Washington vs. UCLA Analysis & Spread Pick
Washington Huskies (4-0 SU, 4-0 ATS) vs. UCLA Bruins (4-0 SU, 2-2 ATS)
College Football Week 5
Date and Time: Friday, September 30, 2022 at 10:30PM EDT
Where: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
Point Spread: WASH -3.5/UCLA +3.5 (Bovada – You gotta check these guys out if you live bet sports! They’re live wagering platform BLOWS AWAY the competition! Not clunky like most! Tons of options!)
Over/Under Total: 64.5
The Washington Huskies come to the Rose Bowl to take on the UCLA Bruins in a Friday Night Pac-12 showdown. These teams both being undefeated adds a little extra glitz to this conference battle, as each squad enters this game at 4-0. Last week, they both scored conference wins, with the Huskies beating Stanford 40-22, covering their fourth straight spread to open the campaign. The Bruins, meanwhile, return home after beating Colorado in Boulder, 45-17. Who will get the upper hand in this Friday Night special from the Rose Bowl?
Getting a Lay of the Land
Washington faces some challenges in this spot against a plucky UCLA bunch, as this is the first time they are leaving their stomping grounds, somewhat of an anomaly for it being week five. They’ve been winning and covering the spread, but we’ll see if that holds up against an unbeaten conference team on the road. If looking to quantify which of these 4-0 teams has more of an air of quality to it, the nod would go to Washington, at least from a quality of opponent standpoint. They may have had a couple of softies to open the season, and Stanford might not qualify as a high-quality win. But their 39-28 win over Michigan State still looms large, as does the play of their QB Michael Penix, Jr., a slew of offensive talent, and a defense that has more than done than its share in making this all work through the first third of the season. The real works start now, though.
With UCLA, a 4-0 start is all Chip Kelly’s team should be thinking about as they try to resurrect this program after a long spell of not being in the big-time. Still, they would be the team with more to prove at this point. They took care of business in their conference opener, as did the Huskies, but Colorado is toward the bottom end of the conference. The prior week, they barely edged South Alabama, 32-31. They have scored 45 in each of their other three games but wins over Alabama State and Bowling Green, in addition to their other wins, fail to excite.
Big Test for Washington “D”
The Bruins offense is stewarded by familiar face Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who has ten total TDs. We saw Bruins’ back Zach Charbonnet run for three TDs last week, with DTR and a nice supporting cast of backs chipping in. Aerially, we see Jake Bobo taking a hand in things. Measuring their offense against who they’ve faced and assuming it will all transfer well against a higher-level entity in the Huskies could be a mistake. The receivers might not be quite as open, and they have more menace up front. This easily looks to be the toughest challenge the Washington defense has seen thus far.
Still, this is a Washington “D” that in the last two weeks, with the opposition kicking up a notch, has allowed the Huskies to win by a combined 29 points and cover the spread with ease. They have their usual talent in the secondary, a package that is beyond what the UCLA receivers have seen by a fairly-large measure. They also have an attacking defense, and mayhem coming from all areas of this defense. And we’ll see how the Bruins’ offensive line holds up to a robust Huskies’ pass-rush, with Alphonzo Tuputala and Bralen Trice really getting after opposing quarterbacks.
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Good Spot for Washington Offense?
One could say that there are positive signs with a Bruins’ defense that has long undermined the efforts of this team. They have made some strides. They’ve been pretty good against the run, and other than the too-close-for-comfort win over South Alabama, they’ve allowed 44 combined points in their other three games. But this is where we start to see if they’re for real or not. And if South Alabama is giving the Bruins a run for their money at the Rose Bowl, there’s no reason to think Penix, Jr., and Company won’t. This UCLA run-defense will be tested with the multi-pronged approach of Wayne Taulapapa and Cameron Davis. Penix, Jr. has been precise and looks to connect with what’s becoming a nice three-headed monster at receiver with Jalen McMillan, Ja’Lynn Polk, and Rome Odunze. It’s unclear how rigid the UCLA secondary will be in the face of this versatile Washington offense.
Take the Road Favorite
For a Washington team that was able to dig in at home for all spring and summer while getting their first four games in their stadium, this road spot might be a bit more of a factor. Combine that with last year’s 24-17 win by UCLA, where Thompson-Robinson and Charbonnet each had big games, and it’s not that hard to make a case for UCLA. I think the steady and experienced hand of Penix, Jr. should register, as will a greater overall spirit and form we’ve seen from the Huskies this season compared to last. I picture a well-rounded performance on both sides of the ball being enough to get the Huskies to the finish line with the cover.
Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Washington Huskies minus 3.5 points. Bet your Week 4 NFL picks for FREE by taking advantage of a 100% real cash bonus up to $500 when you enter bonus code PREDICTEM on the special offers page at Everygame Sportsbook! They are the oldest and most trusted sportsbook on the web! (In business since 1983 – Formerly Intertops).