Stanford at UCLA Betting Spread & Expert Pick

Posted by Jordan Walterss on September 23, 2016 in

Before the 2016 season opened, No. 7 Stanford was the NCAA football betting favorite to win the Pac-12 North Division and UCLA was the same in the South. So Saturday’s matchup between the Cardinal and Bruins could be a conference title game preview.

Here’s a Closer Look at the Stanford at UCLA Betting Spread, Expert Pick & TV Info

When: Saturday, Sept. 24, 8 PM ET
Where: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.
Stream: WatchESPN
RadioStanford / UCLA
Opening NCAA Football Lines: Stanford -3 (46)

Why Bet on Stanford?

The Cardinal (2-0) come off a win over the other Los Angeles school, 27-10 last week against USC. Heisman Trophy candidate Christian McCaffrey had a 56-yard TD reception and one-yard TD run. With Stanford leading 20-10, and after a play fake to McCaffrey, receiver Michael Rector took an end around into the open field. He broke a tackle at the 12 to score with 3:26 left in the third quarter to give the Cardinal the gap it needed to hold off the Trojans.

McCaffrey was a workhorse, carrying the ball 30 times – three short of his career-high – for 165 yards (5.5 yards per carry). He also had four catches for 73 yards, and one kickoff return for 22. His all-purpose total of 260 yards marked his eighth consecutive game of 200 or more. McCaffrey was complemented by Bryce Love, who returned to action after missing the opener with an injury. Love had 11 carries for 54 yards and was able to spell McCaffrey at crucial times.

The Cardinal have now won seven of nine against the Trojans, the best nine-game stretch for the Cardinal in the history of a rivalry that covers 96 games and 111 years. Stanford returns to a familiar destination Saturday when it travels to the Rose Bowl. During its last trip to Pasadena, the Cardinal won the Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1 when it defeated No. 6 Iowa, 45-16.

When Stanford and UCLA met in 2015 at Stanford Stadium, McCaffrey had a school-record 243 yards rushing and four touchdowns in No. 15 Stanford’s 56-35 victory over No. 18 UCLA. McCaffrey scored on a 70-yard run, returned a kick 96 yards to set up another score and ran for three more touchdowns in a virtuoso performance that broke Toby Gerhart’s school record of 223 yards rushing in a game set in 2009. McCaffrey finished with 369 all-purpose yards.

Why Bet on UCLA?

Stanford’s eight straight wins over UCLA are tied for the program’s best active win streak against any opponent (also eight straight wins vs. Washington State), and marks the longest winning streak for either team in the series. Stanford has scored at least 24 points in each of the past eight wins against the Bruins, winning by an average of 18.2 points. So UCLA is due.

The Bruins (2-1) won at BYU 17-14 last week. Josh Rosen threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns. The two defenses controlled the action most of the night, but UCLA was able to hold BYU to 273 yards, including 23 on the ground. The Cougars were held to negative rushing yards until late in the third quarter and 91 of those offensive yards came on their final possession.

UCLA now owns a 14-2 record in games played in the month of September under coach Jim Mora. UCLA is 28-7 under Mora when scoring first in a game. The Bruins are 34-1 when ahead at the half under Mora.

It’s not like Stanford stopped UCLA’s offense in last year’s game. The Bruins racked up 506 yards of total offense in the contest. Rosen completed 22 of 42 attempts for 325 yards and three touchdowns, including a 70-yard scoring strike to Darren Andrews. Linebacker Kenny Young led UCLA with 13 tackles in the contest. UCLA’s last win in the series came by a score of 23-20 in a 2008 Homecoming game in the Rose Bowl.

UCLA has won its last three Pac-12 season openers and are 3-1 under Coach Mora. The Bruins have opened their conference slate against a ranked opponent the last two seasons. Last season UCLA trounced No. 16 Arizona in Tucson, 56-30. UCLA is 13-7 against AP ranked opponents under Coach Mora

My Expert Pick

Cardinal are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 meetings.
Under is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings in UCLA.
Favorite is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 meetings.
Cardinal are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 meetings in UCLA.

Take Stanford and go under the total.