Week 14 of the 2012 college football season continues on the PAC-12 Championship Game featuring the 16th ranked UCLA Bruins (9-3) taking on the 8th ranked Stanford Cardinal (10-2) Friday night (8:00pm ET) from Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, CA in a rematch between two teams that met just last week when the Cardinal crushed the Bruins 35-17 at the Rose Bowl. The teams will now meet on the Cardinal’s home turf just a week later. UCLA is 7-5 ATS this season, and have covered three of their last five games, but lost as a 2.5 point underdog last week at home to Stanford. The Cardinal is 8-4 ATS this season and has covered four straight contests coming into this one including the aforementioned win over UCLA last week.
The UCLA offense ranks 25th in the country in scoring offense with an average of 36 points per game scored and 21st in total offense with 475.8 yards per game. Quarterback Brett Hundley (3,234 yards passing) and running back Jonathan Franklin (1,507 yards rushing, 13 TDs) lead the Bruins offensively. The UCLA defense ranks 55th among FBS teams in scoring with 25.8 PPG allowed and 79th in total defense with 417.1 YPG allowed.
Stanford has greatly improved their production offensively since Head Coach David Shaw made the move from Josh Nunes at quarterback to red-shirt freshman Kevin Hogan (818 yards passing, 8 TDs, 3 INTs) as Hogan adds another dimension to the offense with his ability to run (162 rushing yards, 4.4 YPC). The Stanford offense ranks 69th in the country with 28.6 PPG and 84th with 380.8 YPG allowed. The calling card for Stanford this season has been their defense, which ranks 12th in scoring defense with 16.9 PPG allowed and 19th in total defense with 328.8 YPG allowed.
UCLA vs. Stanford Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
UCLA Bruins +8.5
@ Stanford Cardinal -8.5
Over 45 (-110)
Under 45 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
UCLA vs. Stanford Pick:
UCLA has a 5-12 record ATS in their last 17 road games and a 5-2 record ATS in their last 7 games against winning teams. Stanford is 17-5-1 ATS in their last 23 conference games, 38-16-1 ATS in their last 55 games overall and 23-10 ATS in their last 33 home games. The over is 5-0 in UCLA’s last 5 games overall, 5-0 in their last 5 conference games and 4-1 in their last 5 road games. The over is 16-7 in Stanford’s last 23 home games, 14-6 in their last 20 November games and 20-8 in their last 28 games against winning teams. In head-to-head play, the under is 8-3 in their last 11 meetings, the home team is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings and the Bruins are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 meetings in Palo Alto.
The Cardinal thoroughly dominated UCLA last week in what was a must-win game for them in order to participate in the PAC-12 Championship Game, and they have won four straight in the series in mostly dominating fashion. The Cardinal has the clear edge on defense facing a red shirt freshman at quarterback for UCLA in Hundley, and their offense has been much improved with Hogan under center, and he threw for an efficient 160 yards last week while Hundley was productive (261 yards passing) as the running game was almost completely shut down (2.2 YPC) by a rugged Stanford defense. The dominance of the Stanford front seven is the key to this game, and Stanford will force UCLA to win this game through the air. It is unlikely that the Bruins and Hundley will be able to do so, and the pick here is the Cardinal to cover. Take Stanford with the better defense and the home field advantage to cover in a rare back-to-back meeting.
PICK = Stanford -8.5