Utes vs Bruins NCAA Football Spread/Handicapping
The UCLA Bruins and the Utah Utes are both coming off week seven losses where second-half struggles made it just too much to come back.
Utah Utes (2-3) vs UCLA Bruins (4-2)
Saturday October 13, 2012
3:00 PM ET
Moneyline: UCLA -310, Utah +250 from Bovada
Spread: UCLA -8
The Bruins fell to the 2-4 California Golden Bears, while the Utes dropped their matchup against the 4-1 USC Trojans. Both teams need a win to get back on track, and both teams are in danger of becoming irrelevant in a dangerous Pac-12.
The Utah Utes defeated the Northern Colorado Bears 41-0 in the 2012 season opener, but life hasn’t been so simple since dropping three of their last four games.
Utah needed a breakout performance from somebody against USC, and while they were unable to beat the Trojans last week, they got a somewhat unexpected showing from wideout DeVonte Christopher.
The senior receiver caught six passes for 62 yards, including his first touchdown of the year. The UCLA Bruins’ defense has struggled against the pass. If Christopher is going to step up again, now is the time against UCLA’s pass defense, which has allowed 252 yards per game through the air.
The biggest problem for the Utes last weekend was that they found their first two touchdowns as a result of well-timed, fluke plays in the first quarter. While most teams would find the momentum to carry themselves into the second half, Utah has struggled on offense all season long. This team is going to need more consistent production on offense to beat UCLA.
They rank 102nd in passing yards (194.4), 112th in rushing yards (105.0) and 89th in points per game (24.0).
No matter how good the UCLA Bruins have been in the passing game up to this point, the story of the season in Los Angeles has been Johnathan Franklin. The senior tailback is a mere 264 yards away from passing the Bruins’ all-time career leader, Gaston Green, and while it will likely take two games to reach his mark, he’ll be looking to do some damage against the Utes on Saturday.
The team is going to need his production, along with the production of quarterback Brett Hundley, to bounce back from last week’s ugly offensive performance. The team went into Berkeley to face the California Golden Bears and came out with just 17 points—nearly 20 points under their average. Hundley has been very good all season, as he’s thrown for 1,733 yards and 13 touchdowns on the year. If the two of them can combine for a solid performance against the Utes, we’ll chalk up last week’s disastrous performance to the Berkeley curse.
Utah hasn’t been an easy opponent for UCLA, either. The Utes have won the last two competitions (2011 and 2007) by an average of 31.5 points. However, the biggest difference this time around is that Utah’s offense has been atrocious so far in 2012. The Utes have the 114th ranked offense in the country, and they’re going to have a tough time competing with UCLA if their offense doesn’t step up on Saturday.
The Bruins are favored in this one, and unless they experience another no-show on offense this weekend—or Utah comes away with two more fluke plays—they shouldn’t struggle too much on Saturday.
Bruins are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss.
Bruins are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games.
Bruins are 5-1 in their last 6 games following a SU loss of more than 20 points.
Bruins are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
Under is 7-1 in Utes last 8 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
Under is 24-3 in Bruins last 27 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
Under is 6-1 in Bruins last 7 vs. a team with a losing record.
Under is 6-1 in Bruins last 7 games following a ATS loss.
O/U Pick: Under 52
Score Prediction: UCLA 27 – Utah 17