Pac-12 rivals UCLA and Stanford collide as the 24th-ranked Bruins look to rebound from its upset loss last week by beating the Cardinal in their own stadium. The college football odds lean toward UCLA. But most of the betting action has been on the underdog, Stanford, who has owned UCLA in recent meetings.
|Game: (24) UCLA Bruins (2-1) at Stanford Cardinal (2-1)
Location: Stanford Stadium. Date: Saturday
Time: 6 p.m. ET
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Over/Under||Team Total|
|(24) UCLA||-4½ -110||-190||58½ -110o||31½ -115o/-115u|
|Stanford||+4½ -110||+165||58½ -110u||27 -115o/-115u|
Head to Head
UCLA and Stanford have a rivalry that has spanned 93 years and 91 games. The Bruins have a slight lead at 46-42-3 but they have only won once in their last 13 matchups. However, UCLA is 19-8-0 against Stanford when it is the only ranked team, which applies for this game.
(24) UCLA Bruins
Next game: vs Arizona State
UCLA saw most of its hype go up in smoke when Fresno State came into its stadium and beat the Bruins 40-37. UCLA was favored by 11 points but could not overcome an early deficit. The Bruins fell behind at halftime 23-10 and even a 20-point fourth quarter was not enough to win the game and fell to 2-1 against the college football spread.
🚨 DOWN GOES NO. 13 UCLA 🚨
Fresno State QB Jake Haener — in some noticeable pain — leads his team 6 plays, 75 yards in 40 seconds for the go-ahead touchdown.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) September 19, 2021
No major injuries to report outside of wide receiver Delon Hurt, who remains suspended due to a sexual battery charge against him.
Next game: vs Oregon
Stanford had a strong outing in its 41-23 win against Vanderbilt. It comfortably covered its 13-point spread as we predicted. The Cardinal started strong and led 27-14 at the half and kept the Commodores out of the end zone to seal the win and their spread.
Several Stanford players have been reported out for this game with undisclosed injuries. The most notable is star running back Austin Jones, who will join fellow backs Casey Filkins and E.J. Smith on the sidelines. The defense also has a laundry list of absences, including starting safety Noah Williams and cornerbacks Zahran Manley and Ethan Bonner.
Betting on the Game
Both UCLA and Stanford are 2-1 against the spread (ATS). The action has been even on both sides, though the public is hesitant to go in on UCLA despite Stanford’s plethora of injuries. UCLA underperformed last week so that memory is still fresh in people’s minds.
Stanford also upset UCLA as a seven-point underdog in their last meeting last season. The Cardinal are 7-2-1 ATS in their last games against UCLA and 5-1 ATS in their last six Saturday games. The team has a nice balanced attack but their running game could be visibly weakened here, especially against UCLA’s tough run defense.
The Bruins will look to deliver as favorites. They may not be hot on the scores and odds, but the Bruins are 6-3 ATS in their last nine games and are 4-2 ATS in their last six conference games.
UCLA is only allowing 63 rushing yards per game and 5.16 yards per play, which would be pivotal against Stanford’s run-heavy style. The Bruins will need to tighten up its defense, especially after giving up 569 yards against Fresno State. If it can’t, the Bruins will not only blow the spread but lose this game.
UCLA has its back against the wall here. The Bruins’ defense got exposed by Fresno State as hobbled quarterback Jake Haener lit them up for 455 passing yards while its running defense allowed Ronnie Rivers to average 6.5 yards a carry.
The Bruins are only 4-10 as a road team under Chip Kelly. They beat the Cardinal in Stanford the last time they met there, but have lost the last six games prior to that win. With its reeling defense, the Bruins will have to rely on its offense to get the job done.
The team is putting up 39.7 points per game and can score quickly and often. UCLA’s running game got shut down last game but it is still averaging 190.3 rushing yards while Stanford is giving up 210.7.
Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson will be difficult for Stanford to stop as a dual-threat signal caller. This team is brimming with offensive firepower and Stanford is short so UCLA may just be too much for the Cardinal to stop here.
At -190 on the sportsbook, UCLA has a decent price here. They opened at -180 and most action has been on the underdogs, but sharp money has moved the line toward the Bruins.
Folks are expecting this game to be gangbusters with the early action being heavily in favor of the total going over at 58½. UCLA and Stanford combine to score 69.7 points given their averages and the recent defensive struggles of UCLA could mean we see another back-and-forth like last week.
The betting history also supports this. Four of UCLA’s last five games have gone over as have 10 of Stanford’s last 15. Seven of these last 10 meetings have also gone over with their average score being 63.2 points.
Even if Stanford’s running game will be a shell of itself, quarterback Tanner McKee will be solid against UCLA’s hapless passing defense. McKee has five touchdowns with a 71.4 percent completion rate. Either way you cut this, expect plenty of scoring in this game that could go well past the 60s.