BYU Cougars (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) vs. UCLA Bruins (2-0 SU, 1-0-1 ATS)
College Football Week 3
Date/Time: Saturday, September 19, 10:30pm
Where: Rose Bowl Pasadena, CA
by Bob, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: BYU +17 / UCLA -17
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Saturday night, the 19th, we have a great west coach match-up when the BYU Cougars take on the UCLA Bruins. Both teams not only enter this game at 2-0, but both are ranked in the nations top 25. UCLA is the home favorite, ranked 10th in the nation, while BYU sits slightly lower down the page with a national ranking of 19th. This will be just the fourth meeting between these two teams since 1995. Those four contests are split 2-2 and BYU has actually won the last two games by a combined score of 76-16. However, this is a new UCLA team. New coach, new talent, and new expectations. This will be a great game.
The point spread sits on this Tuesday morning at 17 points in favor of UCLA while the total points are 60. Early on, the underdog, BYU, is getting 63% of the betting action, which is odd because normally the home favorite is pounded by the public. Could Vegas have made a mistake by setting the spread so high? Or do they know exactly what they are doing?
The UCLA Bruins are still one of the teams considered to be in contention for not only the Pac-12 title, but to represent the conference in the nations final four in January. It could happen, but UCLA cannot let up and will need to win games like this, especially ones they are favored in. So far this season, the Bruins are 2-0 with wins over Virginia and UNLV. This game against BYU will be more of a physical game than the previous two and it will be interesting to see how they react to it. Freshman quarterback, Josh Rosen, has not looked like a freshman at all. He has already passed for 574 yards and four touchdowns and only one pick this season. However, we all know that the freshman can come out of a kid at any time, and will the BYU defense cause a few more mistakes? That is the key for this game. I dont think UCLA is in much trouble to be upset but in order to cover such a big spread, they need to be nearly flawless. Limiting turnovers will be the key. Do that and play great defense, and I think UCLA could potentially win big.
BYU comes in at 2-0. In week one, they lost their star quarterback and team leader, Taysom Hill, to a season ending injury, but they were able to pull the hailmary miracle to beat Nebraska as time expired. Then just this past Saturday, led by freshman quarterback, Tanner Mangum, BYU was able to pull another upset over Boise State. Mangum has passed for 420 yards and three touchdowns since taking over for Hill. Mangum has not been lights out, but he has played well enough to keep the Cougars winning. With that said, he will need to make some plays this weekend in order not only to keep this game close, but to have any chance of an upset. Not only will Tanner Mangum need to do his thing, but the BYU defense needs to force UCLAs young gun to also make mistakes. If UCLA gets into the mid 30s or 40s, it will not be a good day for BYU. The offense needs long sustained drives, and the defense needs to make UCLA kick field goals and not score touchdowns.
So, the public is pounding the road dog. 17 points in a game like this seems too good to be true, and usually when you are talking about Vegas, it is just thattoo good to be true. I know I am going to regret this, but I am taking the Vegas bait. I am going to lay my cash on the BYU Cougars to cover the 17 points. I think they will do just good enough to keep this a two touchdown game. I like UCLA to win by a score of something like 31-16.
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: BYU Cougars +17 and Under the posted total of 60
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