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Neither one of these teams are playing great right now, yet both of them sit with 6-2 records and still have a chance to take out Arizona State, who's alone in first place in the Pac-12 South. The winner of this game could take out the Sun Devils later this year, and the loser will be out of the division picture. UCLA is currently a -1 point favorite on the road at Arizona at 5 dimes sportsbook with a total of 56.
After a great 5-0 start to their season, the Bruins hit a road block with back-to-back road games at Stanford and Oregon. They still didn't look like their usual selves last week against Colorado, giving up 23 points to the lowly Buffaloes. Now back on the road against the Wildcats, their defense will need a better performance against the B.J. Denker and Ka'Deem Carey duo.
However, Arizona isn't playing amazing either. Since their two back-to-back losses at Washington and USC, they've been suspect. Last weekend, the Wildcats eked out a five-point win over one-win California. They haven't lost at home yet, but this will be their first true test in Tucson.
UCLA dominated this matchup last year 66-10, and they were only -2.5 point favorites. The Bruins outgained the Wildcats by a ridiculous 611-257 in total yardage. Back at home, Arizona would like to return that favor.
This is a big game for Denker, who has struggled a bit against better defenses. He even had trouble getting things going on the ground against California, which is one of his strong suits. When Denker struggles rushing, he's forced to pass and that's not a good thing. Denker isn't a terrible passer, but his nine passing TDs through eight starts show the bigger picture. Even if Denker can't get going, Ka'Deem Cary is the one constant in this offense. Carey has at least 119 yards in every game this year to go along with 10 TDs.
UCLA's defense has been pretty solid this year, but they are beatable. Earlier in the season, they locked down Nebraska's offense on the road, which is very similar to what Arizona runs. It'll be interesting if they can do that again.
On the other end, Bruins QB Brett Hundley got back to form last week with 345 total yards and four total TDs. He'll be hoping to ride that momentum into this game and gash this defense like he did last year. With guys like Devin Fuller and Shaq Evans to throw to, not many can really stop this passing game (except Oregon and Stanford). While Hundley is also one of their leading rushers, starting RB Jordon James returned last week after missing three straight games. If he can get going again, that would be huge for the Bruins.
The Wildcats defense had trouble with the pass-heavy California last week so the opportunity for Hundley and his receivers will be there.
The Bruins are 4-1 ATS in their last five games following a straight up win and the Wildcats are 1-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The favorite has covered in six straight meetings between these schools, but the home team is 8-2 ATS in the last 10. UCLA has not covered in five straight games played in Arizona.
No question who the betting public likes in this one. 90% of the action as of Wednesday, at sportsbook.com, has come in on UCLA.
This game shakes out as a true toss up. With that in mind, we'll take any points available which as of this writing on Friday is UCLA +2
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