College Football Picks: Offenses to Take Center Stage at Palo Alto

Charles Stark

Thursday, October 15, 2015 12:27 PM GMT

Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015 12:27 PM GMT

Stanford & UCLA meet tonight and I think the best college football pick is looking for both teams to move the ball well offensively with not a ton of resistance on the defensive end.

UCLA Bruins
Offensively UCLA averages 34.8 points per game, 454 yards per game, and a third-down 42.86% conversion rate. Those are all pretty solid averages and tonight they face a decent but young defense in Stanford. I like how UCLA balances between the pass and the run as they rush the ball just a little bit more than they pass. Where I think they will be able to exploit the Stanford defense is through the air though where freshmen Josh Rosen has shown the capability of moving the ball and stretching the field. Stanford is a bit better at stopping the run compared to the pass, and Rosen should feel comfortable as Stanford ranks as one of the worst defenses in NCAA football in sack percentage and interception percentage.

Defensively UCLA allows 22 points per game, 382 point to yards per game, and a third-down 37.21% conversion rate. I think there defenses in for a long night though as they have one of the worst rushing defenses in the country allowing 197 yards per game, ranked 93rd in NCAA football. This could pose a problem for a Stanford offense that loves a rush the ball and does it exceptionally well averaging 209.8 yards per game, ranked 23rd in NCAA football. UCLA's pass defense is much better allowing only 185 point to yards per game, ranked 24th. Although they might know what's coming at them I think they're going to have trouble stopping Stanford tonight.

 

Stanford Cardinals
Offensively Stanford averages 35 points per game, 452.6 yards per game, and a third-down 47.69% conversion rate. They're one of the best offenses in the country and can absolutely destroy teams on the ground. Quarterback Kevin Hogan has also been solid throwing for nine touchdowns and just two interceptions. Look for them to work their ground game magic and then find some open receivers down field with some play action pass. I expect Stanford to put up plenty of points tonight.

Defensively Stanford allows 19 points per game, 327.6 yards per game, and a third-down 44.87% conversion rate. Their overall defensive stats are solid and they do a good job of stopping the run. Matchup wise though they have not been challenged very much this season except for USC who scored 31 points against them. They also allowed 24 against a subpar Oregon State team, and then 17 against an Arizona team without their starting quarterback. As mentioned, they are a bit susceptible through the air and I look for UCLA to ramp up the passing attack.

 

College Football Odds
This College Football Odds are set just a little bit too low in my opinion but in the last three years these teams have stayed under this total. Since 2008 they have only gone over the total set today of 54 just once, but I expect them to do that tonight in what could be a pretty good night for the offenses.

You can still get pretty good odds on over the total of 54 at Pinnacle Sports -106. For one of your College Football Picks of the day I suggest taking over the total in what should be an exciting game.

College Football Pick: 'Over" at Pinnacle

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