Memphis Tigers vs. UCLA Bruins Betting Odds: Analysis and Prediction

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Memphis Tigers vs. UCLA Bruins Betting Odds: Analysis and Prediction
ANDREW SHURTLEFF/Associated Press

UCLA survived a cross-country trip and upset bid from Virginia last week but couldn't cover a big number on the point spread.

The Bruins now head home to entertain Memphis this Saturday at the Rose Bowl, where they will be favored by a big number once again.

UCLA has had good luck covering large spreads recently, but the Tigers haven't been too bad at covering big numbers themselves. Of course, these teams have been on opposite sides of those numbers, but it still makes for a tough pick.

 

Point spread: The Bruins opened as 24-point favorites; the total was 55 midweek, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)

 

Odds Shark computer prediction: 33.9-13.1 Bruins

 

Why the Memphis Tigers can cover the spread

The Tigers began their season with a 63-0 romp over Austin Peay, covering the spread as 38-point favorites. Memphis had the line covered at halftime with a 42-0 lead and clamped down from there, out-gaining the Governors 545-146, racking up 303 yards on the ground and holding the ball for 34 minutes.

The Tigers also return 17 starters this year, including their starting quarterback, last year's leading rusher, the entire receiving corps, three along the offensive line and eight on defense.

Memphis has been dogged by 20 points or more six times over the last two seasons, going 4-2 ATS and nearly pulling off a couple of upsets.

 

Why the UCLA Bruins can cover the spread

The Bruins won at Virginia on Saturday, 28-20, and actually had the spread pushed late in the second quarter when they led 21-3.

Statistically, the game was about even, but the UCLA defense scored three touchdowns. This year, the Bruins return 17 starters, five more than last year when they went 10-3. Nine starters are back on offense, led by Heisman candidate QB Brett Hundley, as well as last year's top three rushers and four along the offensive line, and eight are back on defense.

UCLA is 10-3 SU, 8-5 ATS at home under head coach Jim Mora and 4-1 ATS when favored by three touchdowns or more. Their foes have lost 22 of 25 road games dating back several seasons.

 

Smart pick

If UCLA plays like it did last week, it will not cover this spread. However, after last week's lackluster performance offensively, the Bruins will be looking to break loose this week.

And Memphis is not Virginia, and the Rose Bowl is not in Charlottesville. Also, Hundley needs some good numbers to enhance his Heisman status.

So the smart money on this one should go with the favorite, minus the points.

 

Trends:

  • Memphis is 3-22 SU in its last 25 games on the road
  • UCLA is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games

 

Note: All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted; check out Twitter for injury updates and line-move updates and get the free odds tracker app.

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