College Football Picks - UCLA-Colorado Prediction Tops Thursday Night Plays

Jay Pryce

Thursday, November 3, 2016 3:54 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016 3:54 PM UTC

Our capper finds value on Thursday's short slate with two games that will be cashers. First a Pac-12 matchup between Colorado and UCLA, plus a college football pick on Arkansas St. vs Georgia St.

 UCLA vs No. 15 Colorado (-12)

Analysis: Colorado is one of college football’s biggest surprises in 2016, going a perfect 8-0 against the spread to begin the year. Head coach Mike MacIntyre’s squad is playing 11.5 points per game better than the number. The total, though, is where the most value lies against UCLA.

Expect the Buffaloes defense to continue trampling opponents versus the Bruins. The unit has held foes below their team total in all but two games this season and enters this meeting allowing 12.0 points per contest in its last four—all against conference foes.

UCLA will be without starting quarterback Josh Rosen for a third straight game, expected to miss the rest of the season because of a shoulder injury (nerve issue) sustained weeks ago in the 23-20 loss to Arizona State. Senior Mike Fafaul will operate under center. He’s thrown for a whopping 722 yards, 8 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions on 64 of 110 passes in his last two starts.

This is only the fifth time Colorado has been favored in a Pac-12 clash since joining the conference in 2011. The UNDER is a perfect 4-0 in the previous games, the Buffaloes holding opponents to 19.2 points per game.

UCLA’s defense matches up well with Colorado, the latter averaging 32.4 points per game. The Bruins pass defense is one the best nationally, allowing a paltry 5.4 yards per attempt. Each air attack should be stunted, which will keep scoring down. We’ll go against the line movement and play the UNDER 57.5 as our college football pick.

 Free College Football Pick: Under 57.5Best Line Offered: at Intertops

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Arkansas State (-4) vs Georgia State

Analysis: When teams allow Georgia State to throw the ball, they come out competitive in every game under offensive coordinator Luke Huard. Since 2013, the Panthers are 21-10 ATS when tossing for 200 yards or more; 3-0 this season, topping the number by 15.8 points per game. Arkansas State, meanwhile, allows 8.3 yards per passing attempt, 108th in the FBS.

This is the Red Wolves first conference road tilt of the season. They are 14-2-1 ATS in their last 17 Sun Belt away games. The program owned an 8.2 average scoring margin over the last five seasons but enters this matchup with a -3.6 differential in 2016. It's been a down year for head coach Blake Anderson’s squad, to say the least.

The Panthers defense will likely be the difference-maker. It’s allowing just 18.5 points per game in its current six-game covers streak. The unit’s 173.1 opponent yards per game ranks seventh nationally. This game may struggle to reach 40 points total, and the plus-4 points are a bonus in a game Georgia State can sneak outright.

 Free College Football Pick: Georgia State +4Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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