(3-3, 2-4 ATS)
(6-0, 4-2 ATS)
The No. 1 team in the country has been beaten in each of the last two weeks, but the Oregon Ducks will be out to make mincemeat out of that NCAA football trend. They’ll take to the field of Autzen Stadium on Thursday night when they duke it out with the UCLA Bruins in college football betting action.
UCLA might be in over its head in this game, but many thought it was in over its head (ourselves included) against the Texas Longhorns a few weeks ago as well. If the Bruins stand any chance of coming away victorious, they’re going to need RB Johnathan Franklin to have a heck of a game. The back has already run for 679 yards and five TDs this year, and he is really going to be the only major offensive threat. QB Kevin Prince is dealing with a knee injury and is a tossup whether he’ll be playing this week or not, and even if he is, WR Nelson Rosario, his leading receiver, is probably out with an ankle injury. The Bruins rank just No. 118 in the country in passing at 95.5 yards per game, and if Prince is slowed, those numbers might drop even more when push comes to shove. It will be up to Franklin to contain the Oregon offense, because we know that the defense doesn’t stand all that much of a chance. UCLA ranks No. 65 in overall ‘D’ at 369.8 yards per game and No. 68 in scoring at 25.7 points per game, but it hasn’t seen an offense like this all season long, save perhaps against the Stanford Cardinal, a game it lost 35-0.
This will be the first time that the Ducks come onto the field as the top team in the land. There’s just no stopping this offense. Period. They can throw, they can run, and they can do it with any number of people in or out of the lineup. RB LaMichael James is likely to become the country’s first 1,000 yard rusher on Thursday night, as he only needs 132 yards to get to that feat in just six games. Believe it or not, in spite of the fact that James was suspended for the first game of the season, he is on pace to rush for over 1,700 yards this season and could’ve flirted with 2,000 had he not been suspended or if the Pac-10 had a championship game. This is one of the few teams in the country that just has not been stopped by anyone, as all six foes it has run up against has had at least 42 points dropped on it. Last week’s 43-23 win over the Washington State Cougars was the second closest margin of victory of the season. At home this year, Oregon as outscored its opponents by the incredibly margin of 193-31.
We know that this line has already steamed four points and is probably only going to be on the move more by the time the game kicks off. However, you couldn’t pay us to back UCLA in this situation, especially with Prince hobbled. A one dimensional team isn’t going to stop this offense, as one simple three and out could easily cost the Bruins 14 points in a blink of an eye. Go with the hosts to make a real example of UCLA before getting ready for next week’s duel with the USC Trojans.
NCAA Football Free Pick: Oregon Ducks -25.5