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|UCLA||+3.5 (-110)||+280||O 54|
|Oregon State||-3.5 (-110)||-355||O 54|
The most highly anticipated matchup here isn’t the quarterbacks or a wide receiver and a cornerback—it’s the UCLA defensive front against this Oregon State offensive line.
This season, UCLA has generated 125 pressures and 19 sacks, while Oregon State’s offensive line has allowed quarterback DJ Uiagalelei to get sacked three times and pressured 35 times.
More specifically, UCLA edge rusher and potential top-five NFL draft pick Laiatu Latu, who’s generated 28 pressures and five sacks, will oppose Oregon State left tackle Joshua Gray, who’s allowed one sack and seven pressures.
Opposite Latu is Grayson Murphy, who’s second on the team in pressures with 22.
Oregon State runs the ball on 53.6% of its offensive plays, and UCLA holds opponents to just 58.3 rushing yards per game, the second least in the nation.
As a run-first offense, Uiagalelei isn’t relied upon as much. Still, under pressure, he’s been OK, completing 45.1% of his passes for 305 yards, three touchdowns, and has thrown two of his four interceptions. In the year, he has just 91 completions and is completing 60.3% of his passes. He did throw five touchdowns in Week 6 against Cal.
We’ll see how this powerful Oregon State offense does against this defense while UCLA’s offense, which is far less potent, deals with a weaker Oregon State defense.
Below, we have our three best bets for this matchup.
UCLA’s defense is truly one of the best in the nation. Oregon State’s offense relies greatly on the rushing attack, with 11 players seeing a carry. The team has 213 carries for 1,280 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 37 rushes of 10+ yards. As mentioned, UCLA limits the run, allowing less than 60 yards per game.
We think that trend, more or less, continues. In that case, forcing Uiagalelei to throw hasn’t always been the best for teams, as we’ve seen throughout his college career, including his time with Clemson. He threw five touchdowns last week, but that was Cal, not UCLA.
As for UCLA, their offense, run by freshman quarterback Dante Moore, will do enough here against an Oregon State defense that allows 22.2 points per game and 28.3 over their last three. They also allowed Cal to score 40 on the road.
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We think this is going to be a tight matchup. Between UCLA neutralizing the Oregon State rushing attack and this UCLA offense finding their footing, this should finish around what the spread is of three or so points.
UCLA freshman quarterback Dante Moore has completed just 52.7% of his passes for 1,139 yards, nine touchdowns, and four interceptions this season. He’ll have a favorable matchup against an Oregon State coverage unit that’s allowed nine touchdowns this year.
With a rushing attack as powerful as Oregon State, UCLA might not be able to hold them down all game, and, who knows, maybe Moore finds ways to score here. A lot would need to go right to have a shootout here, though we could see these teams both score into the 20s. It’s a matter of how UCLA handles business on both sides of the ball while Oregon State looks to block them up front and let their rushing attack, which ranks 22nd in the nation in yards per game, flourish.
We think UCLA wins this one, 27-24.
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After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.More info on Richard Janvrin
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