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PAC-12 Football Stanford Cardinal at UCLA Bruins: Start Time, Spread, Free Pick

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PAC-12 Football on Saturday and we will see the Stanford Cardinal travel to Los Angeles to take on the UCLA Bruins. The game is scheduled for a 6:30 PM (Eastern) start time and it will be televised live on FOX. Currently the odds for the game have Stanford favored by 3 points, while the total sits at 51.5. Check out Sportsbook Spy to find out what side the Public is taking on all today's games.

Free Analysis: In a weekend in which the top two ranked teams in the country fell, Stanford posted a stunning 17-14 win in overtime over the then No. 1 Oregon Ducks. With the win the Cardinal took control of the Pac-12 North Division from the Ducks with its 7-1 mark against league foes. If Stanford wins this weekend or Oregon loses in its matchup with Oregon State, the Cardinal would earn the spot in the Pac-12 championship game on Nov. 30. Switching starting quarterbacks late in the season is usually not something a team competing for a conference crown has to deal with. However Stanford has done just that with Kevin Hogan getting the start under center in each of the last two games. The sophomore took over after Josh Nunes struggled for much of the regular season. In his two games Hogan has been relatively strong as he has throw for 648 yards and seven touchdowns, while completing an impressive 74.2 percent of his passes with just three interceptions. No matter who has been throwing the passes this season, Zach Ertz has been hauling them in. The senior tight end was named a Mackey Award finalists earlier in the week after he brought in nine passes for 75 yards and a crucial touchdown against Oregon. On the season Ertz has led the Cardinal in receptions (58), receiving yards (747) and touchdowns (6) by a wide margin. Joining Ertz as a pillar in the offense is Stepfan Taylor. The senior running back has been a workhorse out of the backfield this season carrying the ball 258 times for 1,222 yards and nine touchdowns. Where Stanford differs from the powerful offenses that litter the Pac-12 is its dominating defense. In the game against Oregon, Stanford held what looked to be an unstoppable force to its lowest rushing and points total of the season. On the year Stanford is atop the Pac-12 in both total defense (328.4 ypg) and scoring defense (16.9 ppg).

The other half of PAC-12 title game has already been decided as UCLA wrapped up the Pac-12 South division with a 38-28 win over cross-town rival USC last weekend. The win was the fifth straight for the Bruins who are 9-2 overall and 6-2 in league play in the first season under head coach Jim Mora. The nine wins is the most in a season for the Bruins since 2006 and only the fourth time in the last 20 season UCLA has reached that mark. UCLA relies heavily on its ground attack to power its impressive offense. In the Pac-12, UCLA is behind only Oregon and Arizona in total offense (488.5 ypg), while trailing only the Ducks in putting points on the board (37.7 ppg). Those efforts have included the third-best rushing attack (207.5 ypg) in the conference. UCLA has a workhorse back of its own in Johnathan Franklin. The running back has racked up 1,441 yards and 10 touchdowns on 228 carries. Hundley also leans on his tight end quite a bit with Joseph Fauria proving to be an invaluable asset in the passing game. Fauria has totaled only 478 yards this season but has hauled in 10 touchdown passes and is second on the team in receptions. Obviously UCLA cannot match the firepower that Stanford brings on defense. In fact the Bruins will be hard pressed to have the same level of success considering they are on the bottom half of the conference in both scoring (25.0 ppg, eighth) and total defense (420.3 ypg, eighth).

Free Pick: I like UCLA in this one. Last week Stanford had a huge upset of Oregon, in a game in which their defense played a superb game. They had allot of intensity in that game and I just don’t see them being able to do the same vs this explosive UCLA offense. At home this UCLA offense has been dynamite as they have averaged 505 ypg and 36 ppg here, while in their last 4 games overall they have put up 48.3 ppg. The Stanford offense is not nearly that good, especially on the road where they average just 22 ppg. I know their defense is good and UCLA’s has struggled at times, but I still don’t see the Cardinal putting up enough points to get the win here. UCLA is 5-1 at home, have the much better offense and have revenge on their minds after getting blown out by the Cardinal in the last 2 meetings. Wrong team is favored here and UCLA will prove it with a big win.    

                  

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MovieCollege Football Free Picks: Stanford at UCLA (Best Bet)
What college football bettors need to know about Stanford Cardinal at UCLA Bruins on Saturday (11/24/12) - a best bet from Pregame.com's Vegas Runner, with Chuck Edel and host Chris Andrews.