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UCLA vs. Arizona State Point Spread Betting – CFB Week 5

#11 UCLA Bruins vs. #15 Arizona State Sun Devils Week 5 Preview

When: Thursday, September 25th at 10:00pm ET
Where: Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona
Watch: Fox Sports 1

The UCLA Bruins 3-0 (0-3 ATS) have been terrible to bettors this season, but they’re winning. Arizona State 3-0 (1-2 ATS) hasn’t been kind to bettors either. Both teams are undefeated, but UCLA is the more tested team at this point in the season.

UCLA has wins over Virginia (28-20), Memphis (42-35) and Texas (20-17). All of them were close, but they managed to escape with a win in each game. Arizona State has won against Weber State (45-14), New Mexico (58-23) and Colorado (38-24).

UCLA vs. ASU Betting Lines

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This line opened up at –4 in favor of the Bruins and has gone up to as high as –5.5 points at some shops. No game total line has been released for this match-up yet. I’m surprised the spread has trended upwards, as 75% of the action has been on ASU to cover.

Which Undefeated Pac-12 Team Will Lose?

Both teams were on a bye last week and have had extra time to prepare for this pivotal match-up. ASU won the Pac-12 South while the Bruins finishes behind them in second place last season. Both teams are projected to compete for the title with USC this year.

QB Taylor Kelly went down with an injury in week 3 and now Mike Bercovici will start. Bercovici is experienced and knows the entire playbook. The problem is that Kelly is a capable dual-threat QB whereas Bercovici isn’t going to beat defenses with his feet.

UCLA’s QB Brett Hundley was also banged up in his last game, but he’s expected to play on Thursday night. Jerry Neuheisel looked good in relief duty against Texas, but the Bruins chances are obviously much better if Hundley is able to suit up this week.

With the QB situation in question let’s look at the run game. Arizona State has one of the best rushing attacks in the nation (304.3 RYPG – 12th). The Sun Devils already have 12 rushing TD’s and they’re averaging 7.1 YPC, but their SOS has been weak thus far.

The Bruins rank 55th in rushing defense (136.7 RYPG) and I’d be surprised if they allowed over 200 yards on the ground. UCLA is only averaging 159.0 RYPG (73rd), but that’ll improve this week against ASU, as they’ve been allowing 197.0 RYPG (96th).

To start the season UCLA was a media darling, but they’ve fallen out of favor after averaging 30.0 PPG (75th). The media expected to see the Bruins score at will, but that hasn’t been the case. Arizona State on the other hand has put up 47.0 PPG (7th).

ASU is a high scoring team, but this is their first big test against a capable defense. Without their starting QB I find it hard to imagine them scoring over 40 points against UCLA. The Bruins are only allowing 24.0 PPG (60th) and that’s against some decent teams.

Key to the Game for Both Teams

I expect Hundley to play, but he won’t be 100% and I doubt he’ll scramble out of the pocket as much. Paul Perkins leads the team in carries (63), rushing yards (304) and rushing TD’s (2). He has the opportunity for a huge game against a weak ASU run defense.

Last year ASU beat UCLA (38-33) and it was because they had an extremely quick start. The Sun Devils were up 35-13 at halftime, but the Bruins figured out how to stop the ASU offense in the 2H. ASU will need to put UCLA in an early hole to have a shot this week.

Bruins vs. Sun Devils Predictions

This is going to be a tough road game for the Bruins, but they’ve been a good road team under Jim Mora. Keep an eye out on news about Hundley over the next couple days. I still like UCLA either way, but we’ll get a better line if Hundley is ruled out.

Mora has stated that he’s still waiting for his team to play a complete game. They looked great against Texas, but there were still a few mistakes that they need to work on. Look for them to correct those mistakes and win by a TD on the road against ASU.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting.

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