Check out our betting preview and prediction for the NCAAF match between UCLA Bruins and Arizona Wildcats. Stay tuned for more NCAAF picks!
Wildcats on a Legendarily Bad Run
The UCLA Bruins have no right being listed as -16 point favorites by sportsbooks, as they have lost two of their last three matches. That is unless they (or anybody) plays the Arizona Wildcats (0-4), who are chartering some choppy futile waters right now.
UCLA won this meeting just 27-10 last season even though they easily covered the -7.5 betting odds. Should the Bruins have been more dominant, though, against a Wildcats team that was 0-5 in 2020 and now hasn’t won since October 5th, 2019? Both BetOnline and BetUS are offering -110 odds for the Bruins -16 points.
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Bruins a Tough Play on the Road?
UCLA is 3-2 so far this season which is a solid start after going 3-4 last year, but four of their first five games have been at home. What Chip Kelly’s squad has really struggled to do is find consistency, losing at home to Arizona State and Fresno State over the last three weeks – both at home and both as favorites.
The Bruins didn’t make much noise in the Pac-12 in 2020 at 3-4, but they very quietly put together the #22 total offense (455.7) and #12 rush offense (231.3) in the entire country. Those numbers could very much be a testament to Kelly’s system, as UCLA is still putting up over 200 yards/game on the ground even after losing last year’s leading rusher Demetric Felton.
Zach Charbonnet has filled in nicely for Felton (who is off to the Cleveland Browns) with three games of 100+ yards on the ground so far this season. He’s been helped by Dorian Thompson-Robinson back at QB. The Senior signal-caller has 10 TD to just 1 INT this season.
UCLA’s offense has some upside, obviously with Kelly calling the plays. It’s the Bruins defense that is cause for concern, though as UCLA comes into Saturday night’s contest, UCLA has the 2nd worst defense in the Pac 12, giving up 408 yards/game, and they’re one of the worst teams in the country vs. the pass allowing 321.4 yards/game.
Arizona Just Really, Really Bad
The Khalil Tate days are definitely over for Arizona, as the Wildcats are on an 0-16 run since Tate threw for 404 yards and 3 TD to fuel the 35-30 win at Colorado…in October of 2019. Thirty-five points scored seems like a pipe dream for this Wildcats team that hasn’t broken 20+ yet this season.
Betting on the Wildcats, even getting 16 points at home, takes some guts for the Week 6 college football slate. Arizona’s 17 ppg rank 123rd in the nation, although the team did have a bye last week for some extra time to prepare.
Arizona might have had an upset on their minds if not for five interceptions from QB Jordan McCloud. Otherwise, the Wildcats ran for 200+ yards on the ground, but the Bruins also have the best run defense in the Pac-12.
Where you exploit UCLA is through the air, but Arizona has no rhythm under center with McCloud, Will Plummer, and Gunner Cruz all in the mix to get snaps on Saturday night. If there’s no passing game, UA is toast as they have just one rush TD all season.
UCLA at Arizona Pick
Arizona is atrocious with 16 straight losses, and they’ve regressed over the last three games since a 24-16 loss to BYU in the season opener.
The Wildcats are so bad they lost 21-19 to Northern Arizona as -26 favorites in Week 3. Those kinds of losses are why you have to avoid the Wildcats for your NCAAF picks for the foreseeable future.
Free Pick: UCLA -16