NCAAF Picks: Week 1 Preview, UCLA Bruins vs. Virginia Cavaliers

Thursday, July 10, 2014 1:29 PM UTC

Thursday, Jul. 10, 2014 1:29 PM UTC

The UCLA Bruins are expected to contend for a national title this season, but they land in a difficult situational spot out of the gate in taking on the Virginia Cavaliers next month. Let’s take a closer look at the college football odds for this Pac-12 versus ACC matchup at Scott Stadium, with the opening kick scheduled for 12:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

<p style="text-align:center"> <style type="text/css"><!-- td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;} --> </style> <span style="font-size:13px;font-family:arial,sans,sans-serif;font-weight:bold;color:#000000;text-align:left"><iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="330" src="" width="560"></iframe></span></p> <p><b>Lofty expectations</b><br /> <span style="font-size:1em"><a href="/college-football/team-report/ucla-70/" target="_blank" title="Team Report: UCLA Bruins">UCLA</a> is one of the betting favorites at odds of +1791 to <a href="/picks/college-football/ncaa-football-playoff-predictions-odds/39950/" target="_blank" title="NCAA Football Playoff Predictions &amp; Odds">win the 2015 NCAA football championship game,</a> but it will face a difficult situational matchup out of the gate in this affair, considering West Coast schools always have a difficult time preparing for an early start time when traveling across the country.</span></p> <p>The Bruins are also a mediocre 4-5 SU in regular season road games versus non-conference opponents since 2006.</p> <p>Third-year head coach Jim Mora has definitely developed a different culture in Westwood, considering the fan base is no longer happy in simply beating crosstown rival USC, especially with 17 starters returning.</p> <p><br /> <b style="font-size:1em">Hot seat in Charlottesville</b><br /> <span style="font-size:1em"><a href="/college-football/team-report/virginia-28/" target="_blank" title="Team Report on the Virginia Cavaliers">Virginia</a> figures to be a dangerous home underdog during the 2014-15 campaign, as it also welcomes back 17 starters, with fifth-year head coach Mike London desperately needing a successful campaign to keep his day job.</span></p> <p>The Cavaliers have captured nine of their last 11 openers at this venue, but they’ve compiled a 4-8-1 against-the-spread (ATS) record when getting points in front of its fans.</p> <p>London may benefit greatly in standing by his offensive and defensive coordinators, as both Steve Fairchild and Jon Tenuta begin their second season in those respective roles.</p> <p><br /> <b style="font-size:1em">Hundley</b><br /> <span style="font-size:1em"><a href="/picks/college-football/ncaa-football-picks-quarterback-power-rankings/39831/" target="_blank" title="#3 in Quarterback Power Rankings">Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley</a> is a legitimate 2014 Heisman Trophy contender, as he ranks third in school history with 7,914 yards of total offense and 53 touchdown passes.</span></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" title="Do you agree they can cover? Share your thoughts in the SBR Forum">UCLA is certainly capable of covering this number</a> if he comes out of the gate performing at a high level, especially with the emergence of senior running back Jordon James, who finished behind him with 534 yards on the ground a year ago.</p> <p><br /> <b style="font-size:1em">Senior-laden roster</b><br /> <span style="font-size:1em">In looking back at the 2013 campaign, the Cavaliers failed in trying to meet some of their goals as a program, but it’s important to point out that London had just nine seniors on the roster.</span></p> <p>All eyes will be on senior running back Kevin Parks this season, as he comes off a 1,031-yard campaign and 11 touchdowns, while two signal-callers return that gained valuable experience a year ago.</p> <p><br /> <b style="font-size:1em">Prediction</b><br /> <span style="font-size:1em">I’m going to recommend that readers back the Cavaliers as one of their <a href="/picks/college-football/" target="_blank" title="The most accurate College Football betting picks are at Sportsbook Review">Week 1 college football picks,</a> as the Bruins will find it difficult to maintain focus for 60 minutes in this affair, with their home opener and a neutral-site matchup against the Texas Longhorns on deck.</span><br /> <b style="font-size:1em">Pick:</b><span style="font-size:1em">  Virginia Cavaliers +24</span></p> <p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":293733, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p>
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