College Football Picks Against the Spread: Texas Longhorns at UCLA Bruins

Texas Longhorns at UCLA Bruins
Saturday, 9/17/11, 3:30 PM EST, TV:  ABC
Opening Point Spread:  Texas -3.5
Current Betting Line:  Texas -3.5
Opening Total:  45
Current Total:  45.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Texas Longhorns Vs Baylor Bears
The Texas Longhorns are road favorites against the UCLA Bruins despite losing the last three meetings

Texas will aim to gain revenge from dropping a 34-12 contest to UCLA last year as 15 1/2-point home favorites.  The Longhorns were absolutely dominated on the ground, being out-gained by 189 yards in the contest.  “We all remember last year and what they were able to do to us,” commented Longhorns safety Blake Gideon.  “To put it lightly, that was embarrassing.”  The proud program finished 5-7 last year, but has started the 2011 campaign with consecutive wins over Rice (34-9) and BYU (17-16).  Texas is 8-14 ATS as a favorite over the last two-plus seasons and the ‘under’ is 14-9 over that span.

The Longhorns have been incredible in September under head coach Mack Brown, posting a 36-4 mark during his time on campus.  Texas is in the midst of a quarterback controversy, as junior Garrett Gilbert is out, being replaced by sophomore Case McCoy and freshman David Ash.  Whoever is behind center in the final 15 minutes will look to continue the team’s dominance in the fourth quarter, outscoring opponents by a 21-0 margin.  Texas has accumulated 14 first downs to just one for opposing teams.

UCLA really played uninspiring football for three quarters in a 27-17 win over San Jose State as 20 1/2-point home favorites, but it was suspected due to being a sandwich game between playing Houston and this contest.  These two programs are meeting for the sixth time in the series and the Bruins own a 3-2 advantage, winning the last three contests.  The team is hoping to have the quarterback tandem of Richard Brehaut and Kevin Prince available.  Prince suffered a concussion in the season’s first week and has been suffering lingering effects.  UCLA is 10-16 ATS over the last two-plus seasons and the ‘under’ is 16-10 over that span.

The Bruins used a punishing ground attack to take control of last week’s game against the Spartans inside the Rose Bowl, gaining 221 yards on 29 carries.  Running back Johnathan Franklin has scored a touchdown in each of his last three games and in five of six overall.  He combined with Derrick Coleman for 212 rushing yards against the Longhorns last year.  The team also benefited from causing four first-half turnovers in that contest.  UCLA has won 21 of its last 25 non-conference matchups in Pasadena and has won seven of its last 13 games when playing host to ranked competition.

Bettors will likely back the Bruins due to their 12-3 ATS mark at home versus winning road games, while the Longhorns are 1-4 ATS as a road favorite.

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