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UCLA Bruins vs. Stanford Cardinal Point Spread - Pick

UCLA Bruins (5-0 SU, 5-0 ATS) vs. Stanford Cardinal (5-1 SU, 2-4 ATS)
College Football Week 8
Date and Time: Saturday October 19, 2013 3:30pm EST
Where: Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto CA
TV: ABC/ESPN2
by Tim, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: UCLA +6.5/STAN -6.5
Over/Under Total: 55

Be prepared…Oh Baby… The University of Califorina Los Angeles and Stanford are making preparations for a monster game this Saturday! Lately, Stanford has clocked the Bruins 5 straight times—including twice in 6 days last year---and the Bruins are running hot. Around Palo Alto, a specter of doom threatens Utopia leaving Vegans and Theorists unprotected and exposed. Zippo lighters on the Stanford campus have been recalled; there will be no worshipping of football teams this year. “Energy and explosiveness” describe aptly this 2013 Bruin football team. “Red-faced” paints each Stanford starter after a horrible loss to Utah last week. Scintillating football is what we’ll get when Stanford and UCLA tees off this weekend!

By the numbers; UCLA is 5th in the nation in total offense, 27th in total defense, and 24th in turnover margin. UCLA is 7th nationally in points scored but sit only 41st in Red Zone offense? Defensively, UCLA is 40th in Red Zone scoring and tied for 37th in total sacks. UCLA is also the least penalized team in all of College Football. A HUGE number is; “UCLA is 2nd in the Nation in defending on third down.” On que…UCLA is 5th in the nation offensively in 3rd down conversion percentage. UCLA is getting it done on both sides of the ball. NOTE: UCLA’s game against Nebraska was MASSIVE for the program. This team has come together and plays harder for each other than the wildest hallucinations of Rick Neuheisel! In Rick’s defense…”battling Elmer Gantry (aka Pete Carroll) was holding aces and 8’s while being “All In”. Neuheisel was Kiffin’ed…ironically…before USC defined the term!

Stanford Cardinal (Cardinal…not the bird, the color…who names a football team a color?) isn’t as explosive or overbearing (or reasonable) as UCLA. It seems a little surprising that Stanford is a 6.5 point Favorite since Stanford is 72nd in the country in total offense, 48th in total defense, and sits 49th in the nation and 7 spots ahead of UCLA in Time of Possession. Time of possession should suggest that both teams grind out wins the same way? “Upon further review”, this assessment could not be further from the truth.

Offensively, Stanford is 102nd out of 125 teams in plays over 10+ yards with 73 in 6 games. UCLA is tied for 17th in only 5 games---that is…5 GAMES---with 110 plays of 10 yards or more… in just 5 Games! On defense, Stanford is 48th in giving up plays of 10+ yards while UCLA is 15th. In summation: Stanford is “No Bueno” making big plays and “Sorta’ No Bueno” in giving up big plays. UCLA is both “Bueno” and “Bueno” in making and preventing big plays. UCLA can score quickly, can grind it out, keeps other teams from grinding it out and busting big plays. Let’s look at the 2 QB’s to pick a Winner here.

Comparing these 2 teams statistically shows an overwhelming edge to UCLA in most team related categories. The 2 QB’s probably could help solidify a Winner’s pick in this game. Nationally, Stanford QB Kevin Hogan is 73rd out of 100 Division 1A QB’s and UCLA QB Brett Hundley is 17th. The eye test? UCLA’s Hundley looks like a legitimate NFL 1st round selection while Hogan is probably the reason Stanford chooses to run the ball most of the game. Against Washington, Hogan made poor pass after poor pass—in the dirt; over heads---finishing 12/20 for a hungee! The following week against Utah, with the game on the line and needing Hogan to “Step to”, Hogan looked like the backup at St. Regis Philbin during Parents Night in a rainstorm! Hundley…well…is an NFL 1st rounder and plays like it.

I have ZERO idea why Stanford is a “6 and a hook” to 7-point Home Favorite here? Perhaps the reason is: Stanford owned UCLA last year, and the last 5 years…but this is a different year, and a very different and dominating UCLA team! Stanford defensively is very tough up front and in the middle. UCLA spreads people out and gains most of their yardage…LIKE UTAH…between the sidelines and the defensive ends. Tyler Gaffney can run all-day and UCLA should win by 2 TD’s! If Stanford throws the ball, this game could get out of hand for the ‘Cardinal’ very quickly! Barring any potential catastrophic “during the game” injuries for UCLA, Stanford’s best possible scenario is “UCLA 38-Stanford-24”.

Like my buddy “Dirt” always says: Going to Stanford not only means growing as a football player but…more importantly…growing as a person. This game should be a life lesson for each student-athlete on Stanford’s team; “Get your degree!” UCLA is gonna’ pull out the whippin’ stick this Saturday!

Vegas adjusts the line according to public interest and input. The public is dead wrong this time. Stanford should be a 8 point dog in this matchup! According to the numbers and “teams played that are similar”, UCLA is not only going to cover, UCLA will win this game straight up…unless the goofy bus wrecks or UCLA stops at Taco Bell before the game (satire! Not sayin’…just sayin’!!)!! UCLA will NOT be looking to Oregon in week 8…there’s a Come Upp-ance coming straight through Monterrey with a chainsaw in hand (Silly and pointless Tree mascot!)! Vegans, Theorists, and Utopian-ites will be overheard “Where has our self-esteem gone?!” Madame’, Sir, your self-esteem has just left the building! UCLA dominates!

Tim’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: UCLA +6.5

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