College Football Picks: UCLA vs. Nebraska

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 3:44 PM GMT

Wednesday, Sep. 11, 2013 3:44 PM GMT

The Nebraska Cornhuskers and UCLA Bruins were involved in a offensive shootout last year in Pasadena, which may provide value in playing the total Saturday. Find out where we are placing our college football picks in this showdown.

Let’s take a closer look at the College Football odds for this non-conference matchup at Memorial Stadium, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 12:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

Take a look at my College Football Picks: Opening Odds Report for Week 3.

Heading back to the gridiron

UCLA had a week off after picking up a 58-20 season-opening victory over the Nevada Wolf Pack as 20.5-point home favorites on Aug. 31, while going OVER the betting total of 68. 

The Bruins won the statistical battle by 294 yards in that affair, with sophomore quarterback Brett Hundley accounting for 337 yards of total offense.

College football handicappers will find that the Bruins are 6-4 SU and 7-3 ATS as underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points the last two-plus seasons.

Continuing its home dominance in this situation

Nebraska has scored 93 points in opening up with two home wins against Southern Miss (56-13) and Wyoming (37-34), as it has compiled a 17-1 record versus non-conference opponents at this venue under head coach Bo Pelini.

Cornhuskers quarterback Taylor Martinez has won 14 of his 15 career starts before the month of October, with the offense averaging 43.2 points.

Getting after it defensively

I believe this game will be won in the trenches, as the Bruins returned five defensive starters from a year ago—two on the defensive line and three linebackers.  UCLA will need to stop Nebraska’s high-powered rushing attack to have any chance.

In last year’s 36-30 win over the Cornhuskers as 3.5-point home underdogs, the Bruins won the ground battle by a 344-260 margin.

Success against ranked foes 

The Cornhuskers are 9-6 SU versus ranked teams in Lincoln since 2000, while they’ve gone 6-3 ATS as home favorites of 3.5 to 7 points in their last nine opportunities in that situation.

Pelini has captured four of his five games versus Top 25 foes in front of the home fans, which can’t be ignored when making your sports picks Saturday.

[gameodds]6/238995/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total with their college football picks, as the Cornhuskers haven’t had a number of 70 or more at home since at least 1992. 

College football oddsmakers are certainly aware that both teams possess high-powered offenses, but last year’s total closed at 58.5 in the market.

The 11.5-point adjustment is too much in my opinion. 

College Football Pick:  Under 70

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