UCLA has handed the keys to five star recruit, freshman Dante Moore, but how will he respond to his first conference road game in the treacherous Rice-Eccles Stadium?
Utah has navigated a tricky non conference schedule despite being without its star quarterback Cam Rising, but the hope is that he could be available this weekend as he is practicing without limitations. This game will help determine the PAC-12 pecking order, let's dive in and find the best bet.
6 (!) Top 25 games on tap for Saturday, we have picks for all of them and EVERY Top 25 matchup!
UCLA vs. Utah Odds, Spread and Total
Utah vs. UCLA Betting Trends
- UCLA is 2-1 against the spread (ATS)
- Utah is 1-2 ATS this season
- Utah has gone UNDER in all three games
UCLA vs. Utah How to Watch
- Date: Saturday, Sept. 23
- Game Time: 3:30 PM EST
- Venue: Rice-Eccles Stadium
- How to Watch (TV): FOX
- UCLA Record: 3-0
- Utah Record: 3-0
UCLA vs. Utah Key Players to Watch
Dante Moore: It was clear in the opening game against Coastal Carolina that Moore gives the Bruins the highest ceiling and Chip Kelly has named him the starter. This will be a step up in class for Moore, who has completed 62% of his passes for seven touchdowns with an interception. Can he handle a Utah defense that allowed 42 to a Dorian Thompson-Robinson Bruins team last season?
Cam Rising: All eyes will be on Rising's availability for this one. The Utah quarterback has been working his way back from a torn ACL as many have speculated the hope is that he will be back for conference play with this Week 4 matchup circled. Rising may be a bit rusty, but he gives the team far more offensive upside than the team that is currently 89th in success rate.
UCLA vs. Utah Prediction and Pick
We'll see if Rising goes in this one, of course a massive player that impacts the game arguably more than anyone, but I still lean towards the Bruins being competitive in this one.
The UCLA defense looks far more stingy under first year defensive coordinator D'Anton Lynn, top 20 in success rate and top 35 in EPA/Play. This is a step up for the Bruins, but if Rising is rusty, or doesn't go at all, the has been able to turn up the pressure and get in the backfield, generating 27 tackles for loss through three games (seventh in the country) and allowing only two yards per carry.
While I understand the concern for a true freshman like Moore going on the road to face Utah, I believe that Kelly has the ability to scheme up some easy offense for the Bruins.
Last season, UCLA touched up this Utes defense to the tune of 42 points, which has been a concern for Utah over the past year. When the team has faced elite passing offenses, the team has needed to get into shootouts to win those games.
UCLA and USC each put up 42 last season, and while the scoring was low, Oregon's Bo Nix passed for nearly 300 yards in a 20-17 win against Utah. The Utes have a physical defense, but it struggles to slow down elite passing offenses. This can be an uphill battle for a limited (or rusty) offense. I'm taking the points with UCLA.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!