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LAS VEGAS BOWL
UCLA VS BYU
Interesting game in that this is a rematch of a game played earlier in the year in which UCLA beat BYU 27-17. That was in the 2nd game of the year and the fortunes of these two teams went in different directions following that game. UCLA went on to go 6-6 on the year and is lucky to be here at all. They dropped 5 of their final 7 games while BYU went 10-2 on the year and is on a 9 game winning streak!
UCLA has also lost their coach, who was fired after the USC loss. So you have a team with an interim head coach, that has dropped 5 of their last 7 and has been injury plagued all season long, going up against a 10-2 BYU team that ranks in the top 20 both offensively and defensively looking for a little same season revenge for the set back in week 2.
Also note that in that game earlier in the year, UCLA jumped out in front 20-0 early, helped by an interception returned for a TD, only to see BYU get back into the game and really, dominate statistically, while UCLA held on for the win.
When we break this game down to get a number, we make BYU about a field goal choice here. So if we were to play this one strictly by the numbers, we'd find some value with UCLA. But the intangibles have to count for something here. Same season revenge. Dominating statistically the first time around. A 9 game winning streak compared to losing 5 of 7. No coach, compared to a coach who had his team prepared to play in this very same game a year ago, beating Oregon 38-8.
We favor BYU straight up and will lay the number as a result of the intangibles. However, going against our own numbers is not something we're thrilled about, so that will keep this play from being rated higher.
2* BYU -6