Week #9 College Football Wagering Picks: #25 UCLA Bruins at Colorado Buffaloes

#25 UCLA Bruins at Colorado Buffaloes
Folsom Field – Boulder, Colorado

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 2:00 pm Eastern, TV: Pac 12 Network
Opening Line: UCLA -14
Current Line: UCLA -14
Opening Total: 69 1/2
Current Total: 69
Opening Money Line: UCLA -500 / Colorado +400
Current Money Line: UCLA -550 / Colorado +425 

UCLA is a two touchdown favorite at Colorado Saturday.
UCLA is a two touchdown favorite at Colorado Saturday.

The Pac 12 South Division currently has 5 teams in the top 25. It is arguably the second best division in FBS football behind the SEC West which currently has 4 teams in the top five. Two Pac 12 south teams face off as the 5-2 UCLA Bruins travel to the 2-5 Colorado Buffaloes Saturday. UCLA is 2-2 in conference and Colorado is 0-4. The Bruins are in fifth place in the division behind 4 teams with one conference loss, USC, Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah. Colorado is the only team without a conference win in the Pac 12.

UCLA leads the series against Colorado 7-2 including 3 straight wins since the Buffaloes joined the Pac 12. The Bruins won the last meeting 45-23 last year in Pasadena. UCLA is 3-1 all-time in Boulder.

UCLA is coached by Jim Mora, Jr. The Bruins have road wins over Virginia 28-20, Arizona State 62-27 and last week at California 36-34, a home win over Memphis 42-35 and a “neutral site” win over Texas 20-17 in Arlington, Texas. The Cal win broke a two game losing streak for the Bruins. UCLA lost at home to Utah 30-28, and at home Oregon 42-30. The Bruins are 1-6 ATS and the total is 2-4-1 this season. UCLA was a 6.5 point underdog against California and the total was 72.5.

Colorado is coached by Mike MacIntyre. The Buffaloes have a road win over Massachusetts 41-38 and a home win over Hawaii 21-12. Colorado has lost 3 straight games. The Buffaloes have losses to Colorado State in Denver 31-17, at home to Arizona State 38-24 and Oregon State 36-31, plus road losses at Cal 59-56 in double overtime and last week at USC 56-28. Colorado is 3-4 ATS and the total is 4-3 this season. the Buffaloes were 19.5 point underdogs against USC and the total was 59.5.

UCLA is outscoring teams 35-29. The Bruins are averaging 492 yards per game including 292 passing and 201 rushing. UCLA is in the top 40 nationally in all offensive categories. On defense, UCLA is allowing 426 yards per game including 268 passing and 158 rushing. The Bruins are #104 nationally out of 128 teams in pass defense. UCLA is -2 in turnovers with 8 takeaways. The Bruins average 68 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 51. UCLA is 52/117 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 53/125. The Bruins have forced 10 sacks and allowed 26 this season. UCLA is 25/25 scoring in the red zone with 18 touchdowns and opponents are 19/23 with 14.  The Bruins have five defensive/special teams scores this season, including three against Virginia, and UCLA has allowed 2 pick sixes.

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley has completed 72.5% of his passes for 1,856 yards with 13 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, along with 92 carries for 305 yards and 4 touchdowns. Running back Paul Perkins has 130 carries for 813 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 17 catches for 167 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jordan Payton has 42 catches for 599 yards and 5 touchdowns. Thomas Duarte has 18 catches for 329 yards and 2 touchdowns. Eldridge Massington has 17 catches for 292 yards and 2 touchdowns. Devin Fuller has 31 catches for 256 yards and a touchdown. Nate Iese has only 10 catches but 2 touchdowns. Two offensive linemen and two defensive players are questionable or out for the Bruins.

Colorado is being outscored 39-31 this season. Colorado is #121 nationally in points allowed. The Buffaloes are averaging 466 yards per game on offense including 308 passing and 159 rushing yards per game. Colorado is in the top 30 nationally in total and passing offense. On defense, Colorado is allowing 435 total yards per game including 259 passing and 176 rushing yards per game. The Buffs are #81 or worse in all three categories. The Buffaloes are -3 in turnovers with 10 giveaways. Colorado is averaging 80 penalty yards per game and opponents average 65. The Buffaloes are 59/140 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 41/92. Colorado has forced 15 sacks and allowed 12 this season. The Buffaloes are 24/27 scoring in the red zone with 21 touchdowns and opponents are 30/31 with 23 touchdowns.

Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau has completed 65.3% of his passes for 2,030 yards with 21 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, plus 42 carries for 122 yards. Running back Christian Powell has 61 carries for 285 yards and a touchdown, plus 7 catches. Tony Jones, Phillip Lindsay and Michael Adkins II will also get carries. Receiver Nelson Spruce has 71 catches for 801 yards and 11 touchdowns. Shay Fields has 36 catches for 292 yards and 3 touchdowns. Four defensive players are listed as questionable or out for the Buffaloes.

UCLA is 17-36-1 ATS against teams with losing records, 7-19 in October, 1-4 after failing to cover, on grass and after allowing 280 passing yards or more, and 1-6 overall. The road team is 4-1 ATS in this series recently.

Colorado is 5-1 ATS after allowing 200 rushing yards or more, 9-20 against teams with winning records, 16-36 after allowing 280 passing yards or more, and 15-35-1 in October.

Colorado has been competitive in almost every game but they are still the worst team in the conference. The defense is terrible, and the offense is very good. Apart from a rout on the road at Arizona State, UCLA has been less than impressive and certainly hasn’t lived up to the expectations of being ranked in the pre-season top 10. Still, I think they can beat Colorado and cover the 14 point spread in a high scoring game.

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