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Week 1: UCLA vs. Kansas State Preview & Pick

UCLA Bruins vs Kansas State Wildcats Gambling Preview + Predictions

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The 2010 College Football season opens on Thursday with seven games on tap. Veteran sportswriter Matt Martz will preview all of the weekly PAC-10 match ups throughout the season, providing some insight to help make your college football wagers winners.

Check back every week for your complete source for NCAA football gambling right here on CappersPicks.com.

UCLA vs. Kansas State Free Week 1 College Football Pick

2009 Team Records:
UCLA: 7-6 SU, 7-6 ATS
Kansas State: 6-6 SU, 5-5 ATS

Date/Time: Saturday, September 4, 8:00 AM ET
Venue: Bill Snyder Stadium, Manhattan, KS.
UCLA Bruins at Kansas State Wildcats Lines
Money Line: Not available yet
Spread: Kansas –2 ½
Over/Under: 43
Bet Now At Bookmaker.com —>

The UCLA Bruins will open their season trying to grab an early win on the road at Bill Snyder Stadium in a non-conference tilt against the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday morning.

The Bruins, who finished the 2009 season with an overall record of 7-1, shut downed the ‘Cats 23-9 at the Rose Bowl last September, as UCLA’s offensive and defensive lines dominated the Wildcats, recording a season-high six sacks and allowing none.

UCLA was short of spectacular offensively last season but that could be attributed to three separate injuries – including battling a current oblique strain – to quarterback Kevin Price, who still passed for over 2,000 yards despite seeing limited action. Look for Prince to dish out the passes between wide receivers Nelson Rosario and Taylor Embry who combined for 87 catches and over 1,300 yards last season.

But even with healthier quarterback and solid passing attack, don’t look for the Wildcats to just roll over.

KSU’s secondary has the experience to launch an aerial counter attack with returning safeties Emmanuel Lamur and Tysyn Hartman, who combined for 122 tackles and eight interceptions in 2009.

If the Bruins come up short in the air early on, they could be forced to go with the run that could lead to some real problems. The Wildcats only allowed 105 yards on the ground and even with just one linebacker back from a year ago, a strong defensive front with three players back along with several JC transfers, should be enough to hold the Bruins mediocre rushing attack to minimal yardage on the ground.

The ULCA offensive line has four returning players but hasn’t done anything of note to boost the running game the last few years. This will have an adverse effect on Jonathan Franklin; the Bruins’ leading rusher registered just 566 yards as a freshman.

Luckily, UCLA had a better than average defense last season, allowing just 21 points per game.

But that success in 2009 might be difficult to duplicate with just one player back on the defensive line, so the run defense is likely to suffer, although there is some speed off the edges. Akeem Ayers had 75 tackles, six sacks and four INTs, and is a do everything linebacker, but his ability to stop the run could be hindered if the guys up front don’t take out their blockers.

The secondary is an area of least concern, with two of the better safety combinations in the PAC 10, led by Rahim Moore snatching ten picks a year ago.

This game will likely be decided in the trenches as most are, and if it is the edge would have to go KSU to be able to run the ball well as well as stopping any ground assault the Bruins can muster in this lo scoring affair.

UCLA at Kansas St. Betting Trends

The total has gone UNDER in 7 of UCLA’s last 9 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 13 of UCLA’s last 17 games
UCLA is 4-12 SU in its last 16 games on the road
UCLA is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
Kansas State is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games at home

Free Pick: Kansas State –2 ½

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Matt Martz is a sports writer for the Bakersfield Californian located in Central California. Blessed is the gambler who expects nothing, for ye shall not be disappointed.

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