Texas UCLA College Football Pick

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UCLA

vs.

Texas

College Football

Pick with Analysis

9/13/14

UCLA was supposed to challenge for a spot in the College Football Playoff, and then their first two Games happened. The Bruins haven’t lost yet, but they haven’t looked good either. The Longhorns can’t say the same about the wins and their season is already looking like a mess after another beat down from BYU. On the road, UCLA opened as a -6 point favorite against Texas at betonline, the first to post openers. 5 dimes sportsbook currently has the Game at -8. ***Note Game played @ AT&T Stadium – Arlington, TX

If you watched the Longhorns play last weekend, this line makes sense. However, if you watched the Bruins’ first two Games in which they couldn’t beat lesser teams by more than eight points, maybe this line doesn’t make sense.

Either way, the Longhorns are in much bigger trouble as the opening day starting quarterback David Ash is out indefinitely. That means trouble because replacement sophomore QB Tyrone Swoopes is not a player that scares defenses. He definitely didn’t scare BYU as the Cougars stacked the box and killed the Longhorns running Game and that was it. Swoopes finished with 176 yards with 1 TD, 1 INT on 31 pass attempts.

On the other end, it’s not much better because the defensive line continues to struggle for Charlie Strong. Taysom Hill and the Cougars went for 248 yards and five TDs on the ground. And this was a home Game for Texas.

UCLA is the No. 12 ranked team in the nation, but hasn’t really looked like it yet. The Bruins have been solid on offense, but not overpowering and the defense hasn’t done much, giving up 55 points to Virginia and Memphis. They couldn’t stop the passing or running Game from either one of those teams and that’s why both Games ended up being close. While Texas’ offense hasn’t looked great and has Swoopes, there is still a chance they can move the ball if UCLA’s defense continues to struggle.

The bigger problem may be trying to stop Brett Hundley and company. His numbers are solid with 638 yards, Four total TDs and a 68.8 completion rate, but everyone expected more at this point from him. The running Game has been mediocre with Paul Perkins (178 yards, two TDs), but as said before, the Texas run defense needs help.

Combine that with the efficiency of Hundley and the 8-point spread is reasonable. Hundley doesn’t have some of his favorite targets from past years, but Jordan Payton (202 yards) has really stepped up so far.

The only way the Longhorns can cover this Game is if Swoopes does something worthwhile. Putting money on a quarterback like Swoopes is not what most people want to do and that’s why most of the money is on the Bruins so far.

The Bruins don’t have many trends, but they failed to cover in their first two Games after being an 18- and 22-point favorite. The Longhorns are 12-2 ATS in their last 14 following a double-digit loss, but are 1-4 ATS in their last five non-Conference Games. The under has hit seven straight times for UCLA in road Games and is 20-8-1 in the Longhorns last 29 home Games.

The knee-jerk reaction here of course would be automatically bet UCLA. To the public, a team is always only as good as their last Game. Now, we don’t have a strong opinion on this Game, but we’d advise using extreme caution before having that knee-jerk reaction.

We were dead wrong about Texas. Thought they had some talent and would give BYU a Game last week. At least, we were wrong last week. The Longhorns could get it together as the season goes on. UCLA had difficulty extending margins on two teams they should have hammered. A whopping 85% of the wagers coming in so far on this Game have come in on UCLA. Nothing in the sports betting world is that easy so use caution here.

Nothing strong, but we’ll make an against the public play here – Texas +8

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