UCLA vs. Stanford Betting Odds & Picks: Third-String QBs & Two Bad Offenses Means…
Darren Yamashita, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Cameron Scarlett
- The UCLA vs. Stanford odds have plummeted thanks to quarterback news for the Cardinal.
- See how our experts are betting this game, and if you should fade or follow the line movement.
UCLA at Stanford Betting Odds
- Spread: Stanford -3.5
- Over/Under: 49.5
- Time: Thursday, 9 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article was published before Stanford announced that Davis Mills will miss the game due to injury. It was updated at 10:45 a.m. ET.
The steam on UCLA has been the story in this matchup.
Circa opened this market at Stanford -10 and despite the fact that the Bruins have lost 11 straight in this series dating back to 2008, this line moved all the way down to -3.5 at most shops because Stanford will be trotting out its third-string quarterback Jack West, a 4-star sophomore out of Alabama. West has one completion in five attempts from the 2018 season.
The total has also crashed, moving down to 49.5.
UCLA is 1-5 against the spread this season and just lost to Oregon State, giving the Beavers their second Pac 12 victory since 2016. The Bruins have been awful outside of a second-half explosion against Washington State a few weeks ago.
UCLA is also dealing with injuries under center as quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson may sit this game out, though he did return to practice this week despite an ankle injury.
How to Bet These Two Bad Offenses
No matter if its Thompson-Robinson or backup Austin Burton calling the signals, this is an offense that has not had a lot of luck in 2019. The good news is that UCLA’s won’t be the only struggling attack on the field on Friday night.
Both Stanford and UCLA rank outside the top 75 in offensive success rate and own negative differentials in yards per play. They also struggle finishing drives, as Stanford sits 112th in points per red zone trip and UCLA is 102nd in red zone scoring percentage.
The clock should be moving in this one as Stanford running back Cameron Scarlett has emerged as one of the best rushers in the conference, and thus I’d expect the Cardinal to go with a heavy ground attack.
With a moving clock and two struggling offenses, the Under will be my first look but considering UCLA has shown a penchant for scoring most of its points in the second half, the first-half under seems like a sound investment strategy. That also gives us the chance to bet on West not being in rhythm with his offense from the jump.
Please note that I played this number at 27 before the switch to West, but I think there’s still value taking it at 24 or better.
The Pick: First-Half Under 24