Oklahoma Sooners vs. UCLA Bruins Expert Picks with Betting Odds
Oklahoma Sooners vs. UCLA Bruins, Saturday September 14, 8 p.m. ET
Here's a quick peek behind the curtain. Every Monday I look at the slate of college football games and try to pick out the most interesting three to preview. The tightest, the least predictable, the ones that will be watched the most and bet the most. The best games. At least that's what I usually do. But that's not what I've done here obviously. This game is such a mismatch that it is cruel. It hasn't even started yet, and it's already over.
We watch most games imagining what could happen. Here we are just looking with morbid curiosity to see how bad this one can get. And it can get really, really bad. Mostly, we are drawn to this one because it's sure feels like a very bettable game. Some might call it a bit of a gift.
Oklahoma at UCLA Betting Storylines
Somewhere along the way, Chip Kelly turned from a genius to Charlie Weis. When he left Oregon to take over the NFL's Eagles, he was perceived as one of the biggest brains in football. Just remember how big of a story his move to the NFL was. He was going to own the league. But then he underwhelmed in Philadelphia and totally flopped in San Francisco. And his time at UCLA has been a total embarrassment. The first season was bad. The recruiting after that season was a total mess. And the start to this year has been just horrific. They got beat up by Cincinnati. And lost to San Diego State. And they are just going to get crushed here. Kelly is an offensive genius who has a team that can't do anything offensively, and at this point it is hard to imagine that he and his team will exceed last year's total of three wins - or even match it. And it's harder still to imagine Kelly lasting three years at this point. It's just a mess.
And it's not the kind of mess that they can shake off in a hurry. Oklahoma isn't the best defense in the country by any means, but this is an offense right now that can't do anything right. They can't run. They can't throw. They obviously can't score. And they can't do enough defensively to avoid being in a massive hole out of the gate against this very potent Oklahoma offense. That will only put more pressure on this offense. And when it has faced big pressure in the form of deficits against teams they should be beating in their first two games, they have not rose to the occasion. We often talk about how anything is possible in college football. It's what makes the sport so great. But it doesn't feel like a shocker from UCLA is possible here. At all.
You would think that the Sooners would take a step back after losing a Heisman-winning QB. But you would have thought that last year, too, and it certainly wasn't the case. This unit has been potent so far. Tops nationally in total yards. Ninth in passing yards per game. Fifth in rushing yards per game. Third in points per game. They haven't played a particularly tough schedule - Houston and South Dakota. But then they aren't playing a particularly tough game here, either. UCLA ranks 104th in passing yards allowed so far, and that has been against teams that rank 87th and 89th nationally in passing yards per game. Oklahoma is going to be able to pass essentially at will. And they will run at will, too - UCLA ranks 59th nationally in rushing yards allowed, and that is against teams that rank 82nd and 110th in rushing yards per game. Ouch.
Oklahoma at UCLA Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with Oklahoma favored by 22, and that has since climbed to 23. A massive majority of action has been on the Sooners, so it isn't done moving yet.
The Sooners are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games overall and 2-6 ATS in their last eight against teams with a losing record. The Bruins are 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight games overall and 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 home games. They are 5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 nonconference games.
Oklahoma at UCLA Predictions and Picks
This is a number just begging to be jumped on. Oklahoma should be favored by solidly more than this. The Sooners are a great value play at this number. They are going to score, and UCLA is not. The Bruins didn't show any fight against two much lesser teams, so there is no reason to expect them to suddenly care here. And even if they did, it wouldn't matter. You could be concerned that the Sooners might let up on the gas if they get up. But they went three quarterbacks deep against South Dakota and still looked great. And you could be concerned about the timing - the game is a late start for an eastern team. But this team has seen and done a lot the last few years and won't be rattled by that situation. This sets up as a serious massacre. The line is still available as low as 21.5 if you shop around. I'd jump on anything below 28 without any hesitation at all.
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