Colorado vs. UCLA College Football Odds & Pick: Can Bruins Return to Winning Ways in Pac-12?

Colorado vs. UCLA College Football Odds & Pick: Can Bruins Return to Winning Ways in Pac-12? article feature image

Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

  • After losing two in a row, UCLA has a chance to bounce back against Colorado at home and clinch a bowl berth.
  • Meanwhile, Colorado has had one of the worst offenses in college football -- beyond scoring 37 points last week.
  • Kyle Remillard previews the game and offers up his best bet.

Colorado vs. UCLA Odds

Saturday, Nov. 13
9 p.m. ET
Pac-12 Network
Colorado Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell makes a trip to a familiar place, as he returns to UCLA where he previously served on the Bruins' staff.

The Buffaloes are 3-6 on the season and are coming off a 37-34 double-overtime victory over Oregon State. The offense averaged fewer than 12 points per game against FBS opponents the first six weeks of the season but has scored 66 points over the last two games.

UCLA hopes to bounce back off the bye week after suffering back-to-back losses to Oregon and Utah. Pressure is building for Chip Kelly, who is 15-25 overall during his four-year tenure with the Bruins.

The program has lost three of the last five games and has been hindered by the injury bug over the last month.

UCLA will use the bye week to get some key players back, but will it be enough to cover as 17-point favorites over a conference opponent?

Colorado Buffaloes

Brendon Lewis Trending Upward

Colorado has been underwhelming for much of the season that has seen just two solid performances: a three-point loss to Texas A&M in which the offense scored just seven points and last week's aforementioned win over the Beavers.

The offense has averaged 17 points against FBS opponents this season and a lousy 250 yards per game. It ranks outside the top-100 in most offensive categories, including both Rushing and Passing Success Rates.

The rushing attack, led by Jarek Broussard, has averaged 3.2 yards per carry this season despite owning a rush rate of 63%. Broussard had his best game of the season last week when he rushed for 151 yards averaging 6.3 yards per carry.

Freshman quarterback Brendon Lewis has started trending upward in the last two weeks. Lewis tossed just four touchdowns and averaged 113 passing yards in his first seven starts. But in the last two weeks, he has thrown for six touchdowns while averaging 197 passing yards.

Buffaloes Defense Holding Them Back

Defensively, Colorado has struggled across the board.

The Buffaloes have been outgained by an average of 140 total yards per game. The defensive group has allowed 5.2 yards per carry and ranks outside the top 100 in Rushing Success Rate.

Over the last seven games, the Buffaloes have allowed an average of 211 rushing yards and allowed three rushing touchdowns or more in four of those games.

Matching up against a UCLA run game that ranks 12th in Success Rate and runs the ball on 60% of its snaps surely won’t be beneficial.

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UCLA Bruins

Bruins Need Healthy Thompson-Robinson

The final three games will be pivotal for the Bruins to determine which bowl game they will be playing in. With a sweep, Kelly should see his squad playing in a holiday bowl, with a small outside chance of winning the division race.

Losing back-to-back weeks was crushing for this program, but the defeats came without quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who injured his thumb against Oregon.

He should be good to go after using the bye week to get healthy. On the season, Thompson-Robinson has thrown 14 touchdowns while averaging 7.9 yards per pass attempt. The offense is more explosive with him on the field due to his dual-threat ability.

The Bruins rank 12th in Rushing Success Rate averaging 4.6 yards per attempt. UCLA has a triple-threat rushing attack that includes Thompson-Robinson along with running backs Zach Charbonnet and Brittain Brown. The three have averaged 5.2 yards per carry and have punched in 20 touchdowns collectively.

UCLA Looks to Improve Recent Run Defense

Kelly is aware of the improvement that Colorado has seen from Lewis in recent weeks. His dual-threat ability is a concern considering the recent struggle that the Bruins have experienced against such quarterbacks.

Oregon’s Travis Dye rushed for four touchdowns against UCLA. The following week, Utah ran in five touchdowns in addition to piling up 290 yards on the ground.

Through most of the season, this was a top-10 defense against the run, but after the last two games, it's dropped to 19th.

The bye week came at a perfect time for Kelly to get this group back to playing to the level it's capable of.

Colorado vs. UCLA Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Colorado and UCLA match up statistically:

Colorado Offense vs. UCLA Defense
Rush Success10099
Line Yards10720
Pass Success106113
Pass Blocking**108105
Big Play11777
Finishing Drives2769
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

UCLA Offense vs. Colorado Defense
Rush Success12105
Line Yards3293
Pass Success5076
Pass Blocking**69105
Big Play34125
Finishing Drives91109
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling9071
Middle 85766
SP+ Special Teams4361
Plays per Minute9742
Rush Rate63.4% (12)60.1% (27)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

Colorado vs. UCLA Betting Pick

The bye week coming late in the season will prove to be monumental for UCLA, which was trending in the wrong direction. It used this time to get Thompson-Robinson healthy, along with improving the recent woes of the front seven on defense.

The Colorado defense won’t be able to slow down the UCLA rushing attack. The Buffaloes have allowed over 200 rushing yards in five games this season, including three contests in a row.

Colorado’s offense has been outgained by an average of 140 yards per game this season. In its six Pac-12 games, the Buffaloes have lost by 22 or more in all four of their losses. The only victories came last week against Oregon State and against the 97th-ranked Arizona Wildcats, according to Collin Wilson’s power ratings.

This is a great buy-low, sell-high situation for both of these programs with UCLA dropping two in a row and Colorado coming off its first competent effort on the season.

Pick: UCLA -16.5 (Play to -17)

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