College Football Week 9 Predictions: UCLA Bruins vs. Arizona State Sun Devils

UCLA Bruins at Arizona State Sun Devils
Saturday, 10/27/12, 3:00 PM EST, TV:  FX
Opening Point Spread:  Arizona State -7
Current Betting Line:  Arizona State -6.5
Opening Total:  55
Current Total:  58
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

UCLA Bruins RB Johnathan Franklin should find some room to run on Saturday

UCLA is back on the road after last week’s bye week, as it looks to improve upon its 7-5 record in games played in Tempe.  The Bruins earned a 29-28 win as 8.5-point home underdogs in last year’s meeting, while the last two games in the series have gone OVER the total.  Running back Johnathan Franklin is the player to watch offensively, as he ranked ninth nationally in gaining 125.4 rushing yards per game.  UCLA is 1-8 ATS in October the last two-plus years, while failing to cover the spread in its last four games after a bye week.

The Bruins have to be happy with Brett Hundley’s performance this year, as he became the first quarterback in school history with three straight 300-yard passing games.  His main target in the passing game in scoring situations is senior Joseph Fauria, who leads the team with five touchdown receptions.  On the other side of the ball, UCLA ranks seventh nationally in averaging 3.29 sacks per game.

Arizona State will look to bounce back from an embarrassing 43-21 home loss to the Oregon Ducks in a primetime contest last week, as it was out-gained by a 214-yard margin on the ground.  The Sun Devils will need to play much better in that department on Saturday, considering the Bruins are second in the Pac-12 Conference in averaging 216.6 rushing yards per game.  The program has done a good job of not drawing penalties, leading the conference with just 28.3 yards per game.  Arizona State is 4-0 ATS at home when the total is between 56.5 and 63 the last two-plus seasons.

The Sun Devils have been a dominating team in the final 15 minutes of games this season, outscoring opponents by a 78-7 combined margin in the fourth quarter.  Arizona quarterback Taylor Kelly has been a bright spot for the offense this year, leading the Pac-12 in passing efficiency, while also gaining 248 net rushing yards on 73 attempts.

Sports bettors will likely back the Bruins due to their 7-2 ATS mark in the last nine meetings in this series, while the Sun Devils are 1-4 ATS following a straight-up loss.

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