Outside of Oregon, the Pac-12 has been a mess this season and that’s seen in these teams. While Stanford is coming off a 10-point win against Washington, it already lost by double digits to USC and Oregon, as well as barely beat Oregon State.
UCLA is 1-5, yet one of its wins was the weird 67-63 shootout at Washington State. Playing at home, the Cardinal opened as -6.5 point favorites.
Unsurprisingly, the last few matchups between these teams have also been weird. While UCLA has lost the last 11 meetings, it’s at least been able to put up points, scoring 42 last year and 34 the year before that.
Last year, Stanford’s 49-42 win was devoid of defense with the Cardinal doing what they wanted through air and ground and the Bruins throwing for 466 yards behind Wilton Speight. There’s a chance that happens again as UCLA is allowing 37.7 points per game and Stanford is giving up 273.8 passing yards per contest.
Considering UCLA gave up 48 points to Oregon State last game, Stanford may have its best offensive output of the season. Regular starter K.J. Costello should be back from injury and while his numbers aren’t as good as Davis Mills, that probably doesn’t matter in this game.
Whoever starts should have plenty of time against this defense with top receivers Michael Wilson, Colby Parkinson and Connor Wedington being plenty involved. The Cardinal will also stick with running back Cameron Scarlett, who ran for 151 yards in the win over the Huskies.
The other side of the ball is the bigger unknown as Stanford’s defense has looked better in recent matchups, holding UW to 13 points and Oregon to 21. And outside of UCLA’s huge game against Wazzu, it hasn’t really done anything, failing to score more than 17 points in every matchup but against Oregon State.
Quarterback is up in the air after Austin Burton took over for the injured Dorian Thompson-Robinson two weeks ago. Thompson-Robinson has 11 touchdowns and six picks with five of those scores coming against Wazzu.
Burton completed a lot of his passes against OSU, but at just 5.7 yards per attempt. Either way, running back Joshua Kelley will likely get at least 20 carries for the fourth-straight game.
The Bruins have been better in that aspect the last few games, but Kelley is still averaging just 3.9 yards per tote. Otherwise, Demetric Felton has been doing a little of everything, getting carries in addition to short passes (leads team with 31 receptions).
Stanford got some confidence back after beating Washington two weeks ago and now playing at home, a spread under a touchdown seems small.
There’s no telling how the UCLA offense will look and it’s unlikely it will throw for more than 400 yards against this defense like last season.
UCLA is 0-3-2 ATS in its last five on grass and the over is 6-1 in Stanford’s last seven against teams with losing records. The Cardinal are also 9-1-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings between these schools and 5-1 ATS in the last six at home.
Huge line move to -3.5 on this game due to Stanford playing 3rd string QB.
Our Pick – Stanford -3.5