The Oregon State Beavers travel to Los Angeles to take on the UCLA Bruins in Pac 10 action this Saturday night. The Beavers are coming off a big home win against California, while the Bruins dropped a tough home game to Arizona.
Oregon State started as a 6 ½ point favorite, and despite the public playing the Beavers at just under 88%, the collegee football line has been pulled down to 4 ½ points at most sites. That type of reverse action means the wiseguys have been laying down some serious money on UCLA. That being said, we’re throwing caution to the wind with this one. But even though the sharps like the Bruins, the Beavers are the team with value in this match up.
To get a couple points off the opening line usually means playing opposite the sharps. But that’s one way to get value on a line – let the wiseguys create it. Another reason this game has value is the injury to James Rodgers. If Rodgers was healthy, Oregon State would probably have been close to a 10 point favorite, but his absence has definitely been noticed by oddsmakers. Rodgers tore his ACL early in the Arizona game, but OSU still managed to win on the road against a quality opponent. They dropped a double overtime loss at Husky Stadium, but then bounced back against Cal in a big way last week. In other words, they’re a good football team even without their star receiver. They were our value play last week, and we’re sticking with them against UCLA.
The situational numbers certainly side with Oregon State. Over the past 3 seasons, against the spread, the Beavers are a remarkable 12-3 on the road, 17-5 against conference opponents, 13-2 off a win against a conference rival, and 6-2 in November. On the other side of the field, UCLA is 9-14 as an underdog, 4-9 as an underdog between 3 ½ and 10 points, 8-14 against conference opponents, and 3-4 in November. So with respect to the technical numbers, the Beavers are clearly the better play for bettors.
While Rodgers’ injury has drawn the attention of oddsmakers – and rightfully so – the injury to Kevin Prince hasn’t made as much of a difference. Granted, Prince hasn’t had a great season. But he is the Bruins’ starting quarterback. Rarely will you find a situation where losing a starting quarterback is a good thing. Further, UCLA runs the pistol offense, which requires a mature quarterback to make heady reads. When Prince was healthy, UCLA was having great success running the football. But since his injury, the running game has dried up. Quarterback play in the pistol is not all about passing yards; experience and decision-making have a significant impact on the rushing game. That’s another reason for thinking Oregon State has value here.
Additionally, the Beavers have covered the spread in their last 5 games. That includes tough road games at Boise State, Arizona, and Washington. UCLA is 0-3-1 ats in their last 4 contests. They managed to push Arizona at home last week, and they gave great effort, but still got gashed. The Wildcats put up nearly 600 yards of offense and outgained UCLA by nearly 300 yards. It’s very strange that a team gets outgained that badly and loses only by 8 points.
Oregon State has good value in this game, and don’t be afraid of breaking with the wiseguys. The Beavers have played well without James Rodgers and are one of college football’s best teams against the spread. They’re going up against a UCLA team that is missing its starting quarterback. Back the Beavers and lay the points.
The wiseguys at Maddux Sports have the best plays for Saturday. They’ve been on a ridiculous run all season long. Year in and year out, the professionals at Maddux have been some of the best money-making wiseguys in the business. Join the winning team at Maddux and you can impress all of your friends with the money you’ll make betting their winning college football picks.