UCLA vs Arizona State Point Spread Pick
- Updated: September 23, 2014
Time: 10 PM EST Thursday September 25, 2014 on FOX Sports 1
UCLA Bruins (3-0) vs. Arizona State Sun Devils (3-0)
Opening Line: UCLA -5
Moneyline: UCLA -220/ Arizona State +180
The only gave on the college football schedule this week between 2 top 25 teams is a big one in the Pac 12 with the 15th ranked Arizona State Sun Devils hosting the 11th ranked UCLA Bruins. This game begins the killer part of the schedule for ASU, as after this game they face the ranked teams of Stanford and USC in their next 2.
While both teams have solid offenses, especially ASU ranking 7th in the nation in points per game, the big news is the QB situation for each. ASU’s Taylor Kelly will not be playing in this game due to an injury and UCLA’s Brett Hundley is a question mark, but the Sun Devils believe he will be under center.
In their last games UCLA beat Texas 20-17 and Arizona State beat Colorado 38-24.
UCLA is 0-3 ATS with an Over/Under record of 1-2 and Arizona State is 1-2 ATS with an Over/Under record of 1-2.
So far on the season ASU is 1-0 at home and UCLA is 2-0 on the road.
Both of these teams are coming off a bye week.
While the Bruins have fallen in the polls a tad since they have not been overly impressive in their wins ESPN’s Football Power Index has them as playing the toughest schedule in the country of any team that is still undefeated.
Last season at UCLA the Sun Devils wrapped up the Pac 12 south title with a 38-33 win over the Bruins.
Mike Bercovici is the backup QB that will get the start for ASU and for the season he has 79 yards with 1 TD and 0 INT. The Bruins’ pass defense has a tall task in this game since the Sun Devils have a solid WR corps led by 6’3” Jaelen Strong, who is averaging 14 yards per catch and has 2 TD.
The one player the UCLA defense really has to worry about is Sun Devils’ RB D.J. Foster. He has rushed for over 145 yards in each of the 3 ASU games this season and is averaging nearly 10 yards per carry. On top of that he is the 2nd leading receiver for ASU with 11 catches for 139 yards and a TD.
If Hundley cannot go then either Jerry Neuheisel, who was the QB in the Texas game when Hundley came out, or redshirt freshman Asiantii Woulard will get the call. WR Jordan Payton is THE target for whoever is under center, as he has twice as many catches as the next leading WR and he is averaging 14 yards per catch.
One of the main reasons that UCLS beat Texas was that they rushed for 217 yards with Paul Perkins gaining 126 yards and Jordon James gaining 69. Their play will be even more important in this Pac 12 battle if Hundley cannot go.
The ASU defense forced 3 turnovers in their win over Colorado, but they gave up 232 rushing yards and 313 passing yards. If that happens again the Sun Devils will have to light up the scoreboard to pull off the home upset.
UCLA is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a winning home record, 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a bye week, and they have an Under record of 8-0 in their4 last 8 road games.
Arizona State is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a bye week, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall, and they have an Under record of 4-1 in their last 5 games.
The home team is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 games between these 2 teams.
Free Point Spread Pick
Some may believe that the Bruins are overvalued here taking on a Pac 12 Conference foe on the road and laying points. I’m not one of those. It really comes down to how you rate their competition this season. Virginia who many pundits underrated has a win over highly rated Louisville and didn’t get embarrass themselves against BYU, finishing the game with a 35-16 first down edge. Memphis is 2-1 while admittedly playing inferior competition in their 2 wins they did outscore their opponents 96-17. Beating Texas on the road suspensions or no suspensions is a good win. The top competition that the Sun Devils has faced this season is the lowly Colorado Buffaloes.
Take the UCLA Bruins -5.5