Week 9 College Football Predictions: California Golden Bears vs. UCLA Bruins, Pac-12 Preview

California Golden Bears at UCLA Bruins
Saturday, 10/29/11, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  N/A
Opening Point Spread:  California -6
Current Betting Line:  California -4.5
Opening Total:  51.5
Current Total:  51.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The California Golden Bears are one of the worst road favorites in college football

California travels south to take on the UCLA Bruins in a Pac-12 Conference contest Saturday, coming off a 34-10 win over the Utah Utes as two-point home favorites.  The Golden Bears dominated the Bruins last year, capturing a 35-7 win as eight-point home favorites, but everyone knows this program is much different on the road.  The program is 2-6 in road games since the start of last season, with its only wins being a 20-13 victory over last-place Washington State last season and an overtime victory over last-place Colorado in the early going this year.  California is 12-31 ATS as a road favorite.

The Golden Bears possess a strong unit against the run, ranking fourth in the conference in allowing just 115.6 yards per game.  California has won two in a row at the Rose Bowl.  Offensively, wide receiver Marvin Jones leads the attack, coming in with 40 receptions and 599 yards, including three touchdown scores.  On the defensive end, the team has given up more than 30 points in six of its last eight games away from the Bay Area.

UCLA returns home off a humiliating 48-12 loss to the Arizona Wildcats as five-point road underdogs, getting out-gained by 250 yards.  The Bruins have lost the statistical battle to five consecutive opponents since tallying a 27-17 win over San Jose State.  Rumors are running wild around Westwood about the potential firing of head coach Rick Neuheisel at the end of the season.  “Forget all the outside stuff,” he’s been preaching to his team this week.  UCLA is 1-6 ATS this season and 11-20 ATS over the last two-plus campaigns, while the ‘under’ is 20-12.

The Bruins will be without key players offensively due to suspensions handed down by the conference after an incident in last week’s loss to the Wildcats.  UCLA will need to try and pound the ball with running backs Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman.  Franklin has 520 yards on the ground this season, averaging 6.3 yards per carry, but managed just 11 yards on six carries against Arizona.  Over the last eight-plus seasons, UCLA has produced a 36-17 record at home,.

Bettors will likely back the Bruins due to the underdog being 10-4-1 ATS in the last 15 meetings, while the Golden Bears are 7-20 ATS on the road.

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