No one thought they should get to the book to lay down cash on either team’s NCAA Football championship odds, but when Arizona State (2-7 / 1-5) travels to Pasadena to take on the UCLA Bruins (6-3 / 3-3), I think most thought that both of these teams would be better. The Sun Devils have managed to cover four of their last five decisions but were demolished last week as a 9.5-point underdog at Utah last week.
UCLA looks like they’re fading with a 2-2 mark over their last four, but just 1-3 against the number in their previous four. Oddsmakers have made the Bruins a 17-point favorite with a total of 44. Kick-off is scheduled for 9:00 pm ET / 6:00 pm PT and can be seen on the Pac-12 Network. Let’s start our Arizona State vs UCLA predictions preview with a look at both teams from a betting perspective.
When It Rains, It Pours
The headline is the words of ASU head coach Kenny Dillingham after his team dropped a 55-3 decision to #18 Utah last week. He is referring to the incredible amount of bad luck his team has had when it comes to fighting off injuries to key college football players.
The position hit the hardest is quarterback after Trenton Bourguet was forced to leave the game against the Utes with a lower leg injury. In addition, the offensive was hit with the bug, making it difficult to keep any signal caller upright. Bourguet’s status is still listed as uncertain for Saturday but Dillingham did say he would not play if the game was Wednesday.
On the bright side, Arizona State is 4-3-1 ATS this season against FBS teams, if they somehow manage to finish in the black, it will be the first time since 2020 (4 games) they managed to do that. It’s been since 2018 that ASU produced a profit after playing a full season. We continue our Arizona State vs UCLA predictions preview by turning our attention to the UCLA Bruins.
Bruins Defense To Shine
What happens when a team without a healthy quarterback plays a team that is 14th in the country in points allowed? we think we got a preview last week. The Bruins give up just 70.4 yards rushing per game and have allowed just one rushing touchdown all season. They’ve forced a total of 17 turnovers in nine games. This may not be pretty come Saturday.
To make matters worse, the Bruins are coming off a loss to the Arizona Wildcats as a 2.5-point favorite, 27-10. For bettors, this may be the first year since 2019 that the Bruins have not produced a profit but a cover Saturday would have them within a game of .500. In that span, UCLA is at their strongest as a favorite with a 14-11 ATS mark, but just 7-8 as a home favorite. We conclude our Arizona State vs UCLA predictions preview with our official selection.
We Think You Already Know
We try to keep our opinions a secret until the end, even sometimes doing a 180 by giving out the over / under as a betting option. In this case, when bettors see their scores and odds sheet filled out to conclude this week’s games, it will reflect a UCLA blowout.
The Bruins own just about every offensive statistical advantage including a rushing defense that’s third in the country against the Sun Devils who are 118th in the nation with just 102.8 rushing yards per game. ASU should be one-dimensional by halftime. Take UCLA and lay the 17, a surprisingly low number.
As the week wraps up, all eyes will turn to the anticipated faceoff in Pasadena, spotlighting the Arizona State vs UCLA clash.