Let’s see if a conference matchup between top 20 teams brings the fans out to Pasadena for the Utah at UCLA betting matchup. The Bruins are 5-0 and up to #18 in the nation but are still only filling the Rose Bowl to about half capacity, with last week’s win over Washington drawing 41,000 fans to the 90,000 seat stadium.
Regardless of who does – or doesn’t – see the game the Bruins have something going following their win over the #15 Huskies last week. The #11 Utah Utes are still a -3 point road favorite on Saturday afternoon though, coming into the game with one of the highest scoring offenses in the country at 42.0 ppg. The Utes have won five straight in the head to head series, and have covered the number in their last four trips to Pasadena.
Utah Dialed In On Both Sides of the Ball
The Utes offense gets a lot of credit – and with good reason considering they are putting up 42.0 ppg which is the 11th most in the country. Most of the Utah damage comes on the ground where RB Tavion Thomas leads a balanced attack that churns out 204.2 rush yards/game, but QB Cameron Rising can hold his own with 13 TDs to 2 INTs on the season.
While the Utah offense has been solid, they almost somewhat under-the-radar have the #13 total defense in the country as well. After the season opening 29-26 loss at Florida, the Utes defense has held opponents to 10.6 ppg on their four game win streak.
Utah has put up their solid offensive and defensive numbers with the #34 ranked strength of schedule in the country. The meeting with the Bruins is another test as UCLA has some similar balance, ranking 8th in the country in yards per game (506.4) while also having the nation’s #9 rush defense allowing 85.2 ypg.
UCLA Starting to Believe
There have been mixed results through Chip Kelly’s first four years at the helm of UCLA. The Bruins had just 7 wins in his first two seasons and were 3-4 in the 2020 COVID year, but things are starting to turn around. The Bruins were 8-4 last year – making the Holiday Bowl before it was cancelled – and have started off 2022 5-0.
The Bruins have a star studded offense that could be the difference in Utah at UCLA betting as part of the week six schedule. RB Zach Charbonnet has 100+ yards in three of five games this season, Duke transfer Jake Bobo broke out last week with 142 yards receiving and 2 TDs, while QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson accounted for 4 TDs (3 pass, 1 rush) in last week’s outright win at Washington as +3 point underdogs.
Free Utah at UCLA Betting Pick
Utah is on a nice little run in the head to head series, winners of five in a row over UCLA including a 41-10 victory in Pasadena in their last visit in 2018. The Bruins have some swagger this season and are coming off an upset win over a top 15 opponent, but 58% of the betting public still likes the Utes. Until UCLA shows they can match up with a Utah squad who has owned them in recent years, the value is on the Utes.
Free Pick: Utah -3