UCLA Bruins (4-4 SU, 2-6 ATS) vs. Utah Utes (4-4 SU, 5-2-1 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date/Time: Friday, November 3, 2017 at 9:30PM EDT
Where: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah
TV: Fox Sports 1
by Scott, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: UCLA +5/UTAH -5
Over/Under Total: 60.5
In Pac-12 action from Salt Lake City, the UCLA Bruins take on the Utah Utes on Friday in week ten. Utah is 4-4, with a tale of two different seasonsfirst a 4-0 start, followed by losing four straight, including a 41-20 loss to Oregon in their last game. UCLA was smashed by Washington on Saturday, 44-23, also falling to 4-4. Its been a crazy season in the Pac-12, with strange results every week. Who can get a leg up this week and take another step toward bowl-eligibility. Each team will be looking to snap out of the funk this Friday.
UCLA tried to give Washington a little go on Saturday and it was still a game until later in the second half when the Huskies began pulling away. The 44-23 score wasnt representative of the Huskies dominance, with the Bruins tacking on a few late scores to make a sad song better. All in all, it was a solid beating, with a one-dimensional Bruins defense once again exposed, while their leaky defense gave way to Washington putting up 333 yards on the ground. When it comes to stopping the run, there may not have been a Pac-12 team that was ever worse than this Bruins bunch. It can be downright difficult betting on a team that literally cannot stop an opponents rushing attack.
The UCLA offense didnt really deliver against a tough Huskies defense on Saturday. Josh Rosen was a little banged-up, forcing Devon Modster into action. Rosen was sacked four times and battered a bit, though nothing looked serious. In any event, Rosen has certainly seen his stock drop, with it not really being all of his fault, though he hasnt really progressed as some had hoped when he was once being touted as a future top draft pick. The Bruins rarely make a dent with their ground-game, leaving it all in the hands of Rosen and his receivers, guys like Darren Andrews, Jordan Lasley, and whoever else steps up on a given day. Still, before getting too negative on the Bruins, they have recent wins against Oregon and Colorado, showing that at this level in the conference, they are still in their wheelhouse.
It becomes difficult with each passing week to find good things to say about the UCLA defense. They are giving up nearly 38 points a game and in this conference, the more-offensive teams have generally feasted on this group. They have strength in the secondary, with Jaleel Wadood, Nate Starks, Adarius Pickett, and Darnay Holmes. But maybe thats a byproduct of teams running the ball against this D with such ease. This defense struggles with an ability to create something positive. They dont get after quarterbacks and they cant secure turnovers. If looking for a key stop or a big play late in the game, they come up empty. Luckily for them, Utah doesnt rely on the ground-game, but a team doesnt need to be Alabama to see their rushing-attack make a dent against this group. You almost have to see it to believe it.
Utah has their own issues and theyve arrived at the same 4-4 record UCLA has, just with a bigger thud on the heels of four straight losses after being ranked a short time ago. The first two losses of that streak were close losses to Stanford and USC, so there wasnt a need to panic yet. But against Arizona St. and Oregon, they lost both games by 41 total points, despite being favorites in both games. Getting QB Tyler Huntley back was supposed to provide some relief, but the offense has actually gotten worse since he returned. For the first 6 weeks of the season, they never lost against the spread, but anyone betting on them the last two weeks had to feel bad with how they never even briefly threatened to cover either game.
The Utah offense started the season with some promise, riding the arm and legs of Huntley to a nice start to the season. Their flat showings over the last few weeks have been tough to take for their supporters. They havent been able to sustain drives the past few weeks and need to finish better. Zach Moss hasnt been breaking off big runs, with Huntley not as active with his feet as he was earlier in the season. They have a nice aerial target in Oregon transfer Darren Carrington, but hes the lone bright spot on this offense and not nearly enough for the Utes to be successful. Finding the bright spots over the last few games
The Utah defense started the season well, but havent gotten better. There are some things they do well, such as getting 19 turnovers on the season thus far, with strong play in the middle with Kavika Luafatasaga and Sunia Tauteloli. In the back, Marquise Blair, Chase Hansen, and Julian Blackmon have been effective in spots. But their pass-rush hasnt been very strong. Still, theyre an infinitely more-complete defense than what UCLA has and they hope to show some fire on this side of the ball at home on Friday.
This is a tough one to call. UCLA has a lot of issuesa one-dimensional offense and a defense that can be exploited on the ground like no other. But theyve been able to maintain a little better than a Utah team that is the midst of a big swoon. They are most-stable in a way, more consistent in a way even if a lot of that hasnt been that good. Utah has been a little better in certain areas, but they have eroded across some different areas. It feels like a game where having the points might come in handy. Im taking the Bruins.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the UCLA Bruins plus 5 points. - Bet this game for FREE by taking advantage of a FAT 100% bonus up to $1000 at MyBookie! (Use Promo Code: PRDCT14)