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UCLA Bruins vs. Washington Huskies Point Spread - Pick

UCLA Bruins (4-3 SU, 2-5 ATS) vs. Washington Huskies (6-1 SU, 4-3 ATS)
College Football Week 9
Date/Time: Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 3:30PM EST
Where: Husky Stadium, Seattle, Washington

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: UCLA +17/WASH -17
Over/Under Total: 62.5

The UCLA Bruins come to Seattle to take on the Washington Huskies in week nine Pac-12 action on Saturday afternoon. Washington is nice and rested after a bye-week, which followed a big upset loss to Arizona State, 13-7, on the 14th. It was a costly loss for the previously-unbeaten Huskies, but some big things are still available for the Huskies of they can thrive in the second-half. Maybe it was something about the desert, but whatever the case, the Huskies better have worked it out during the bye week with some tough games coming up in a conference where we have been shown anything can happen. On Saturday, the Bruins were able to post a 31-14 home win over the Oregon Ducks to move to 4-3 on the season. They were able to keep Oregon scoreless in the second half after a 14-14 halftime tie. They have a big opportunity to score a big win this week and we'll see how they do in what looks like a tough road spot.

Washington's loss was certainly unexpected two weeks ago. A couple missed kicks could have spelled the difference, but it was a lethargic Washington offense that shoulders most of the responsibility. The Arizona defense smothered them for most of the night. And in a bad setback, Washington lost Trey Adams, their giant all-conference left tackle, who went down with a season-ending knee injury. The extra week will help in getting the front squared away for this game. Their defense actually allowed higher than their per-game average by ASU putting up 13 points. It's a tough group and they'll need it to be moving forward.

The Washington offense might not be as good as last season's group and QB Jake Browning's numbers bear that out to some degree. Having already lost a key receiver in Chico McClatcher and all the guys they lost in the offseason, there isn't quite as much firepower. With guys like Myles Gaskin and Lavon Coleman in the backfield, there are still weapons on the ground. Dante Pettis is a handful as a receiver and a return man. Other than Coleman chipping in out of the backfield, finding supporting stars to go along with Pettis has been a challenge. They're still able to average 38 points a game, but a lot of the flair from last season seems to be missing.

The Huskies defense is still allowing an average of just over 10 points a game. They have been stout both against the run and the pass. In addition, they make plays, adept at securing turnovers and in getting after the quarterback. LB Ryan Bowman has been good in that regard. The most they have allowed this season was 16 points to Fresno State. We'll see how they fare this week against a one-dimensional UCLA offense that is pass-heavy and typically very weak on the ground. The Huskies' defense has been good against the pass, allowing just 163 yards per game.

UCLA might not be that great, but they are infinitely more-dangerous than they were last season in a 4-8 campaign. On Saturday, they got a good performance out of Josh Rosen, with their dormant run-game also springing to life a bit. It looked like Oregon had some momentum after tying the game at 14-all before halftime. UCLA then pulled away in the second half, highlighted by one of the plays of the season when Bolo Olorunfunmi acrobatically hurdled and vaulted off an Oregon player to get in the end zone in the third quarter. The highlights from the run-game, however, have been minimal this season. At 2-2 in conference, UCLA now looks for bigger things this week.


Josh Rosen runs the pass-heavy Bruins' offense and was effective on Saturday with 266 yards and two TD throws. He is among the nation's leaders with 2620 yards, along with 19 touchdown throws. They were able to get Olorunfunmi and Soso Jamabo going a little last week, albeit against a shorthanded Oregon bunch. But the UCLA offense has been pretty one-dimensional this season thus far for the most part. Rosen's top three targets are good ones, with Darren Andrews and his eight touchdowns, and Jordan Lasley and Caleb Wilson.

The UCLA defense looked like it was beginning to slip on Saturday with the Ducks scoring twice late in the first half to tie it. They tightened up and did well to keep Oregon off the board for the duration of the game. Guys like Jaleel Wadood, Adarius Pickett, and Nate Meadors have been good in the secondary, with opposing aerial attacks held in check for the most part. But when it comes to stopping the run, this defense has allowed an alarming 300+ yards per game on the ground. There have been times this season where their resistance to opposing backs has been laughable. While running the ball isn't necessarily Washington's bread-and-butter, it still stands out as a matchup concern for this week.

Granted, the prospects of a UCLA defense performing well this week on the road aren't overly-rosy. At the same time, the secondary has been pretty robust, though that's partially a byproduct of teams running the ball so easily against this group. The Washington defense looks for a good game against a UCLA offense that can be potent, but one that doesn't offer a ton of variety. Washington will miss their left tackle and their offense is not the thrill-a-minute bunch of last season. I see a close game breaking out a little late, with UCLA notching the cover.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the UCLA Bruins plus 17 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the UCLA vs. Washington game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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