The Cardinal are fortunate enough to get to play in their own stadium for the Pac-12 title game. Can they overcome UCLA and cover as nine-point favorites, or are the Bruins the right side in this college football matchup?
It's not often you see teams playing twice in the same
season, let alone in back-to-back weeks, but that's the case on Friday.
Stanford plays host and is favored by nine points at most College Football odds shops.
A preliminary total of 52 has been made public for bettors.
While the OVER has gone 8-4 for UCLA this season, the UNDER has been the
money-maker in Stanford's matchups, going 8-4 in their 12 games.
Despite getting shellacked by Stanford last weekend, the
Bruins had still already locked up the top seed in the Pac-12 South with a 6-3
record, beating out USC and Arizona State, who were both 5-4 in the conference.
Key wins for UCLA this season: Nebraska, USC, Arizona State,
and Arizona. The Bruins' three losses came at the hands of Stanford, California
and Oregon State, but they closed out the season winning five of their last
That loss to Stanford was discouraging though, no doubt
about it. The Bruins were their own worst enemies, finishing with two turnovers
and 12 total penalties for 135 yards.
Brett Hundley was 20-of-38 for 261 yards with one touchdown
and one pick, while Johnathan Franklin picked up 65 yards and a TD on 21
carries. However, the defense had immense difficult stopping the Stanford run
game, particularly Stepfan Taylor.
Saturday's loss definitely didn't help, but the Bruins still
rank #21 in total offense, thanks to a balanced scheme in which both the
passing game (279.5 YPG) and rushing attack (196.2 YPG) have been working well.
Will they be able to fare better offensively against the Cardinal this time?
Stanford's six-game winning streak to close out the season,
including that historic road victory over Oregon (17-14) helped them finish
with a 8-1 conference record and a subsequent berth in the Pac-12 title tilt.
Key wins for Stanford this season: Oregon, Oregon State,
UCLA, Arizona, USC. Defeats came at the hands of Notre Dame (20-13) and
Washington (17-13), both of which were on the road.
An unblemished home record will have Cardinal fans thinking
positive as they get to entertain UCLA in this championship. Stanford better
hope they get similar production on both sides of the ball in this rematch.
Kevin Hogan did what he needed to do, completing 15-of-22
passes for 160 yards and a score. The main point of emphasis for Stanford was
running the ball down UCLA's throats, and it worked to a tee. The Cardinal had
221 total rushing yards and three touchdowns, with Taylor running for 142 yards
and two of those scores.
Stanford's defense also held strong, holding the Bruins to
their lowest scoring output since early October. Does this mean that there could be a need to back the Under with our College Football picks this week?
We do like the Cardinal to win this rematch, but to win by
10 or more again? Yeah, we think they just might.
Stanford has yet to lose with Hogan under center, with the
freshman displaying maturity and know-how well beyond his years. He's taking
care of the football and avoiding those killer mistakes.
Additionally, the Cardinal have the best run defense in the
entire country, which takes away one of UCLA's biggest threats. Franklin's 65
rushing yards in last week's loss were his second-lowest total of the season,
and his 3.1 YPC mark was his worst of the year.
On the other side, Taylor has been unstoppable lately,
running for over 114 yards in three straight games. We think another big game
is in store for the senior back, so our early lean is on Stanford.
Early NCAAF Picks: Stanford
Cardinal -9 at 5Dimes