted by player opt-outs. Even Utah State running back Calvin Tyler Jr. is set to play in the bowl game despite already announcing that he will enter the 2023 NFL Draft. Whether or not he has much room to operate on Tuesday is a different story. Memphis quietly finished the year ranked 29th defensively against the run allowing only 123.7 yards per game.

If the Tigers can put the clamps down on Tyler, the onus will be on quarterback Cooper Legas to lead the Utah State offense. The Aggies notably won five of seven games that the redshirt freshman started this season. However, a number of those matchups were against some very poor Mountain West Conference opposition.

Memphis may not have been the class of the AAC this year, but this is still a more formidable opponent than most of what Utah State has encountered. QB Seth Henigan orchestrates a passing attack that finished 18th in the country with 282.7 yards per game. Javon Ivory is one of several receivers that is capable of causing major problems for the Aggies’ lackluster secondary.

There’s no denying that this year’s Memphis team is much better defensively than those of recent seasons. Although the Tigers struggled against the pass, it’s tough to trust that Utah State will be able to take advantage of this weakness. The Aggies’ offensive line was not great all year and could prove to be very much up against it in this matchup.

MEMPHIS COVERS will be our official college football betting Memphis vs Utah State prediction for the First Responder Bowl.

For what it’s worth, the ESPN Matchup Predictor gives Memphis an 80.2% chance to win this game outright.

Bet: Memphis -7 (-112 at BetOnline Sportsbook)

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