Oregon Ducks vs. UCLA Bruins Odds & Pick 10/23/21

by | Oct 20, 2021 | cfb

Oregon Ducks (5-1 SU, 1-5 ATS) vs. UCLA Bruins (5-2 SU, 5-2 ATS)

College Football Week 8

Date and Time: Saturday, October 23, 2021 at 3:30PM EDT

Where: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California


Point Spread: ORE +2.5/UCLA -2.5 (Betanysports.eu)

Over/Under Total: 59 (Find the best Bitcoin Sportsbooks)

The Oregon Ducks face the UCLA Bruins on Saturday in a big Pac-12 battle from the Rose Bowl. It’s still early, but this looms as one of the more consequential Pac-12 games thus far in 2021, with two teams each with one loss in conference. Both have established themselves as threats, with a win here allowing the victor to have a real notch on the belt. Last week was important for the Ducks coming off a week break following a deflating loss to Stanford, but they weren’t that impressive in beating Cal, 24-17, needing a fourth-quarter comeback to beat a down Cal bunch. UCLA, meanwhile, went into Seattle and scored a nice 24-17 win over the Huskies. Who can get the cover this week in Pasadena?

Is This Where Oregon Hits the Wall?

The Ducks are clearly headed in the wrong direction. Not that righting the ship is out of the question, but there have been personnel setbacks that make it hard to reclaim the form we saw earlier in the season. In the first three games, they were rolling over teams, beating Ohio State on the road, and looking great. Then they couldn’t start separating from the lowly Wildcats until the 4th quarter, lost in overtime to a dicey Stanford team, before again relying on late scores to beat the Golden Bears at home.

The Ducks continue to see injuries take big chunks out of them. CJ Verdell being gone is a huge loss, as the run-game is a major part of their success. With Verdell gone, it’s down to Travis Dye and QB Anthony Brown, whose aerial deficiencies are being more brought into light with the run-game losing horsepower. It’s just hard to find an area not affected by injuries, and it’s going to be a challenge for the Ducks to soldier on through this challenging time of the season. UCLA may be an imperfect team on many levels, but if Oregon is, in fact, a diminished version of what we saw earlier in the season, this is a road spot that can more than bring that to light.

Possible Matchup Advantages for the Bruins

While it’s less of an issue than it has been in recent seasons, the Bruins’ defense remains a threat to undo the rest of the good work on the team. It doesn’t come up against some of the offensively challenged teams they face, like Arizona and Washington. But in this spot, it could come up. It’s just that what UCLA does worst on defense, which is curtail aerial attacks, is not Oregon’s bread and butter. Maybe the Ducks can get it going this week, but for a team that runs as much as they do, they will be facing a UCLA team that has gotten it together in that regard in a big way.

Between RB Zach Charbonnet, RB Brittain Brown, and QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the UCLA run-game can really pour it on in the ground game. DTR hasn’t been prolific aerially, perhaps, but with 13 TDs and just two picks, we see a more experienced and steady force behind center for the Bruins. With WR Kyle Phillips and productive TE Greg Dulcich, the team’s leading receiver, they are an intact offense that can get you there in a few different ways. Against an Oregon defense compromised by injuries, this could be a spot to pounce.

Hope for Oregon

Dorian Thompson-Robinson and his line will be seeing a level of play along the front-seven that surpasses what they’ve been facing so far in 2021. It’s a big step up for all involved on this UCLA offense. There are monsters upfront like Noah Sewell and especially Kayvon Thibodeaux that might take it to this UCLA O-line, get after the QB, and create enough big plays to make things a little easier on their offense.

While we’ve seen some troubling production from Oregon QB Anthony Brown aerially, perhaps they can build toward more balance offensively. Dye is a useful short weapon aerially, and they have receivers who can do damage. It’s just that no one is really stepping up for the lost players. They just loom as missing pieces, and it’s everyone else’s job to pick up the slack. Getting the offense moving aerially against a UCLA defense where that would appear very possible would be a good start.

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UCLA Made to Look Better Than They Are?

At 5-2 and 3-1 in conference play, the bottom-line speaks loudest. When a team on its back overturns, nit-picking misses the spirit of the whole point. But this is Oregon, nor Arizona, and not Washington. A compromised Oregon it may be, but this is a new realm in which to thrive for UCLA. An early-season win over LSU that means less now, beating a Stanford team that beat Oregon and wins over Arizona and Washington is nice. But against Fresno State and Arizona State, it was a different story. Their defense faltered, and against a good Arizona State defense, the offense didn’t flow.

Take the Points

After a tough two-week run on the road, UCLA might be at a slight energy deficit to a Ducks team that had a break before last week. Then again, it’s been a while since they’ve been greeted by a Rose Bowl crowd that had any optimism. It’s a big game at home in a contest where they have actual realistic hope and a genuine winning case built on real matchup angles. I just sense their offense will deal with some harsh realities this week, with enough big plays from the Oregon “D” to keep them from truly taking off. In what could be a grind, I’ll defer to “D” and take the points. I’m on the Ducks this week.

Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Oregon Ducks plus 2.5 points. Bet your Week 8 NCAA football picks for FREE by scoring a 100% bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets Sportsbook!