Returning Starters in Home Opener Makes UCLA -19.5 the Pick Over Virginia

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, September 3, 2015 6:13 PM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 3, 2015 6:13 PM GMT

We’re going to examine Saturday’s college football non-conference matchup between Virginia and UCLA. Take the time to read this insightful betting preview culminating with a point spread pick.

Virginia and UCLA in a Rematch of 2014 Season Opener
UCLA will host Virginia on Saturday in the season opener for both teams. The opening kickoff at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena is slated for 3:30 PM ET, and will be televised by Fox. These teams met last season in the season opener for both clubs in Charlottesville, and UCLA came out on top 28-20. Despite the win, the Bruins failed to cover that contest as a 19.0 point road favorite, and the game narrowly stayed under the total of 50.0. UCLA scored three defensive touchdowns and jumped out to a 21-3 lead in that contest. However, they needed a late goal line stand to prevent a Cavaliers comeback. According to current college football betting odds, UCLA is a 19.5 point favorite across the major sportsbooks landscape.

 

Mike London is On a Very “Hot Seat”
Mike London enters his sixth season as the head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers football program. There’s a very good chance that this may be his last if he’s unable to get things turned around. During his first five seasons in charge, the Cavaliers have gone a combined 23-38, and were able to reach a bowl game just once. Virginia was off to a very encouraging 4-2 start in 2014, and then proceeded to lose five of their last six for a final record of 5-7.

 

UCLA a Possible Sleeper
It’s hard to describe a team as a sleeper that enters 2015 ranked #13 in the Associated Press preseason poll. However, UCLA rarely if ever have been mentioned by the so called college football experts as being a serious national title contender. Granted they lost their three year starting quarterback Brett Hundley who’s now a Green Bay Packer. Beyond that, the cupboard is hardly bare. The Bruins return the other ten starters on offense from a season ago, and also eight on the defensive side of the ball from a team that went 10-3. Speaking of quarterback, UCLA will be starting a true freshmen for the first time in school history. Josh Rosen will be thrown right into the fire, and he enters his collegiate career with extremely high acclaim. Rosen was ranked as the #1 quarterback nationally of this incoming 2015 freshmen class.

 

Final Analysis
UCLA has a huge edge in experience over Virginia, and there will be a huge buzz at the Rose Bowl on Saturday with the much anticipated debut of Rosen. Jim Mora has gone an outstanding 29-11 in three seasons as head coach at UCLA, and that includes an impressive 18-9 in PAC-12 action. UCLA is just too good for a Virginia team that will be hard pressed to stay competitive in this contest.

I’m going to side with the home favorite in this game for one of my college football picks on Saturday. Heritage requires us to lay the least amount of juice pertaining to this specific wager.

College Football Pick: Play on UCLA -19.5 (-105) at Heritage.

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