The surprising UCLA Bruins will look to maintain their unblemished record today when they open conference play against Mike Riley’s Oregon State Beavers (3:30pm ET start time, ABC). College Football Oregon State vs UCLA Odds like Jim Mora Jr’s Bruins to get the better of the Beavers as they are giving seven to their Pac-12 rival. Oregon State is a +230 moneyline play to pull off the upset and the game total is set at 52 points.
UCLA won its third straight game last weekend, throttling the Houston Cougars 37-6 as a -17 against the spread favorite. The victory, which came on the heels of the Bruins 36-30 upset of Nebraska at the Rose Bowl, saw the two teams combine for 11 turnovers; however, UCLA overcame its poor ball security with another impressive offensive performance.
Quarterback Brett Hundley and running back Jonathan Franklin, who leads the nation in rushing, again powered the Bruins attack as they accounted for 430 of the team’s 567 yards.
While UCLA is heading into its fourth game of the season, today’s clash represents just the second game of the season for Oregon State. The Beavers opener against Nicholls State was postponed and they had a bye following their 10-7 upset of then No. 13 Wisconsin.
Oregon State suffered through the worst season of the Mike Riley era last year, finishing with a 3-9 record, but it should produce a more Beaver-like result (averaging 7.1 wins per season since Riley took over in 2003) in 2012 with 15 starters back in Corvallis.
If recent history holds true, though, UCLA will not aid the Beavers in their recovery process. The Bruins have won seven of the last nine in this series and they are 10-0 straight up (6-2-2 ATS) in their last 10 games playing as a home favorite with a spread between 4 and 7.5 points.
Nonetheless, Oregon State should present more of a challenge than Houston did last week. The Beavers have, for the most part, shown good ball security under Riley (+18 in turnover margin from 2006 to 2010), which means they probably will not be as prone to contributing to their own demise. Riley usually has his team ready to play off of rest as well; Riley coached squads are 9-3 against the spread coming off a bye week.
Free Pick: Take Oregon State +7.
Oregon State vs UCLA Preview:
Oregon State Beavers +7 (-110), Over 52 (-110), +230 (Moneyline)
UCLA Bruins -7 (-110), Under 52 (-110), -270 (Moneyline)
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