UCLA vs Stanford Odds & Picks: Expect Inconsistent Offense

UCLA vs Stanford Odds & Picks: Expect Inconsistent Offense article feature image

Loren Elliott/Getty Images. Pictured: Stanford quarterback Ashton Daniels.

UCLA vs Stanford Odds

Saturday, Oct. 21
10:30 p.m. ET
-115o / -105u
Stanford Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

Following their historic comeback win over the Colorado Buffaloes last week, the Stanford Cardinal return home to play the No. 25 UCLA Bruins.

In fact, this will be the last Pac-12 game between these California programs, and with what Stanford showed against Colorado, this game may not be the laugher we thought it would be weeks ago.

UCLA is still the deserved favorite, though. The Bruins have arguably the best defense in the Pac-12, and they haven't messed up against lesser competition with their only losses coming on the road at Utah and Oregon State.

It's time to examine the odds for UCLA vs. Stanford and make a pick and prediction.

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UCLA Bruins

The first five years of the Chip Kelly era at UCLA have been characterized by great offense and bad defense. That is not the case this season. Not even close.

The Bruins rank 14th in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 16.2 points per game — and that number has been inflated by UCLA freshman quarterback Dante Moore throwing a pick-six in each of the past three games.

The advanced metrics agree, as the Bruins have been the 12th-best team in terms of limiting explosive plays. The unit also ranks third overall in Defensive EPA.

New UCLA defensive coordinator D'Anton Lynn has worked wonders. The Bruins are flying around with 20 sacks as a team already, led by future pro Laiatu Latu with 5.5, followed by Darius Muasau with four.

The defense also has eight interceptions, and Alex Johnson leads the bunch with three picks.

UCLA has been much less effective on offense. Moore has shown flashes, but he already has seven interceptions, and those pick-sixes have been back-breakers. He has still thrown for 1,304 yards and 10 touchdowns, so maybe a subpar Stanford defense is just what he needs.

Meanwhile, the Bruins' ground game has been just fine, averaging 5.3 yards per carry with Carson Steele leading the way with 523 yards and three touchdowns.

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Stanford Cardinal

Stanford looked to be the worst team in the Pac-12 through its first 3.5 games of conference play. Then, the second half of the Colorado game happened.

The Cardinal are now 2-4 and now have a No. 1 wideout after Elic Ayomanor torched Folsom Field with 13 catches for 294 yards and three touchdowns last Friday. That game accounted for more than half of Ayomanor's season receiving yardage total (501), but it's clear he's a talented receiver.

Stanford's offense should be aided by more stability at quarterback. Even though Ashton Daniels and Justin Lamson had both been getting action under center, it seems like Daniels has emerged as the main guy after the win over Colorado.

Daniels is the Cardinal's most consistent passer with 957 yards and seven touchdown passes, but still expect to see some of Lamson as a rusher.

Stanford's defense has been pretty consistently bad this season. The Cardinal's 36 points allowed per game is the worst in the Power 5, and they also rank dead last in Success Rate Allowed and Defensive EPA.

UCLA vs Stanford

Betting Pick & Prediction

UCLA is favored by 17 points in this matchup, and while it would take a lot for Stanford to actually win this game, I can see a reality in which it loses by fewer than 17 points.

That's why I love the under of 54.5 points. It's going to be very difficult for the Cardinal to score on the stingy Bruins defense, and UCLA's offense is still uneven with Moore at quarterback.

Plus, there's an inherent lack of energy at Stanford Stadium, and oftentimes road teams struggle to get going on offense with almost nobody in the stands.

Don't expect much scoring from Stanford tonight, and look for UCLA to have another inconsistent offensive showing. Hop on the under in this one.

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