UCLA Bruins vs. Memphis Tigers Odds, Analysis, College Football Betting Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2017

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: Caleb Wilson #81 of the UCLA Bruins gets a hug from quarterback Josh Rosen #3 of the UCLA Bruins after a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game against the Hawaii Warriors at the Rose Bowl on September 9, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

UCLA is 9-0 straight up and 5-3-1 against the spread in its last nine meetings with members of non-Power Five conferences. Memphis, meanwhile, is 3-5 SU and 5-2-1 ATS over its last eight meetings with members of the Power Five. The Bruins make a rare venture east of the Mississippi to take on the upset-minded Tigers on Saturday afternoon at the Liberty Bowl.

College football point spread: The Bruins opened as 6.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 21.0-19.2 Bruins (College football picks on every game)


Why the UCLA Bruins can cover the spread

Coming off that crazy comeback victory over Texas A&M to start this season, the Bruins enjoyed a little easier time of it last Saturday, beating Hawaii 56-23. UCLA drove 99 yards to a touchdown on its opening possession against the Warriors, led 35-7 at the half and breezed to an easy cover as a 24-point favorite.

The Bruins actually got outgained by Hawaii 515-505, but much of the yardage they gave up came while protecting a big lead.

Quarterback Josh Rosen enhanced his Heisman Trophy credentials by hitting on 22 of 25 throws for 329 yards and five touchdowns with zero picks. Combining the fourth quarter of its season opener with the first two quarters of last week's game, UCLA scored 70 points over a 45-minute span.


Why the Memphis Tigers can cover the spread

The Tigers opened the season August 31 with a 37-29 victory over Louisiana-Monroe. They had last week off after Hurricane Irma forced their game at Central Florida to be canceled.

Memphis led the Warhawks 20-7 at the half and basically put the game away on Tony Pollard's 99-yard kickoff return for a score to begin the second half. The Tigers, at minus-28, nearly reached the spread with a 37-14 lead through three quarters but gave up a pair of meaningless touchdowns in the last five minutes.

Memphis outrushed ULM 319-146, as running back Darrell Henderson gained 169 yards on just 12 carries and fellow sophomore Patrick Taylor gained 131 on 15 carries. The Tigers defense forced four turnovers.


Smart pick

These teams met three seasons ago out in Los Angeles; the Bruins won 42-35, but Memphis easily covered at plus-22. UCLA might be a bit banged up on defense. This game will start at 9 a.m. PT for the Bruins, which is unusual. The smart money on the college football point spreads here takes the Tigers.


College football betting trends

UCLA is 5-11 ATS in its last 16 games.

UCLA is 2-6 ATS in its last eight games on the road.

Memphis is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 games.


All college football odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.