Oregon vs. UCLA Prediction, Betting Pick, and Latest Odds
Spread: UCLA -2
Game Time: Saturday, October 23, 3:30 p.m ET
Where to Watch: ABC
Oregon vs. UCLA Prediction
The Oregon Ducks received a scare from the California Golden Bears last Friday night but survived with a 24-17 win to set up a big PAC-12 clash between them and the UCLA Bruins on Saturday. Both the Ducks and Bruins are very much alive in the race for 1st place in their respective divisions, making this an important game for both teams' PAC-12 title and eventual Rose Bowl hopes.
Oregon hasn’t been treating their backers kindly this season. Outside of their outright win as double-digit road underdogs against Ohio State in the second game of the season, Oregon has failed to cover the point spread in every other game this season. The Ducks are 0-5 ATSin all games except that Ohio State victory. Oregon’s only loss this season was the last time they were on the road when they went to Stanford and lost 31-24 in OT.
The Ducks will have their offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead back on the sideline for this game after he was away from the team to receive a medical procedure, and head coach Mario Cristobal likely missed his presence these past couple games. The hope is that Moorhead’s return will lead to better things for the offense and specifically QB Anthony Brown, who has been plagued by inconsistent play in the last two games for Oregon.
He was solid but not spectacular last week against Cal and struggled mightily the week prior in the loss to Stanford. There is more onus on Brown to be good right now for Oregon since they are minus their leading rusher, CJ Verdell, who is out for the season with a leg injury. The good news for Oregon is they might have found a very capable backup option as RB Travis Dye had a terrific game running the ball last week, carrying it for 145 rushing yards on 19 attempts while averaging 7 yards per rush.
Oregon and UCLA both want to be run-first offenses and they each have nearly identical numbers in terms of yards per game and yards per rush this season. Oregon is averaging 41 rushing attempts per game with just 27.8 passing attempts per game. UCLA is averaging 42.6 rushing attempts per game and just 24 passing attempts per game.
UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson can be an effective QB but he is not the type of QB to carry an offense with his arm in the passing game. UCLA dominated Washington statistically and earned a 21-14 road win last week as the Bruins were +137 total yards and +1.9 yards per play better than the Huskies.
UCLA RB Zach Charbonnet, a transfer from Michigan, ran for a season-high 131 yards and has been a force for the Bruins this season. He has five 100-yard rushing games and averages better than 6 yards per carry. This game comes down to which team can do a better job keeping the opposing ground game in check and that will likely decide who emerges with the win.
I mentioned how both teams have similar numbers running the football entering this game but one team has better numbers at stopping the run and that is where I think this game ends up in the home team’s favor.
Oregon is yielding 137 yards per game on the ground at 3.7 yards per carry, which aren’t bad numbers. But, UCLA has been better, allowing just 95.3 rushing yards per game at 3.2 yards per rush. The defensive line for UCLA has been one of the strengths of the team. It’s been the passing game and strong-armed QB’s that have caused UCLA more trouble on defense, but that isn’t Oregon’s style on offense. I think this sets up well for UCLA and given Oregon’s 0-4 ATS skid since that big win on the road against Ohio State, I’m fine with betting against the Ducks here and expect the Bruins to get the win and cover in this PAC-12 duel.
Oregon vs. UCLA Betting Pick
UCLA -2 @ -108