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UCLA Bruins 2014 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Predictions

2014-15 Football Previews – (Pac-12) – Bruins

Entering the 2014-15 college football season, it’s clear that the Pac-12 South Division is going to be top-heavy as it pertains to the top-tier competition.

Pac-12 Conference 2014-15 College Football Previews:
Head Coach: Jim L. Mora
2013 Record: 10-3
UCLA Gambling Odds to win BCS Championship: 14/1
UCLA Gambling Odds to win Pac-12 South Division: 3/2
UCLA Gambling Odds to win Pac-12 Conference: 3/1

USC, Arizona State and UCLA will compete for a spot in the conference championship – a game that will be hosted at Levi’s Stadium for the first time in Pac-12 history.

If UCLA is going to make it to that championship game, contests against the aforementioned teams will be crucial. The Bruins will match up with ASU on Sept. 23 and USC Nov. 22. They close out the regular season the next week against the Stanford Cardinal.

Team Strengths:

Although it’s not a true strength (more on this later), let’s look at the schedule. UCLA plays tough games against the USC Trojans, Oregon Ducks and Stanford Cardinal this season, but it has the luxury of hosting all three competitors.

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Experience is also going to be to the Bruins’ advantage. They’re bringing back 15 starters, which is a huge benefit considering how successful this organization has been since Jim Mora took over two seasons ago. Bringing back a bunch of scrubs would be one thing, but that couldn’t be further from the truth with these guys.

Of all the returning starters, Brett Hundley deserves the most attention. He threw 29 touchdowns to nine interceptions, and with him running the show, it’s easy to see how the Bruins could make a run at the new College Football Playoffs within the next two seasons.

Defensively, it may sound unlikely with the departure of Anthony Barr, but this group has the potential to be even better than it was in 2013. The team was third in pass-rushing (Pac-12) defense last year, and it could very well be even better this time around.

Team Weaknesses:

It’s true: The Bruins face USC, Oregon and Stanford at home. This is a plus. Unfortunately, the schedule as a whole is one of the toughest not just in the Pac-12, but in all of college football.
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Starting the season on the road against Virginia shouldn’t be too much of a challenge (although Scott Stadium can be intimidating for unsuspecting visitors), but it’s Week 3 when things really get interesting. The Bruins head to a neutral site to take on the Texas Longhorns, then a road trip to Washington to face the Huskies will be difficult in November.

Replacing Anthony Barr will be difficult, but as previously mentioned, the depth in the rotation could actually make this group a better pass-rushing team than it was last season. Offensively, the team doesn’t have that luxury on the line, as it’s slated to replace Xavier Su’a-Filo with a more shallow group than on defense.

2013-14 UCLA Football Prediction: 10-3

The three-team race at the top of the Pac-12 South Division will likely go on all season (although the Arizona State Sun Devils are the only group of the three that plays a divisional opponent in the final week of the year). We could legitimately be down to the final week of the regular season without knowing who will play in the title game, but at this juncture, UCLA has to be considered the slight favorite.

UCLA 2014 Schedule

  • Sat, Aug 30 @ Virginia
  • Sat, Sept 6 vs Memphis
  • Sat, Sept 13 @ Texas
  • Thu, Sept 25 @ Arizona State
  • Sat, Oct 4 vs Utah
  • Sat, Oct 11 vs Oregon
  • Sat, Oct 18 @ California
  • Sat, Oct 25 @ Colorado
  • Sat, Nov 1 vs Arizona
  • Sat, Nov 8 @ Washington
  • Sat, Nov 22 vs USC
  • Fri, Nov 28 vs Stanford

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