(1-2, 1-2 ATS)
(3-0, 1-2 ATS)
Two of the most storied universities in the history of collegiate sports will meet for the first time since 1998 in Austin in NCAA football betting action on Saturday afternoon when the UCLA Bruins tango with the Texas Longhorns.
The Bruins took care of business last week against the Houston Cougars to avoid dropping to 0-3 on the season, but we know that they got away a bit lucky thanks to the injuries to both QB Case Keenum and his backup QB Cotton Turner. The offense for this team is still shoddy at absolute best, as averaging 303.7 yards per game isn’t going to cut it. This is also going to be the best defense that the Bruins have run up against this season, which is saying something considering the fact that the Stanford Cardinal shut them out at home just two weeks ago. The only man that HC Rick Neuheisel can really rely on is RB Johnathan Franklin, who leads the team in carries with 50 and rushing yards with 291. QB Kevin Prince has to wonder how much longer his job is safe for if he continues completing just 43.6 percent of his passes and has a TD/INT ratio of just 1/4. UCLA’s defense hasn’t been great either, as this unit ranks just 76th in the land overall at 366.3 yards per game and is allowing 26.3 points per game. However, if you take the third stringers for Houston out of the equation, this might also be the easiest test for this unit all year.
Texas needs a reality check and needs it in a big way. HC Mack Brown knows that his defense is top notch, led by DC Will Muschamp. However, there is something majorly wrong with his offense right now. In no way, shape, or form should a team as talented as Texas be ranking just 72nd in the nation in overall offense at 359.3 yards per game, especially after facing a schedule that includes three defensively challenged teams in Rice, Wyoming, and Texas Tech. Is QB Garrett Gilbert really still a Heisman Trophy candidate? We tend to think not unless he plans on drastically improving his average game of 19/31 passing for 207 yards with a TD and a pick. The rushing game was supposed to carry this team as well this year, but RB Fozzie Whittaker, RB Cody Johnson, and RB Tre’ Newton have only combined to rush for 405 yards in three games, numbers which are pedestrian by Brown’s standards. This team should have significantly more than ten offensive TDs this year, and everyone dressed in burnt orange knows it.
But we think that that’s all changing on Saturday. Making NCAA football picks on the Bruins is easy based on what happened last week, but the bottom line that we see is a UCLA team that stinks and a Texas team that isn’t playing up to its potential. This could be just the setting that the Longhorns need to give themselves a swift kick in the butt and blast the Bruins back to So Cal.
Selection: Texas Longhorns -15.5
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