UCLA vs. BYU - Free Expert College Football Picks Against The Spread

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, September 15, 2016 10:50 PM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 15, 2016 10:50 PM UTC

Our college football analyst takes a look at Saturday’s non-conference game between UCLA and BYU. Join us in reading this insightful betting preview article which finalizes with a college football pick.

BYU will take on UCLA in their home opener on Saturday night. The opening kickoff at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah is slated for 10:15 PM ET.

BYU will look to avenge last season’s 24-23 to UCLA at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. BYU was a sizable 17.5-point underdog in that contest, and nearly pulled off an upset over then nationally ranked UCLA.

At the time of this writing, college football betting odds at Heritage have UCLA as a 3.0-point road favorite, and their total is listed at 49.0. Be sure to visit Heritage before placing your next college football bet, and check of their attractive cash bonuses. In terms of overall performance, Heritage has been given an A+ grade by a highly credible sportsbook rating guide.


UCLA Bruins Early Review
UCLA enters this week with a 1-1 record, and will seek to build off momentum established by last Saturday’s 42-21 home win over UNLV. In terms of a betting perspective, UCLA failed to cover that contest as a large 27.5-point favorite. At any rate, it was a nice bounce back performance following their season opening 31-24 overtime loss at Texas A&M.

The offensive star for UCLA is sophomore quarterback Josh Rosen. The Bruins signal caller has gone 49-84 (58.3%) passing for 610 yards. Rosen’s has thrown for 2 touchdowns but has also been intercepted 3 times. However, UCLA is very inexperienced at their offensive skilled positions compared to a season ago, and it’s put the additional onus on Rosen who had a marvelous freshmen campaign. Considering UCLA amassed 468 yards of total offense against Texas A&M, and 499 versus UNLV, the young offensive unit has performed better than expected at this early stage.

Heading into this 2016 campaign, the UCLA defense was considered to be its strength based on returning starters. They’ve been somewhat average at best so far, allowing 26.0 points and 385 yards per game. One area which definitely needs to improve is against the run. They’ve allowed an average of 189.0 yards rushing per game, and opponents are going for sizable 5.0 yards per attempt. Furthermore, during last week’s game versus UNLV, they allowed the Rebels to convert 53% (8-15) of third down situations.


BYU 2016 Resume
BYU entered this season having to replace their top three wide receivers from a season ago. Thankfully, BYU has two reliable seniors they can lean heavily on at the outset in quarterback Taysom Hill, and running back Jamaal Williams. Hill has thrown for 378 yards, completed 61.8% of his passes, ran for an additional 124 yards, and accounted for a combined 5 touchdowns in BYU’s 1-1 start. Williams has been impressive thus far, running for 220 yards, and averaging a lofty 5.4 yards per carry. He was especially good in the Cougars season opening 18-16 win over Arizona, rushing for 162 yards on 29 carries (5.6 YPR).

The BYU defense has performed superbly thus far with all things being considered. They’ve faced two quality teams in Arizona and Utah, and limited then to 18.0 points and 346.5 yards per game. During last Saturday’s heartbreaking 20-19 loss at Utah, the Cougars stop unit forced 6 turnovers.


Cougars Home Field Edge
You may be surprised to know department, BYU is 30-5 (.857) during its last 35 home games, and that includes a current 8-game win streak. Throughout that 35-game stretch, BYU was installed as a home underdog on just three separate occasions, and went a perfect 3-0 SU&ATS in those contests.


Final Take and Prediction
BYU will come into Saturday’s game battle tested. This will be the third consecutive week in which they’ll face a PAC 12 team. Taysom Hill has led the BYU offense to a pair of clutch last minute drives in each of the first two games, and if not for a failed 2-point conversion with 0:43 left to play last week, they easily could’ve been 2-0 entering their home opener. I look for BYU to put together a complete performance on Saturday night, and revenge last season loss at the hands of UCLA. Of course, I’ll take the points as an added bonus when making one my week 3 college football picks.  


Free NCAAF Pick: BYU +3 -105
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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