UCLA vs Stanford Odds
The eighth-ranked Stanford Cardinal (10-2) host the 16th-ranked UCLA Bruins (9-3) Friday night in the Pac-12 championship game. Oddsmakers have listed Stanford as a nine-point favorite and have set the total at 52.0.
Why Stanford Covers
The Cardinal have won each of their last six games, including an impressive 35-17 victory at UCLA Saturday. These wins have come by an average of 16.3 points. The Cardinal have gone 5-1 against the spread in these contests.
Stanford’s recent win over the Bruins is significant. Consider that UCLA is just 9-22 against the spread when out for revenge for a home loss to an opponent over the last two decades. The Bruins are just 4-13 against the spread in this situation if their home loss came by 14 points or more.
Stanford has dominated the series recently. It has won each of the past four meetings both straight up and against the spread. These wins have come by an average of 21.8 points. Each of the last three victories have come by at least 18 points. The Bruins are just 1-6 against the spread in their last seven meetings at Stanford.
The Cardinal have been a strong investment for quite some time now. They are 38-16-1 against the spread in their last 55 games, 23-10 against the spread in their last 33 home games and 17-5-1 against the spread in their last 23 conference games.
Stanford is 6-0 at home where it has won by an average of 10.7 points this season. The Bruins are just 5-12 against the spread in their last 17 road games.
Stanford is the superior defensive team. It ranks 12th in the country in scoring defense with 16.9 points allowed per game while UCLA ranks 55th with 25.8 points allowed per game. The Cardinal ranks 19th in total defense with 328.8 yards allowed per game while the Bruins rank 79th with 417.1 yards allowed per contest.
Why UCLA Covers
The Bruins have been no pushover on the road where they are 4-1 this season. It is also significant that they enter off a double-digit loss at home. That’s because they are 9-3 against the spread in their last 12 games following a home loss of 10 points or more. They are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games following a game in which they failed to cover the number and 4-1 against the spread in their last five games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game.
Stanford has the best run-stuffing defense in the country, but it has been susceptible to the pass. It ranks 92nd in the nation against the pass with 257.2 yards allowed per game. A UCLA squad that ranks 32nd in passing offense with 279.5 yards per game has the potential to move the football on Stanford through the air.
Freshman Brett Hundley was solid in Saturday’s loss to Stanford. He completed 20 of 38 passes for 261 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He should be even better now that he’s seen the Stanford defense.
Hundley is having a pretty special season. He’s completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 3,234 yards with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
The Bruins are 3-1 straight up and against the spread as an underdog this season.