Stanford Football

This Thursday night we get ready for a Pac-12 showdown, as the Stanford Cardinal are set to host the UCLA Bruins. Kickoff is set for 9:00 EST at Stanford Stadium and will be televised on ESPN.

Oddsmakers opened up this game with Stanford at -9.5, but that number has been bet down. Right now the Cardinal are either at -8.5 or -8 depending on where you shop. The total opened at 55 and is either 54.5 or 54.

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UCLA vs Stanford Vegas Game Odds & Betting Preview

UCLA Bruins (1-5, 1-2 Pac-12)

Last time out the Bruins fell 48-31 at home to Oregon State as a 4.5-point favorite. It was their second straight loss following that epic 67-63 win at Washington State as a 18.5-point dog, where they rallied from 32 down in the 2nd half.

The loss to the Beavers was likely a costly one, as UCLA must now go 5-1 over their final 6 games to reach bowl eligibility. Doesn’t seem likely given the schedule. Not only do they play Stanford on the road, they also visit both USC and Utah.

Stanford Cardinal (3-3, 2-2 Pac-12)

The Cardinal will be returning from their bye week looking to build off an impressive 23-13 win at home over then No. 15 Washington as a 12.5-point underdog.

A lot of people had written off Stanford after they lost 3 straight by double-digits to USC, UCF and Oregon. Clearly that wa a mistake. The Cardinal are second in the Pac-12 North, but will need a lot of help from the Ducks to win the division. Because Oregon owns the tie-breaker, they are technically 3-games ahead of Stanford.

Matchup History

This has been one-sided series of late. With Stanford’s 49-42 win at UCLA last year, the Cardinal extended their winning streak in the series to 10 games. Not only have they been winning outright, they are 5-0-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings.

Free College Football Betting Pick Against the Spread: UCLA +8.5

This is tough game to handicap right now. Both teams starting quarterbacks are listed as questionable. Dorian Thompson-Robinson is dealing with a knee injury that kept him out of UCLA’s last game against Oregon State. Stanford’s K.J. Costello is dealing with a thumb injury that has cost him the last two games.

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What’s interesting is both backups have played well. You could actually argue that Stanford’s David Mills should keep the job. He’s competing 65% of his attempts for 8.1 yards/attempt. Costello had only completed 56% of his attempts with 5.0 yards/attempt. UCLA’s Austin Burton has also completed a higher percentage of passes and looks to be a bigger threat on the ground.

For me I would have to take the points with UCLA. I just don’t want to lay more than a touchdown with this Stanford team. Whether it’s Mills or Costello under center, they all kinds of injuries on the offensive line. When you get hit with injuries up front like that, it doesn’t matter how bad the opposing defense is, you are going to struggle to move the ball.

Stanford also has a history of being overvalued in this spot. The Cardinal are just 2-7 ATS last 9 home games vs a team with a losing road record. They are also a mere 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 after covering the number in their previous game.

It’s also worth noting that UCLA’s defensive numbers aren’t as bad as you might think. Giving up 37.7 ppg and 503 yards/game looks awful. However, that’s come against teams who average 35.2 ppg and 470 ypg. No denying the Bruins have played a brutal schedule. I don’t know if they can get a win here, but I would take my chances on them keeping it within 7-points. Take UCLA +8.5