UCLA Bruins vs. Oregon Ducks Pick 11/21/20
UCLA Bruins (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. Oregon Ducks (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS)
College Football Week 12
Date and Time: Saturday, November 21, 2020 at PM EST
Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon
Point Spread: UCLA +14/ORE -14 (Get reduced juice - It’s hard enough to beat 52.38%! Reduced the houses edge!)
Over/Under Total: 66.5
The UCLA Bruins come to Eugene for a Pac-12 showdown with the Oregon Ducks on Saturday. Last week, Oregon went into Pullman and came from behind to beat Washington State, 43-29. It was a hard-fought battle where the Ducks dug hard to repel the challenge of the Cougars, as their offense hit high-gear late in the game. They now are back at home awaiting a UCLA team that had their schedule reshuffled, playing on Sunday against Cal at home and coming away with the big 34-10 win.
Finding a Sliver of Hope for the Bruins
As Chip Kelly goes against his former team, it would appear his squad is up against it in this demanding road-spot. They’ve been trying to stay afloat in the Pac-12 in recent years, while the Ducks have recently reclaimed their premier standing in this conference. But watching the Ducks this season, we see some things that suggest a less-than-stellar team, one that is in many ways in a state of transition. There are a lot of changes team-wide, and on Saturday, we saw not all of them resonating well.
We saw a bigger Oregon grind down WSU last week, with their line gradually getting the better of the defense. But we also saw new starter Tyler Shough not always in sync with his offense, with miscues, tentative throws, and a turnover. This week, he will be going against one of the more-dodgy Pac-12 defenses and will be at home, to boot, so maybe we’ll see better and more growth from Shough and Company.
Most troubling, however, was how we saw a Washington State offense sometimes getting behind Oregon’s coverage, as the Ducks are working in a lot of new pieces on that side of the ball. For all of UCLA’s faults, they can crank up some offense with QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson. He has shown more of an aerial flair this season, and with some experienced playmakers on offense, UCLA looks to put up points and make covering the big number at home a tall task for the Ducks this week.
Don’t Hold Last Week Against the Ducks
Last week showed an Oregon team that might have some growing pains to endure, not to mention all the miscues and inconsistency that goes with that. By the same token, they always seem to get a lot of resistance from the Cougars, going back a good half-dozen seasons. UCLA has less of a connection with Oregon, not playing them every season, with the most-compelling connection being the Chip Kelly quotient. And though there were uneven moments, the Oregon offense still managed to crank it up, with some great play-calling late getting the Ducks some separation. At the end of the day, Shough ended up with 312 yards and 4 TDs, while running for 81 yards, making good use of Travis Dye, Jaylon Redd, CJ Verdell, and other stalwart Ducks’ offensive pieces.
Nevertheless, Oregon hasn’t really looked as good as their final scores may suggest. There isn’t much to question with two conclusive wins and covers, but there were enough sequences of struggling within the good work they’ve done on both sides of the ball. And on defense, they’ve played a Stanford offense that is in shambles, along with a WSU offense that is working in a true freshman at quarterback that still moved the ball freely for large parts of the game. Against a UCLA offense that has some firepower and experience, this could turn out to be a big test for an Oregon defense whose true level of effectiveness is still up in the air some.
Time to Look at UCLA a Different Way?
It depends how you want to look at Sunday’s win over Cal, however dominant it was. It was Cal’s first game of the season, and they clearly were out of sorts, as most teams that lose to UCLA are at least able to push their defense. A huge second quarter by UCLA pretty much took the Golden Bears out of the game. They ran the ball well, with Demetric Felton, Thompson-Robinson, and Brittain Brown getting involved in a big way. Again, they have a lot of weapons to push on the Oregon defense.
Most striking was the Bruins’ defensive performance. It could be an aberration, coming against a Cal offense that isn’t always surefire, and a team that was jettisoned into a late road-spot, to boot. And in giving up 48 points in their first game to Colorado, we saw a defense that was anything but improved. So perhaps some temperance is needed after they looked so good on Sunday. But it offers some hope that the Bruins can be something more than a scary X-factor that usually comes out on the short end of things. With another solid performance on offense from DTR and a cast that looks to have some upside, maybe some optimism is warranted.
Take the Points on the Road Underdog
Recent performances aside, Oregon does occupy a higher slot in the Pac-12 pecking order. And when such a team takes on a bottom-end conference team that only has hopes of elevating their stature, it can be a lopsided beating, and no one so much as bats an eyelash. The Ducks have the better recruits and still have a lot of experienced firepower at the skill positions. But between the new quarterback, new line, and a revamped defense, maybe a team like UCLA that might test the Ducks’ defense can hang around and make this one at least marginally-interesting. I’ll take the Bruins and the points in this one.
Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the UCLA Bruins plus 14 points. Bet your Week 12 college football and Week 11 NFL picks FREE by taking advantage of a 100% real cash bonus on your initial deposit of $100 to $1000 at Betnow Sportsbook! The best bonus from a legit sportsbook EVER!