Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#349 UCLA vs.
#350 Utah
Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 8:00pm EST
Written by Adam Rauzino

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#349 University of California, Los Angeles
#350 University of Utah
4-5
8-1
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The #8 Utah Utes will host the UCLA Bruins in PAC 12 play Saturday night from Rice-Eccles Stadium. The UCLA Bruins have posted a sharp rebound after many wrote them off after opening the season with three straight losses and a 1-5 record through six games. Well, UCLA has stormed back to lift their PAC-12 record to 4-2 with only three games remaining. The Bruins own a 2-2 road record, and they are coming off a 31-14 win against Colorado.

The Utah Utes enter this one holding onto first place in the PAC-12 South with a 5-1 conference record, and a favorable schedule in their last three games. The Utes lone loss this season was a 30-23 road defeat to USC back in late September. Utah features a perfect 5-0 home record which included a 21-3 victory against Arizona State. They tallied a 33-28 road win against Washington in their previous action on November 2nd. Utah remained at #8 in this week’s AP Top 25 rankings. The Utes registered a 41-10 road win against UCLA last season.

UCLA Defeats Colorado in Third Straight Victory

The UCLA Bruins are one of the hottest teams in the PAC-12. The Bruins have won three consecutive games which started with a win against Stanford and Arizona State, followed by a 31-14 home win against Colorado in their latest action on November 2nd. Dorian Thompson-Robinson has been very sharp, recording two touchdown passes in each of his last three games. The sophomore QB now has 1837 passing yards with a respectable 17:8 TD to INT ratio.

Joshua Kelly has perhaps been the Bruins' best offensive player in their winning streak. The senior RB has eclipsed 100 rushing yards in three straight games, and he has collected 861 rushing yards on the season. Kelly is up against the best rush defense in the country in this one.

The Bruins now have two receivers with over 400 receiving yards highlighted by Demetric Felton. The junior wideout is actually a running back but steadily racks up the receiving yards. He is up to 471 receiving yards while Kyle Phillips has 404 yards. Phillips is questionable with an undisclosed issue. The UCLA offense has quietly been among the best in the conference recently after an abysmal start to the season.

The Bruins defense has also stepped up, allowing less than 17 points in two out of their last three games. Their pass defense is a weakness, ranking down at 123rd overall, while the rush defense stands 41st. UCLA is scoring an average of 29.3 points, ranking them 66th overall. They are conceding an average of 32 points, placing them 96th in the FBS. UCLA has to win two of their next three games to secure bowl eligibility.

First Place Utes Target Sixth Consecutive Win

The Utah Utes are aiming for their sixth consecutive victory in this one. The Utes are just ahead of USC who owns a 5-2 PAC-12 record. Utah is well rested for the final stretch after recording a 33-28 win over Washington on November 2nd. Tyler Huntley continues to play well. The senior QB is very accurate, connecting on 74% of his passes, and he has collected 2062 passing yards with an 11:1 TD to INT ratio on the season.

The Utes will run more than pass, and they feature a potent running game led by Zack Moss. The senior RB has rushed for over 100 yards in three out of his last four games, and he has racked up 828 rushing yards. He will be up against a strong Bruins rush defense in this one.

Bryan Thompson has only made 16 receptions, but he leads the Utes with 431 receiving yards. The sophomore WR has made four catches of over 40 yards this season. The Utes offense is very efficient. They do not turn the ball over and they have scored at least 33 points in two straight games.

The Utes' stifling defense has played a key role in their success. They have the best defense in the PAC-12 which features the #1 rush defense and 20th ranked pass defense. Utah is scoring an average of 33.1 points, good for 41st in the country. They are limiting opponents to 12.2 points, placing them sixth in the FBS.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I am taking the points with UCLA in this one. UCLA has turned their season around and they are playing with a ton of confidence under head coach Chip Kelly. They have secured three consecutive wins behind stellar play in both ends of the field. QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson has connected on 73% of his passes with four touchdowns in his last two games, so I am confident he can do some damage against the Utes' strong defense.

Furthermore, the Bruins defense has been sharp in their three-game winning streak. They have only allowed an average of 20.7 points in their last three games. The Utes' greatest strength on offense is their running game, but UCLA features a strong rush defense that is limiting opponents to only 137 rushing yards per game. The Bruins rush defense will play a big role in this game.

Prediction: UCLA Bruins

Full-Game Total Pick

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This game has a defensive battle written all over it. Utah features the best defense in the PAC-12, and they have conceded seven or fewer points in three out of their last four games. The Utes are especially tough stuffing the run as they are sporting the #1 ranked rush defense in the FBS. Also, the under is 6-1 in the Utes’ last seven games overall.

In addition, as mentioned UCLA’s defense has been terrific, and Utes’ QB Tyler Huntley only has two touchdown passes over his last three games. While Utah is productive on the ground, I am confident in the Bruins rush defense. The under has cashed in six of the last eight meetings between UCLA and Utah.

Prediction: Under

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The under on the Utah team total is a solid option. Chip Kelly has the UCLA defense clicking right now. They have allowed 117 or fewer rushing yards in each of their last three games. This is significant considering the Utes have attempted almost twice as many rushes compared to passing plays this season. UCLA has also allowed 24 or fewer points in three of their four road games.

Prediction: Utah Team Total Under

Half-Time Side Pick

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I expect this hot UCLA team to be within reach at the half. The Bruins first half numbers have been outstanding in their current three-game winning streak. They have averaged a remarkable 22 points while limiting their opponents to an average of only eight points in the first half.

Prediction: UCLA
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Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.