With Stanford’s annual BCS-busting loss out of the way, can the Cardinal rebound and cover the spread against UCLA? They have beaten the Bruins five straight, have covered six of eight at home to UCLA and they give six points on the spread in Week 8.
Point spread: Stanford opened as six-point favorites; the total was 54 as of Wednesday (line updates and Matchup report).
Computer Prediction: 34-21, UCLA
Why UCLA can cover the spread
These two met in the Pac-12 Championship Game last year, when the Cardinal punched the ticket with a 27-24 win in Stanford. They also played the week before, in the Rose Bowl, where the Cardinal came away with a 35-17 victory. The Bruins are a much more focused team and have double-revenge brewing. Oh, and the computer says they will win outright.
Why Stanford can cover the spread
The Cardinal come into this game after suffering their first defeat of 2013, in what was considered one of the biggest upsets of the season, a 27-21 loss at Utah. Stanford’s active 12-game home winning streak is the third longest in the nation behind Michigan (18) and South Carolina (14), and the last thing on its mind is a second straight loss.
The Cardinal have beaten the Bruins five straight, taking the money four times.
As much as Stanford can blame the look-ahead factor on last week's loss, it couldn't have come at a worse time. The Bruins rank second in the nation in third-down conversion defense (0.24), fifth in the nation in third-down conversion percentage (.560), fifth in the nation in total offense (547.0) and seventh in the nation in scoring (45.8). Balance gets it done for UCLA, despite Stanford’s 27-2 straight-up run as home chalk since 2007, according to the OddsShark.com college football database.
- UCLA 0-5 SU, 1-4 against the spread past five against Stanford.
- Stanford 6-2 ATS past eight at home to UCLA.