Oklahoma Sooners at UCLA Bruins Pick 9/14/19

by | Sep 12, 2019 | cfb

Oklahoma Sooners (2-0) at UCLA Bruins (0-2)
When: Saturday, September 14, 8 p.m. EDT
Where: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.
TV: Fox

Point Spread: OKLA -23 (BetNow)
Total: O/U 73

Outlook For Week 3

Oklahoma lit South Dakota up for 70 points in its Week 2 meeting, thrashing the Coyotes from start to finish to earn its second win of the season. UCLA again struggled on offense, dropping its second game of the season by a 23-14 count to San Diego State.

The teams met a season ago in Norman, and the result wasn’t pretty for the Bruins: a 49-21 rout that Kyler Murray racks up five touchdowns with his legs and his arm. Murray’s in the NFL now, but the Sooners’ offense hasn’t missed a beat if the first two games of the season are to be believed.

How the Public is Betting the Oklahoma/UCLA Game

The line opened at Oklahoma -12 and an over/under at 66.5, but has shot up to Oklahoma -23 following the Bruins’ defeat against San Diego State.

Injury Concerns

Offensive lineman Marquis Hayes is dealing with an undisclosed injury that he picked up against South Dakota and is questionable.

Defensive back Kazmeir Allen is dealing with an academic issue, while linebacker Bo Calvert is out until at least December because of a suspension.

When Oklahoma Has the Ball

It’s becoming a rite of passage for Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma: find a quarterback from another program who hasn’t gotten a chance to play, give him a lifeline and watch him flourish. Two years ago, it was Baker Mayfield. Last year, it was Murray, and now Jalen Hurts is following in their footsteps.

Hurts, who won a national championship at Alabama before losing his job to Tua Tagovailoa, has appeared a perfect fit in Riley’s offense, accounting for nine scores and 814 all-purpose yards in the Sooners’ first two games. He’s done so well to date that he’s got just one more incomplete pass (seven) than he has touchdown passes. Granted, one game was against an FCS foe, but the Sooners opened against a decent Houston team and put up points pretty well.

Plus, Hurts doesn’t have to do it alone. Trey Sermon has looked the part of a capable back in the first two games, gaining 147 yards on 20 carries and establishing himself as the team’s top gainer. Rhamondre Stevenson and Kennedy Brooks are also home run threats on the ground for the Sooners, so in other words, Oklahoma’s pretty dangerous.

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When UCLA Has the Ball

Remember when Chip Kelly was seen as an offensive genius in college football? Those days seem like a thousand years ago, as he’s now a twice-failed NFL coach who’s flailing at UCLA. Part of that is because the Bruins haven’t been able to get the ideal personnel in place yet, but Kelly’s teams seem headed in the wrong direction.

To date, Dorian Thompson-Robinson hasn’t looked like he’s fully grasped what needs to happen for the UCLA offense to have success. His decision-making skills haven’t been there, and he hasn’t been able to direct the attack on scoring drives. Throughout eight quarters of football this season, UCLA has a mere four touchdowns, which shouldn’t happen under this offense.

Whether it was trying to get Josh Kelley going on the ground or get Thompson-Robinson comfortable in the pocket, the bottom line was that this offense remained stuck in neutral. So far, it looks nothing like what Kelly left behind in Eugene, and as long as it’s like that, the Bruins will struggle.

Betting Trends

When the Sooners face off against a team that isn’t up to snuff, they don’t hold anything back. Over its past five games against losing records, Oklahoma has managed to hit the over on all occasions. The Sooners have also won three of their past four ATS after a straight-up victory. UCLA, however, has struggled to get the job done at home. The Bruins have just two covers in their last ten home games.

Weather Report

The heat will be a factor in the Rose Bowl on Saturday, with the temperature set to exceed 90 degrees and settle at 91.

Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread

On the one hand, you have Oklahoma, which seems to be tailor-made for Jalen Hurts to put up some big numbers and show what Alabama fans what they missed out on seeing for their team. On the other, UCLA has not looked like what fans expected to see on offense, making the Bruins average on defense and boring on offense.

That’s not really a combination that inspires bets or success. UCLA looks like a mess right now, and although some teams have been at their best in that situation, this does not appear one of those times. This looks like the time to take Oklahoma and expect an easy cover.

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