Utah vs UCLA Preview & Free Pick [10/26/18]

Utah (5-2) at UCLA (2-5)
When: Friday, October 26th 2018
Where: Rose Bowl,
Pasadena, California

Time: 10:30 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Utah -9.5/53.5


After an 0-5 start in Chip Kelly’s first year as UCLA head coach, it appeared his Bruins could go winless on the season, but things have turned around quickly in Los Angeles. The Bruins seek their third straight win when they host the surging Utah Utes in a pivotal Pac-12 game on Friday night at the Rose Bowl. The South Division is currently wide open with one loss separating the top team from the bottom team. Utah moved into a tie with USC atop the South Division by defeating the Trojans on Saturday, while UCLA has won back-to-back Pac-12 games for the first time since 2015. The 41-28 win against USC moved the Utes into the top 25 of the coaches’ poll for the first time this season. Utah opened Pac-12 play with two straight losses, but quarterback Tyler Huntley has completed at least 73 percent of his passes in each of the past three games and has accounted for seven touchdown passes and one interception in that span. Utah’s defense is still one of the best in the country, ranking No. 1 in rush defense and No. 7 in total defense. The Bruins defense is still giving up a lot of points, but they have been opportunistic, forcing nine turnovers in the past three games after recording 13 takeaways all of last season. The Utes would become bowl-eligible with a win, and Utah coach Kyle Whittingham is 11-1 in bowl games, the best winning percentage in NCAA history.


Utah’s offense has topped 40 points in three consecutive games for the first time in eight years, and they’ll get a UCLA defense that has allowed at least 30 points five of the past six games. Huntley was key in last season’s 48-17 win against the Bruins, throwing four touchdown passes, but its the running game that has surprised lately. Running back Zack Moss has surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark in three of the past four games and had his top rushing performance last season against UCLA, totaling 153 yards and two touchdowns. Utah LB Chase Hansen ranks second nationally with an average of two tackles for loss per game.

The Bruins are also running the ball much better. Joshua Kelley ran for just 27 yards on 11 carries the first three games, but has exploded for 542 rushing yards and five TDs in the past four. UCLA has handed off to Kelley 30 times in each of the past two games, the first running back since Tyler Ebell in 2002 to hit that mark two games in a row. Kelley is also the first UCLA running back with four consecutive 100-yard games since Ebell had six straight in 2002.


Yes, UCLA is improving, but they’re still not better than this Utah team, who is starting to play really well. I don’t find the Rose Bowl as a big homefield advantage for UCLA and I expect Utah to dominate this game from start to finish.

Pick: Utah -10.5

https://youtu.be/wCoGSKgkQRs


Betting Trends:

  • Utes are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Friday games.
  • Utes are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games on grass.
  • Utes are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
  • Utes are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
  • Utes are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
  • Utes are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games in October.
  • Utes are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 road games.
  • Utes are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 conference games.
  • Utes are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Utes are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
  • Utes are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Bruins are 5-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Bruins are 7-15 ATS in their last 22 games overall.
  • Bruins are 8-20 ATS in their last 28 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Bruins are 11-28 ATS in their last 39 games in October.
  • Bruins are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games on grass.
  • Bruins are 5-17 ATS in their last 22 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
  • Bruins are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Friday games.
  • Bruins are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 games following a straight up win.
  • Bruins are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games.
  • Over is 5-1 in Utes last 6 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
  • Under is 4-1 in Utes last 5 games following a straight up win.
  • Under is 4-1 in Utes last 5 games following a ATS win.
  • Over is 6-2 in Utes last 8 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Over is 5-2 in Utes last 7 road games.
  • Under is 5-2 in Utes last 7 games on grass.
  • Over is 7-3 in Utes last 10 conference games.
  • Over is 4-1 in Bruins last 5 games on grass.
  • Over is 5-2 in Bruins last 7 games following a straight up win.
  • Over is 5-2 in Bruins last 7 games in October.
  • Over is 7-3 in Bruins last 10 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
  • Under is 7-3-1 in Bruins last 11 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
  • Under is 35-15-1 in Bruins last 51 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Road team is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
  • Utes are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 meetings.
  • Under is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.

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