Colorado vs. UCLA Betting Odds
A matchup of two middling Pac-12 teams has some added intrigue when you consider Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell used to serve on the Bruins staff.
Moreover, while Colorado is 2-4 in conference play and UCLA is 3-3, UCLA is laying a whopping 17 points in this matchup.
That’s because, as I’ll write about throughout this article, Colorado’s efficiency metrics are garbage. Meanwhile, UCLA has an impressive rushing attack.
However, is it impressive enough to win by three scores?
Colorado Buffaloes Odds
Colorado is 3-6, but they’re a much worse team. Outside of two good performances – a three-point loss to Texas A&M and a win last week against Oregon State – the team is a dumpster fire.
The Buffalo offense ranks outside the top-100 in:
- Rush Success Rate
- Pass Success Rate
- Line Yards
- Pass Blocking
- Preventing Havoc
The Buffalo defense ranks outside the top-90 in:
- Rush Success Rate
- Pass Rush
- Line Yards
- Finishing Drives
- PFF’s Coverage grades
- PFF’s Tackling grades
Colorado allows 100 more passing yards per game than they produce, and the defense allows 4.6 yards per carry while the offense averages just 3.6.
Colorado never passes the ball, rushing at the 12th-highest rate in the nation. But they rank 113th in Standard Downs Success Rate, and when they get behind the sticks, Brandon Lewis completes less than 60% of his passes for only 6.5 yards per attempt.
I’m not expecting Colorado to remotely keep it close in this one.
UCLA Bruins Odds
UCLA is in a tough spot. They’ve lost back-to-back games with their starting quarterback hurt. Dorian Thompson-Robinson should be back this week, and UCLA needs to sweep their final three games for a solid Bowl Game.
UCLA is predicated on a dominant, triple-threat rush attack. The Bruins’ top two backs have accumulated over 1350 yards at 5.9 yards per carry with a combined 14 touchdowns. Meanwhile, DTR has added 364 rush yards of his own.
As a result, The Bruins average over 200 rush yards per game at 4.9 yards per carry, and UCLA ranks 12th in Rush Success Rate behind an offensive line that ranks top-30 in Line Yards.
However, if they get behind the sticks, Thompson-Robinson can’t bail them out. The Bruins rank 60th in Passing Downs Success Rate.
So, that’s the formula for stopping UCLA, get them behind the sticks.
The Bruins are rather strong in the trenches, ranking 20th in Defensive Line Yards. But, outside of that, UCLA’s defense ranks outside the top 100 in Rush Success Rate, Pass Success Rate and Pass Rush.
Prediction and Pick
My pick: UCLA -17.5 (-110 at BetMGM)
I’m expecting this game to be high-scoring, considering the gaping holes within both defenses.
However, I don’t see much value in the total at the current number of 57.5. But high-scoring affairs are friendly to big favorites, so I’m looking to back UCLA in this spot.
Colorado has zero chance to stop the UCLA rush attack. When the Bruins face weak defenses, they run around, over, and through its opposition. That includes dropping 44 points on Hawaii, 38 on LSU, 35 on Stanford, and 34 on Arizona.
UCLA covered in all four of those games.
Expect them to do the same on Saturday.