Stanford is coming off their first Pac-12 win this year after a dramatic win against Arizona State. UCLA came back down to earth a bit after losing to Oregon in a game that wasn’t that close. This will be an interesting matchup. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!
Stanford vs. UCLA Odds
UCLA is a 16.5-point home favorite and is also at -800 on the money line. The over/under is also at 64.5. UCLA being this big of a favorite makes sense, but it still seems initially very very high. Stanford is coming off two consecutive wins and has a history of playing UCLA close too. The spread initially jumps out because of those factors. The over/under also seems a little high at 64.5. UCLA’s offense can score at will, but Stanford’s has been suspect. It’s clear the oddsmakers are banking on a UCLA blow out and that’s why the total is as high as it is.
Stanford vs. UCLA Prediction & Pick
The Pick: UCLA -16.5
Stanford is surprisingly on a two-game winning streak. They beat Notre Dame and Arizona State in two close, ugly games, and are now setting up to face a juggernaut in UCLA on the road. UCLA got humbled against Oregon last week, but should right the ship against the Cardinal. UCLA’s offense has been the difference-maker for the Bruins’ season this year. They average 4o points and 497 total yards on offense. They also have a Heisman Trophy hopeful at quarterback in Dorian Thompson-Robinson who’s been the offense’s main engine this season. The defense has stepped up a bit too and has proven they can help the offense out.
Stanford has been all over the place this year with both their offense and defense. Stanford’s offense will need to step up here and they are only averaging 25 points and 398 total yards on offense. Tanner McKee is a difference-maker at quarterback for the Cardinal, but he has little to no help around him, especially with E.J. Smith missing the rest of the regular season. While the initial look of the spread may seem like this is too much in favor of UCLA, take the Bruins here to cover because they’re just going to be too much for the Cardinal on offense.
Stanford vs. UCLA Key Matchups
Can the Stanford secondary contain Dorian Thompson-Robinson at all? Will the UCLA defense be able to contain Tanner McKee?
Dorian Thompson-Robinson vs the Stanford Secondary
Dorian Thompson-Robinson has evolved a ton over the past five years that he’s been the starting quarterback at UCLA. He’s arguably been the best quarterback in the Pac-12 this year. He has 1,772 passing yards, 17 passing touchdowns, three interceptions, and a 74% completion percentage on the year so far. His best game was against Washington when he threw for 315 yards, had three touchdowns, and had a 73% completion percentage too. He’s been such a threat for defenses this year because of his dual-threat ability. Stanford has been okay against the pass. They are giving up 214 passing yards a game. This will be a huge matchup and Stanford needs to play well against him to have any type of chance in this game.
Tanner McKee vs the UCLA Secondary
Tanner McKee has been a bright spot for Stanford this year, and he has NFL scouts interested too. He has 1,857 passing yards, 10 passing touchdowns, six interceptions, and a 63% completion percentage on the year. The most yards he has passed for in a game was 320 in their last game against Arizona State. Stanford just has not been able to offer McKee much help on offense this year. UCLA has been giving up 251 passing yards, so McKee has the ability to potentially take advantage of that passing defense. McKee is going to need to have a huge game in this spot for Stanford to have a chance at all in this game, especially without E.J. Smith in the backfield.