Utah visits UCLA after beating Oregon State soundly. UCLA is also coming off a surprising win against Washington. Which sets up this dynamic matchup in the Rose Bowl that could be another shootout. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!
Utah vs. UCLA Odds
Utah is a 4.5-point road favorite against UCLA while being -180 on the money line. The over/under is at 65 too. Utah has looked like a team on a mission ever since it lost to Florida in Week 1, and it being favored here shouldn’t surprise anyone considering they were the favorite to win the Pac-12 before the season started. UCLA also still has something to prove with the best win they have gotten to this point being last week against Washington. The over/under is about where it should be too because both of these offenses are very good, even though at first glance it seems very high. This spread has a chance to fluctuate a bit too, so keep an eye on that.
Utah vs. UCLA Prediction & Pick
The Pick: Utah -4.5
This should be a very good game, but the Utes are the better team. Utah has looked very different since their heartbreaking loss to Florida in Week 1 that ended in an interception in the end zone. The Utes have made a name for themselves on the defensive end as long as Kyle Whittingham has been the head coach there, but what’s different this year, is the offense. Cam Rising leads the way at quarterback, while also having Tavion Thomas at running back as a compliment in the backfield. The offense is the difference for the Utes this year, and it shows with them scoring 42 points and averaging 454 total yards a game. The offense is also very balanced this year, with both the passing game and the running game averaging over 200 yards.
UCLA is undefeated on the year mainly due to their offense. Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Zach Charbonnet make-up a very good back field for the Bruins and are a big reason why the Bruins average 41 points and 506 total yards a game. The Bruin defense has been better than it was last year, but they are the biggest question mark here. Utah is the best team they’ll have played up to this point, and I don’t know if the Bruin defense will be able to step up completely. Take the Utes here, even in a road spot, they are the better and more experienced team than UCLA.
Utah vs. UCLA Key Matchups
Can the UCLA secondary contain Cam Rising? Will the Utah Front Seven be able to contain Zach Charbonnet?
Cam Rising vs the UCLA Secondary
Cam Rising was a revelation for the Utes when he started last year. Rising essentially saved Utah’s season, and was a huge reason why they made it to the Rose Bowl and won the Pac-12 in the first place. Rising has 1,153 passing yards and has 13 passing touchdowns to two interceptions. He also has a 68% completion percentage on the year too. His best game up to this point was two weeks ago against Arizona State where he threw for 260 yards. The UCLA defense has given up 238 yards through the air up to this point in the season. They gave up the most to Washington last week with 345 yards. Cam Rising is the key to this game for the Utes, even more than Tavion Thomas, so it will be interesting to see if the Bruins have any answer here for him.
Zach Charbonnet vs the Utah Front Seven
Zach Charbonnet has picked up where he’s left off after transferring in from last year, and has had a great year so far. He has 65 carries, 417 rushing yards, and five rushing touchdowns too. His best game was last week when rushed for 124 yards against Washington. The Utes, on the other hand, have given up an average of 123 yards on the ground, with the most being 283 yards against Florida in Week 1. UCLA’s running game is their bread and butter, so Charbonnet running on the ground is a bigger key to slow down for the Utes than even Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
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