Stanford Cardinal vs. UCLA Bruins Pick ATS

by | Dec 15, 2020 | cfb

Stanford Cardinal (3-2 SU, 2-2-1 ATS) vs. UCLA Bruins (3-3 SU, 4-2 ATS)

College Football Week 16

Date and Time: Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 8PM EST

Where: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California

TV: ESPN2

Point Spread: STAN +7/UCLA -7 (Intertops - 200% Bonus from the web’s oldest sportsbook! Deposit $25, get $50 FREE! Must use our link to go there and type in bonus code ROOKIE200 after depositing but before you make your first bet)

Over/Under Total: 59

The Stanford Cardinal come to the Rose Bowl for a Pac-12 matchup with the UCLA Bruins. Both teams have overachieved on some levels this season. Even as UCLA fell to the Trojans, 43-38, they again showed they are a different ball of wax this season. They will again be at the Rose Bowl this week, hosting the Cardinal, fresh off their third straight win, a 27-24 win at Oregon State. They enter this game with a full head of steam. Who can get it done in Pasadena this week?

Watch Out for the Cardinal!

After the first two games of the season for Stanford, naysayers felt vindicated, as the Cardinal looked pretty bad. They had seen their roster get depleted with departures of all kinds and some guys sitting out. But then something clicked, and they won three in a row, beating Cal, being the only team to beat Washington, and then the Beavers last week. And with the scheduling going all haywire, they have had to take to the road and still managed to maintain their winning touch.

For a team that looked flat on its back to manage this kind of season-turnaround in these conditions has really spoken well of head coach David Shaw, the wherewithal of his staff, and the heart of his team. This will be their fourth straight road game, and you wonder if all these games away from home will affect them, especially as they face an opponent that is nice and dug in at home and hasn’t been put through half of the road-rigors that Stanford has.

As the season continued for Stanford, we saw a lot of the things that make up a typical good Stanford offense—good QB play and a steady ground-attack. With Davis Mills behind center, they have a decent weapon and a guy who can carry out Shaw’s offense. He even has a nose for the end zone with his legs when they’re in close. Austin Jones has taken over the lead-back duties with aplomb. And they have real weapons aerially, like dangerous receiver Simi Fehoko. And as of late, the O-line hasn’t been nearly as bad as advertised or how they looked in their first few games.

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Bruins in Their Wheelhouse?

Since a disappointing season-opening loss to Colorado, the Bruins have looked good, smashing Cal, almost beating Oregon, beating both Arizona teams, and almost beating USC last week. A twist here and a twist there, they could easily be unbeaten. If not for the horsepower of the USC offense last week, they would have won, falling prey to Kedon Slovis’ late-game magic. They have held their own against the best of the conference, and that’s a lot more than you could have said about the Bruins the last few seasons.

Some of the things that have made UCLA a suffering program recently did surface some on Saturday, namely a run-defense that sometimes melts down a little late. But it’s far from the laughingstock “D” UCLA has become synonymous with in recent seasons. For stretches of the game, they actually were giving USC problems. They were a big part of what looked to be a winning formula right up until the end. That type of defensive collapse might be disconcerting for the purposes of betting this game, but then again, they’re hardly going against the same-caliber offense this week.

What makes UCLA truly dangerous is that Chip Kelly has started to see his handiwork manifest on offense. He may have tried to be a little too cute on Saturday, making some interesting personnel choices in key spots. It’s just that when you need a key first down late in a game, why is the third-string running back in there? But with Dorian Thompson-Robinson having gained maturity, he has become a real weapon, both with his arm and feet. With Demetric Felton and Brittain Brown, along with DTR, they now have that powerful RPO that Chip Kelly wants. And with major aerial weaponry like Greg Dulcich and Kyle Phillips, there are a lot of real tools on this UCLA offense.

Level of Opposition

It may ring a little hollow to take a fine-tooth comb to Stanford’s recent success. When a team that many feels has no signs of life does as well as they have, perhaps nit-picking misses the spirit of what’s really happening. But it’s worth mentioning that UCLA has seen their formula for success resound at higher levels. Stanford has done well to win all these road games, but beating Cal by one and Oregon State by three perhaps isn’t that impressive in an overall sense. Beating Washington on the road deserves some mention and stands out as a nice win. But UCLA mashing up Cal, Arizona, and Arizona State, while nearly beating Oregon and USC just carries a little more weight.

Take the Home Team

This won’t be easy for the Bruins with a now-cruising Stanford team coming into town. It doesn’t seem like being away from home is really bothering them. And Saturday night’s loss to USC was really a monstrous effort, and you wonder if the Bruins will have less wind in their sails this week. I don’t think so. I look for the Bruins to keep pushing hard in an effort to make this a true turnaround season for the program. I like what Stanford is doing, and they’re playing well on both sides of the ball. I just see the Bruins’ superior horsepower of offense being enough to get them across on Friday. I’m taking UCLA.

Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the UCLA Bruins minus 7 points. Note: Did you know that you can bet on games at -105 odds instead of -110? Most think this doesn’t make a big difference BUT IT DOES! When pencilled out, you save THOUSANDS of dollars in vigorish over the years! Find this killer offer at BetAnySports!