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UCLA Bruins vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers Gambling Prediction & Week 3 Preview

Bruins vs. Cornhuskers NCAA Football Spread/Handicapping

The No. 23 Nebraska Cornhuskers have a score to settle with the No. 16 UCLA Bruins. In 2012, UCLA hosted the Cornhuskers in an entertaining game that resulted in a 36-30 Bruins win. The contest featured two high-octane offenses, as the teams combined for a total of 1,091 yards.

No. 16 UCLA (1-0) @ No. 23 Nebraska (2-0)
Saturday, Sept. 14, 12:00 PM ET @ Memorial Stadium
Moneyline: UCLA +170, Nebraska -200
Spread: Nebraska -4.5
O/U: 70

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This time around, the Bruins are without tailback Jonathan Franklin, who lit up the ground for 217 yards against Nebraska last year.

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Head coach Bo Pelini hasn’t forgotten what happened, and he’ll be reminding his players heading into Saturday’s matchup.

UCLA

Nebraska may be motivated by last season’s battle, but the Bruins have extra motivation to put up a strong performance following a tragedy this past week. Freshman receiver Nick Pasquale was fatally hit by a vehicle in San Clemente, and while he had yet to play a single down for this group, expect the crew on the field to rally.

From a football perspective, expect quarterback Brett Hundley to lead the way. The second-year starter threw for 305 yards and four touchdowns against this crew last year, and while he no longer has Franklin on his side, he has a talented running back in Jordon James to help alleviate the pressure of a hostile environment. The junior recorded 155 yards and a solo touchdown in the team’s only game this season.

Defensively, UCLA will be forced to defend the run. Nebraska has established itself as a top-10 rushing team early in the year, as it has recorded 330 yards per game on the ground while throwing for just 174.5 yards per contest. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Nebraska

When the Cornhuskers played UCLA in 2012, it’s safe to say that the team from Southern California was hardly on their radar. The Bruins had a new head coach and a new quarterback following a 6-8 season, and few could have guessed that they would go on to have as much success as they did. This time, Pelini and his crew are prepared, and nothing will surprise them.

Nebraska is going up against a high-powered offense that scored 58 points in its first matchup. Tackling was an issue in this contest last season for the Huskers, which means getting multiple defenders to the ball will be crucial. If the Bruins put their athletes in space, secondary defenders must be quick to help; especially with a spotty defensive performance against Wyoming fresh in fans’ minds.

Oppositely, the Bruins will have the daunting task of dealing with Nebraska’s offense as well. The Cornhuskers have averaged 46.5 points in their first two games, and while UCLA currently gives up fewer yards through the air than Nebraska gains, quarterback Taylor Martinez is a dual threat every single week.

Home-field advantage is going to be big in this one. Expect a lot of points and a tight finish. The 4.5-point spread may be a bit much against UCLA’s offense, but don’t be shocked if the Huskers squeak out a close win.

O/U Pick: Over
Score Prediction: Nebraska 38 – UCLA 35

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