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UCLA Bruins 2015 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Picks

2015-2016 Football Previews (Pac-12) – Bruins

The UCLA Bruins are set to enter the 2015 NCAA Football season as its fourth year under head coach Jim Mora. Since going 9-5 in his first year as the lead man back in 2012, Mora has compiled back-to-back 10-win seasons, which have resulted in victories in the Sun Bowl in 2013 and the Alamo Bowl in 2014.

NCAA Football Gambling Lines

Pac-12 Lines

Pac-12 2015-2016 College Football Preview – UCLA Bruins

Head Coach: Jim Mora
2014 Record: 10-3
Odds to Win College Football Championship (from Bovada): 40/1
Odds to win Pac-12 (from GTbets): 11/2
Season Win Total (from 5Dimes): 9.5

The truth is that Mora has a roster in place that is capable of not only exceeding that 10-win mark, but also winning a Pac-12 title. There are certainly questions on the depth chart (most notably quarterback), but a strong defense should help make up the difference if there’s  hangover following the loss of Brett Hundley.

Team Strengths

Few teams across the country can say that they’re returning 17 of 22 starters this season. That’s a feat all in its own, but considering how successful UCLA was last year, continuity shouldn’t skip a beat entering the new year.

As for one starter who is not returning, we turn our attention to Brett Hundley. The stellar man behind center has departed for the NFL, and will now be learning behind Arron Rodgers with the Green Bay Packers.

Typically, when a player of Hundley’s caliber bolts a program, that position instantly becomes a weakness. But we’re going to take a leap of faith here, as the Bruins have quite the contingency in place.

The nation’s top recruit at QB, Josh Rosen, will likely take the place of Hundley. There are no guarantees he’ll be as good advertised, but if you’re going to lose someone like Hundley, you wants (actually, need) a replacement who can step in right away, and Rosen seems to be that guy.

He’s also lucky to have the Pac-12’s leader in rushing yards on his side, Paul Perkins.

Defensively, this squad is also looking to make up for the loss of key components, as Erick Kendricks, Anthony Jefferson and Owa Odighizuwa have all left for the NFL. But again, the now-incumbent pieces are nothing to scoff at.

Despite the losses, depth may be at an all-time high when it comes to talent, as Myles Jack is set to move inside, and both Deon Hollins and Takkarist McKinley will help bolster the pass defense following strong finishes to the 2014 season.

Team Weaknesses

Sticking with the defense, we’d be remiss to skip over the fact that there’s a bit of a question mark in the secondary. It’s true that Jaleel Wadood brings a ton of potential to the table, but potential is only a positive thing if it’s fully utilized.

The Bruins must establish a pass rush early in the season to set Wadood and Co. up for success. Wadood is undersized as a sophomore, so any confidence the team can get him early could go a long way.

Another area to keep an eye on is the kicking game. Ka’imi Fairbairn made 13 of his final 14 field goals last season, and that’s huge for this kid’s confidence — not to mention the team’s confidence in him. The truth is, though, we’re going to need to see similar production to start the year to believe this is legitimate. He’s taken plenty of criticism over the years, and while we can’t ignore his late-season improvement from 2014, we need to see consistency before our eyes before we can believe it’s here for good.

Same goes for the punting game. Matt Mengel was forced to see game time without much experience. The hope here is that he’s more comfortable at this point in the process.

UCLA Bruins 2015-2016 Prediction: 9-3

Whether or not UCLA is able to finish over the projected 9.5 wins will likely come down to the final game of the season — a contest against the rival USC Trojans.

If the Bruins are able to take down USC, chalk this team up for another 10-win season. However, with only 12 games on the schedule (instead of 13) and the Trojans looking to be much improved, a nine-win showing won’t be completely unexpected.

The Arizona, Arizona State, Stanford stretch during the season’s second quarter will help determine how ready the new quarterback is to take over and chase double-digit wins this year.

UCLA Bruins 2015 Football Schedule

  • Sat, Sept 5 vs. UVA
  • Sat, Sept. 12 @ UNLV
  • Sat, Sept. 19 vs. BYU
  • Sat, Sept. 26 @ Arizona
  • Sat, Oct. 3 vs. Arizona State
  • Sat, Oct. 15 @ Stanford
  • Sat, Oct. 22 vs. California
  • Thur, Oct. 31 vs. Colorado
  • Sat, Nov. 7 @ Oregon State
  • Sat, Nov. 14 vs. Washington State
  • Sat, Nov. 21 @ Utah
  • Fri, Nov. 28 @ USC

Check out our Updated College Football Odds.

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