UCLA vs. Arizona NCAAF Pick – Week 5

The UCLA Bruins and Arizona Wildcats meet in the desert for a Week 5 Pac-12 matchup. UCLA are coming off the wildest game of the season in a 67-63 thriller against Washington State in Pullman. There likely isn’t going to be a game to match the crazy in that one.

UCLA were down by 32 points, which looked it was another embarrassing loss by the Bruins in the works. Something got into UCLA suddenly. They erased the deficit and came all the way back for a wild 67-63 victory. Chip Kelly must have been praying to the football gods at some point in that game and they answered his prayers.

Kelly needed something to go his team’s way and the Bruins got it in Pullman. It would have been nicer if they played a complete game and just blew out Washington State, but the Bruins will certainly take the win. UCLA were able to get their first win of the season and that game. Most importantly, UCLA are hoping that this game be a springboard for the offense.

They’ve been waiting for their starting quarterback Dorian-Thompson Robinson to have a breakout game and that qualified. The dual-threat compiled 507 yards and 5 touchdowns and 1 interception to go with 57 rushing yards and an additional 2 touchdowns on the ground.

Washington State quarterback, Anthony Gordon, passed for 9 touchdowns and his team still lost the game. Gordon racked up 570 passing yards and max Borghi chipped in with 123 yards on only 15 carries. It didn’t matter with their defense providing zero help. That doesn’t speak of how good the UCLA defense is playing. Robinson gets credit for finally breaking out, but the defense gets an F grade.

Arizona are coming off a bye following a win against Texas Tech, 28-14. Khalil Tate has to be licking his lips watching the UCLA tape. The question going into this week with UCLA is whether last week was real or a mirage. We’ll get an answer Saturday night in the desert. Head below for our free UCLA vs. Arizona pick.

UCLA Bruins vs. Arizona Wildcats NCAAF Week 5 Betting Odds:

Spread:

  • UCLA +6.5(-110)
  • Arizona -6.5(-110)

Total:

  • Over 71.5(-110)
  • Under 71.5(-110)

Betting odds provided by bovada.lv

UCLA vs. Arizona Pick:

UCLA need to prove that last week wasn’t a fluke. It’s an important week for this team, because they could just as easily regress and no one will take their win over Washington State seriously. It’s really going to depend on the offense and Robinson. Despite the win last week, the defense put on a sad display. This isn’t a case of only one week of playing poorly on defense.

UCLA have been consistently bad defensively throughout the season. In four games, the Bruins have allowed 39.5 points per game for 122nd in the FBS. One of their games was against a useless San Diego State offense, so that skews positively in their favor, but things got out of control against Oklahoma and Washington State.

Arizona are going to present another challenge on Saturday. Khalil Tate has been waiting for a defense to pop off against this season and I could see it occurring Saturday night in Tucson. The passing yards have been piling up against UCLA, with 351.8 yards allowed per game through the air. That’s 127th in the country. There are only three teams in the nation worse at defending the pass.

I’m looking at Arizona to do whatever they want offensively in this matchup. UCLA might make a few plays, but at least not enough to keep up with Tate and J.J. Taylor. The Arizona defense have been terrific at forcing turnovers and should be able to force Robinson into problems. They are 6th in the FBS in turnover ratio as opposed to 118th for UCLA in turning the ball over.

The Arizona defense found some confidence last week against the air raid of Texas Tech. They held tech to just 14 points on a short run by SaRodorick Thompson and pass by Alan Bowman. The secondary were able to pick on Bowman with two interceptions. Most of all, though, this looks like a perfect letdown spot for UCLA on the road.

After the wild antics in Pullman a week ago, expect UCLA to struggle against a fresh Arizona team coming off a bye. UCLA’s win gives us some nice value on Arizona. We wouldn’t be getting anything close to -6.5 if they don’t comeback in that contest. Public perception from last week keeps the line relatively low. I’m expecting a 41-28 win for the home team.

The Bet
ARIZONA -6.5
Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of The Sports Geek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at The Sports Geek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, and the NHL. Prior to writing for The Sports Geek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily at The Sports Geek.