UCLA (4-4, 2-3) at Utah (4-4, 1-4)
When: Friday, November 3rd 2017
Where: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT
Time: 9:30 ET | TV: FOX Sports 1
Opening Odds: Utah -5/61
Two teams trying to get back on track just to make a Bowl game will meet in Salt Lake City Friday night as the Utah Utes host the UCLA Bruins at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Utes were highly-ranked with a 4-0 start, but have dropped their last four games with the last two being blowout losses to Arizona State (30-10) and Oregon (41-20). Utah has three home games left of their remaining four in order to get two more wins to become Bowl-eligible, so this is a great opportunity tonight against an equally struggling UCLA squad, who has lost four of six since a 2-0 start. The Bruins have lost their last three games by double-digits including a 44-23 setback at Washington in their last contest. This game will be Utah’s 10th annual Blackout Game, and while the Utes own a 7-2 record in such games, one of their losses was to the Bruins in 2013. UCLA leads the series 11-4, but the two teams have split their six meetings since Utah joined the Pac-12 in 2011, with the Utes winning the most recent in Los Angeles last season 52-45.
Part of UCLA’s recent struggles has to do with a terrible run defense that is ranked dead last (130th) in the country, allowing average of 307.1 yards per game, 6.05 yards per carry and 23 touchdowns. In UCLA’s three Pac-12 defeats against Stanford, Arizona, and Washington, they gave up 398.3 yards a game on the ground including 14 rushing touchdowns. UCLA does have a potent offense led by future NFL first round draft pick Josh Rosen, who has a 145.8 rating and leads the conference with 339.1 passing yards per game. Senior wideout Darren Andrews, who leads the conference with nine TD receptions, ranks third with 88.4 yards per game.
The Utes own the Pac-12’s fourth-ranked pass defense (199.1 yards) and have allowed only nine TD passes while totaling 10 interceptions. Dual-threat quarterback Tyler Huntley has played the last two games after sitting out the previous two with a shoulder injury, and rebounded from a four-interception outing against Arizona State with 339 total yards of offense, two TDs and no interceptions in the loss to Oregon. Linebacker Sunia Tauteoli ranks ninth in the Pac-12 with 8.5 tackles for loss, but the Utes don’t have the best run defense after getting hurt for a season-high 347 yards by running back Royce Freeman and Oregon.
Both teams are struggling right now and a lot of games come down to turnovers, which are really hard to predict. Utah is tied for eighth in the country with 19 takeaways and owns a +3 turnover differential while UCLA is 11th in the Pac-12 with a -7 turnover margin. That, and the fact that Utah is at home, gives them the slight edge.
Pick: Utah -6.5
- Bruins are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Friday games.
- Bruins are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss of more than 20 points.
- Bruins are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- Bruins are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 conference games.
- Bruins are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- Utes are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
- Utes are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
- Utes are 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up loss of more than 20 points.
- Utes are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
- Utes are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Utes are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Over is 4-0 in Bruins last 4 road games.
- Under is 8-1-1 in Bruins last 10 games in November.
- Over is 5-1 in Bruins last 6 Friday games.
- Over is 4-1 in Bruins last 5 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Under is 10-3 in Bruins last 13 games on fieldturf.
- Over is 6-2 in Bruins last 8 games overall.
- Over is 6-2 in Bruins last 8 games after accumulating less than 275 total yards in their previous game.
- Under is 11-4-2 in Bruins last 17 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
- Under is 5-2 in Bruins last 7 games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game.
- Over is 5-2 in Bruins last 7 games following a straight up loss of more than 20 points.
- Under is 36-17-1 in Bruins last 54 games following a straight up loss.
- Under is 7-1 in Utes last 8 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Under is 5-1 in Utes last 6 home games.
- Under is 4-1 in Utes last 5 games in November.
- Over is 4-1 in Utes last 5 games following a ATS loss.
- Under is 8-3 in Utes last 11 games overall.
- Over is 13-5 in Utes last 18 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
- Under is 5-2 in Utes last 7 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Under is 5-2 in Utes last 7 conference games.
- Road team is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
- Under is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
- Bruins are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 meetings.