Arizona at UCLA +9.5 O/U 49.5
Saturday, 12:30 pm PT
Two extremes are fresh in bettors’ minds when talking about UCLA and Arizona. For the Bruins, last Thursday on national TV, Oregon did whatever it wanted to do en route to a 60-13 victory. There weren’t a lot of positives to say about UCLA’s performance outside of them not being the first nor the last team to feel Oregon’s wrath. Arizona meanwhile was taking advantage of a good situational play as Washington traveled down to the desert off an overtime victory over Oregon State. The Wildcats jump out early and never looked back as they cruised to a 44-14 win.
As a result of what was last seen, I believe we are getting some decent value with the Bruins at home this weekend. Last season, Arizona was never favored by more than a field goal on the highway including their rivalry tilt against 4-8 Arizona State. And of their six road games, they won three by margins of four, three and five. This year, they haven’t been tested at all on the highway with road games against Washington State and Toledo. For UCLA, this line is extremely inflated if you subscribe to the theory that every PAC-10 team outside of Oregon and Washington State is practically even. Stanford was a 5.5-point favorite earlier this season in Los Angeles while Cal was an 8-point favorite over the Bruins in Berkeley three weeks ago. Just last season, UCLA was catching +7.5 in Tucson but now finds itself +9.5 at home. Now there is no debating some of UCLA’s performances in those games were not so hot, but I think the situation calls for a decent performance by the home side this weekend.
The Wildcats are 3-1 in PAC-10 play and have yet to play the two teams that stand above them in Oregon and Stanford. Next week’s road trip to Stanford in particular could easily make or break the Cats’ PAC-10 title hopes. With Nick Foles sitting out this week, we get Matt Scott under center for a third straight game. I don’t see a big drop-off in production from Foles to Scott but I will point out that Scott hasn’t had a lot of experience on the road. He filled in for Foles a few weeks back at Washington State and threw an interception and was sacked five times. Last season, he did nothing against Iowa (4-of-14, 50 yards) and Nebraska (4-of-11, 18 yards). That is the extent of his road experience as a collegiate quarterback. I’m not saying that Scott is going to lay an egg against a banged up and mediocre UCLA defense but given his lack of production, inexperience and importance of this contest, I see Arizona playing things rather conservative on the offensive end.
There isn’t much time left in the season to get a good effort out of UCLA who at 3-4 are in danger of entering tank mode. But I think with a return home and a couple extra days to prepare, they’ll give Arizona a decent battle. As bad as things have been for Rick Neuheisel’s crew, this is a fairly good spot for an outright upset which tells us that getting nearly double-digits seems the right way to play this contest.
More Sportsmemo Handicapper Game Previews
Tennessee at San Diego
- Erin Rynning
Florida vs. Georgia
- Rob Veno
Tulsa at Notre Dame
- Helmut Sports
Missouri at Nebraska
- Teddy Covers