UCLA @ Washington St Week 7 Expert Picks
Week Seven of the college football odds calendar features UCLA heading north to take on the Washington State Cougars. Under Mike Leach, Washington State has become a thorny road destination for other teams, and UCLA is still working to establish themselves once again as a Pac-12 contender.
How To Bet the Bruins @ Cougars NCAA Football Odds, TV & Game Info
Why should you bet on UCLA?
The Bruins are returning sophomore Josh Rosen (last year’s Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year) at quarterback and have a dozen returning starters overall, making them the trendy pick in the Pac-12 South. They averaged 465.9 yards per game last year, good for the top 30 in the NCAA, and with their new pro-style offense they should be able to push that total even higher. They have some depth at wide receiver and running back, and despite the loss of three starters, the offensive line had terrific depth last year. Defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes is back from a season-ending injury last year, which should help them with stopping the run. Linebacker Jayon Brown and defensive end Takkarist McKinley are solid both against the run and the pass rush.
Why should you put your money on the Cougars?
The Cougars also have a terrific quarterback returning in Luke Falk. Washington State tallied nine victories last season, the first time they had hit that mark since 2003. Mike Leach’s teams have always had an explosive passing game, and his Washington State crew is no different. The key is keeping Falk on the field, as he came out of three different last games with injuries, and he had to sit out the Apple Cup against Washington due to a concussion. With Gerard Wicks, Keith Harrington and Jamal Morrow all capable running backs, the Cougars don’t have to rely on the passing game exclusively. They could simply overwhelm the Bruins if UCLA can’t get pressure on Falk.
My Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I like Washington State to win this one, at least at this point. Obviously, you’ll want to check injury reports as the game gets closer, but if you want to put some money down with this one-point spread, I think the Cougars will make a real run at the Pac-12 North this year. I’m predicting a 35-24 Washington State victory.