The UCLA Bruins have no one but themselves to blame for their underwhelming start to the season. Entering the season as one of the top-4 teams to watch in the Pac-12 race, the Bruins had the outlook of a legit conference contender, loaded with playmakers all over the field. Four games into the season, the UCLA is disappointingly 2-2, including a stupid loss to Stanford last week, a defeat that will definitely go in the annals of history as one of the worst choke-ups in college football betting. The Arizona Wildcats haven’t fared any better with a replica 2-2 record, but with starting quarterback Anu Solomon still out with a knee injury, it would be harsh to criticize the Cats, particularly since not many pundits expected them to factor that much in the Pac-12 race this year. That notwithstanding, the Wildcats will be hoping to pile more early-season misery on the Bruins in an interesting Week 5 college football betting matchup at in Los Angeles this Saturday. Here’s an online sportsbetting guide to this game, complete with free college football predictions and picks lined up at the end of the article.
Analyzing The Wildcats Vs Bruins Week 5 College Football Winning Predictions
Where: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
When: Saturday, October 01, 10:30 PM ET
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
NCAAF Lines: UCLA (-13), OVER/UNDER 59
Why Bet on UCLA
From the perspective of talent analysis, the UCLA Bruins have it all in offense and defense, from the top-rated quarterback recruit of 2015 in Josh Rosen to star linebacker Jayon 152.0, who’s been a menacing defensive force this season with 33 tackles (including 23 solo), 1 sack and 1.5 tackles for loss. Unfortunately, the Bruins can’t seem to figure out how to play as a group while some players aren’t living up to their potential. For instance, Rosen has recently passed for 1165 yards (on 61% completion) in his four games, but totaled just 5 passing touchdowns to go with 4 interceptions and 10 sacks. Making matters worse, the QB has been poor in the running department, posting negative rushing yards in four of his five starts this season with just one TD in the process. For someone who was heralded as the best in last year’s recruiting class, it goes without saying that his performance has been subpar, and that is putting it politely. A mega turnaround must therefore happen for Rosen and his offense (22 PPG scoring, ranked 103rd in the nation) if UCLA is to have a chance against the Wildcat offense that is averaging 31 PPG scoring this season.
On a positive note, the Bruins’ defense has shown plenty of positives over the past two weeks, holding BYU to 14 points in Week 4 and then following it with a physically-dominant performance against Stanford last week. In fact, if you take away the two horrible TDs they gave away in the final 30 seconds of the game against the Cardinal last week, Brown and his defensive counterparts did have a very good day on the field. With a bit of some improvement in offense, and the defense continuing to show growth on the field (minus late-game mistakes), a win could be in the books for the hosts.
Why Bet on Arizona
In the absence of Solomon who got injured in the 18-16 home loss to BYU, backup Brandon Dawkins has played extremely well at quarterback, passing for 625 yards and 3 TDs against once interception while leading the team—and is second in Pac-12 rushing—with 391 rushing yards and 7 additional scores on 44 carries. With Solomon confirmed out of Saturday’s contest, it should thus be business as usual for Dawkins, whose solid dual-threat skills will make him a constant pain in the you-know-what for UCLA’s questionable defense. Having the support of a good offensive line, a talented group of attacking playmakers–led by WR John Ross, WR Shun Brown and RB J.J. Taylor–and an enterprising defense (which played decently against Washington’s fierce offense last week) should additionally encourage Dawkin’s quest for a winning effort in his fourth straight start of season.
Expert NCAA Football Predictions and Picks
This one is really simple. The Bruins are being overrated in this game for no apparent reason. Dawkins is playing better than Rosen and his dual-threat ability should give him sufficient opportunities to link up with his playmakers even if Brown will be tasked with hounding him all day. Defensively, the edge obviously goes to UCLA, but the Wildcat defense is serviceable enough to do its job against the iffy Rosen-led offense. So, in short, the value in this game should definitely be with Arizona in the ATS lines. In fact, if the Bruins aren’t careful, we believe the Wildcats could storm out Pasadena with an outright win.