The Arizona Wildcats (2-1) host the UCLA Bruins (1-3) this weekend for a Pac-12 showdown from Tucson. Kickoff is set for 10:30 PM EST on Saturday, September 28th at Arizona Stadium and the game will be televised on ESPN.
Taking a look at the Week 5 college football odds, UCLA opened as a 7-point road underdog earlier this week. That line has shifted by half a point after early betting, as the Bruins are currently listed at +7.5. The total for the game is sitting at 71 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Arizona vs UCLA
UCLA finally got their first win of the season in Week 4, pulling off a stunning 67-63 comeback on the road against Washington State. The Bruins were in serious jeopardy of dropping their fourth straight game, trailing 35-17 at the half. Against all odds, they managed to score 50-points over the final two quarters to escape with a dramatic victory and improve to 1-3 on the year. QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson was fantastic, going 25/38 for 507 yards and five touchdowns through the air. He also had a massive game on the ground, rushing 11 times for another 57 yards and two scores. The receiving duo of Demetric Felton and Chase Cota also had a monster outing, combining for 297 yards and three touchdowns. Overall, UCLA generated more than 650 yards of total offense and scored seven touchdowns.
The Bruins defense continued to struggle in Week 4, getting torched for over 700 yards of total offense and nine touchdowns. UCLA was especially bad defending against the pass, allowing Cougars QB Anthony Gordon to pass for 570 yards and all nine scores that Washington State had offensively.
Arizona won their second consecutive game prior to having last weekend off, beating Texas Tech 28-14 at home to improve to 2-1 overall. The Wildcats trailed 7-0 after the first quarter but quickly responded, scoring 13 unanswered points in the second quarter and never looking back. QB Khalil Tate struggled badly in the passing game, going just 14/23 for 185 yards and a touchdown while also getting picked off twice. However, he certainly made up for it on the ground, rushing 17 times for 129 yards and a touchdown. RB Gary Brightwell also had a big game running the football, scoring twice and rushing for 85 yards on a game-high 21 carries. Stanley Berryhill III caught the only receiving touchdown of the game, although he only managed 34 yards on two receptions. As a whole, Arizona gained just over 500 total yards of offense and scored four touchdowns.
The Wildcats defense was pretty solid in Week 4, holding Texas Tech to two touchdowns on just over 400 total yards of offense. Arizona did a great job against the run specifically, giving up only 104 net rushing yards and one touchdown. They also forced several turnovers including two key interceptions.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: UCLA +7.5
While I am a bit wary of overreacting to the Bruins dramatic victory over Washington State in Week 4, I still think UCLA offers decent value at +7.5. Although Arizona will likely win this game outright, UCLA showed a lot of heart last Saturday when they easily could have thrown in the towel at half time. Not only had they already lost three straight games to open the season, they were also down by 18 points with just 30 minutes to play. Instead of folding, they pulled off a comeback for the ages which should give them a big momentum boost heading into another divisional matchup here in Week 5.
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The Wildcats have been pretty solid this season after a shocking Week 1 loss on the road in Hawaii. However, UCLA has had an extremely tough schedule so far with games against Cincinnati, San Diego State, and Oklahoma. If the spread moves back down to a touchdown or below, I’ll probably avoid this particular spot altogether. The extra half a point is too tempting to pass up, especially since this matchup could easily be decided by a touchdown or less. The Bruins are also 5-2 ATS over their last seven meetings with Arizona and a very impressive 3-0-1 ATS in their last four meetings with Pac-12 opponents. I’ll take a shot with the points on Saturday night – give me UCLA to cover!