Stanford vs UCLA Odds, Picks and Predictions: Charbonnet & Co. Stabilize Following Oregon Loss

UCLA will be looking to bounce back after its first loss of the season last week. With Stanford's run defense among the worst in the nation, Bruins RB Zach Charbonnet should be the focus of UCLA's attack and with that, our picks expect him to dominate.

JD Yonke - Contributor at
JD Yonke • Contributor
Oct 27, 2022 • 10:19 ET • 4 min read
Zach Charbonnet UCLA Bruins Pac-12 college football
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UCLA’s magical start to the season came crashing to a halt last week with a mostly uncompetitive loss in Eugene. How will the Bruins respond in Week 9?

A matchup at home with Stanford awaits, which ideally should be a bounceback spot against one of the Pac-12’s worst teams.

The Cardinal have found a little groove, however, winning two straight games. Can they pull off the upset on the road against Chip Kelly & Co.?

Read our college football picks and predictions for Stanford vs. UCLA below to find out. 

Stanford vs UCLA best odds

Stanford vs UCLA picks and predictions

In Stanford’s defense, the Cardinal have been keeping things close. Despite grading out as an extremely poor team on both sides of the ball with evident signs of mismanagement within the program, they’ve managed to win two straight games.

Those victories came by a combined three points (16-14 over Notre Dame, 15-14 over Arizona State), with a one-point loss to Oregon State (28-27) on a long, last-minute touchdown pass preceding that two-game streak in Week 6.

David Shaw’s team will have a more difficult test than they’ve seen of late, facing a UCLA Bruins team that was 6-0 before last week’s loss in Eugene. Oregon has looked like a powerhouse since the loss in the opener, so faulting the Bruins for that loss is certainly not wise. Where does that leave the Bruins heading into the stretch run of conference play?

They’re among the top of a watered-down league and could play their way into a rematch with Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game. The next three games (Stanford, Arizona State, Arizona) are certainly all winnable if the Bruins play up to their capabilities. This is a prime spot for them to get back on track after a loss and for the offense to find success at home against a spotty Cardinal defense.

UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet is one of the best running backs in the country. The former Michigan transfer gets a huge workload as a Chip Kelly running back, handling at least 20 carries in three straight games while eclipsing 120 yards in each of those contests. The future NFL running back had topped 100 yards in five of six games this season and now gets a matchup against a pillow-soft rush defense. 

The Cardinal are surrendering 187.6 rushing yards per game on 5.2 yards per carry. They rank 123rd in rushing EPA and 125th in rushing success rate. A makeshift Bruins offensive line has played well above expectations, ranking 11th in both line yardage and stuff rate.

Considering the Cardinal have a noticeable deficiency up front (124th in defensive line yards, 120th in stuff rate), this is an incredible spot for Charbonnet. 

We’ll be taking the Bruins back to go Over his rushing yardage prop at DraftKings — which has it set at 114.5.

My best bet: Zach Charbonnet Over 114.5 rushing yards (-115 at DraftKings)

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Stanford vs UCLA spread analysis

The spread currently sits at UCLA -16.5. While at UCLA, Chip Kelly has typically taken care of business against lower competition while struggling against the league’s elite teams.

Take 2021 for example, where the Bruins went 8-4 while all eight victories came against teams with a losing record, and all four losses came against bowl teams. At 3-4, it’s certainly possible for Stanford to reach a bowl, but that feels unlikely at this point considering the futility of the product on the field.

Chip Kelly knows how to beat bad teams, and Stanford is at least clearly not a good football team. The Cardinal rank 90th in expected points added (EPA) per play on pffense and 103rd in EPA on defense, struggling on both sides of the ball. UCLA’s offense (10th in EPA, ninth in Success Rate) should get back on track.

Stanford has been a bad bet for a while now, going 10-25-1 ATS in its last 36 games overall. The Cardinal have naturally been bad in conference play, too, going 8-20-1 ATS in their last 29 conference games.

While it does look like they’re building a little momentum off two straight victories and one close loss, consider that they are just 5-16-1 ATS in their last 22 games following an ATS loss and 1-5 ATS in their last six road games. 

Stanford vs UCLA Over/Under analysis

The total is set at 66.5 at most sports books as of the time of this writing. 

We can feel pretty good about UCLA’s offense in this spot. Dorian Thompson-Robinson is one of the best quarterbacks in the Pac-12 and has gotten better every year. Considering this is his fifth season as Kelly’s starting quarterback, that’s certainly saying something — the former five-star is becoming more comfortable and more lethal with more experience.

This season, he’s completing 73.8% of his passes for 8.8 yards per attempt. He’s a threat with both his arm and his legs, compiling 17 passing touchdowns and four rushing touchdowns. In his long, fruitful career, DTR has found the end zone 98 times. Look for him to surpass the century mark on Saturday.

When facing good offenses, Stanford has surrendered 41 points to USC, 40 to Washington, and 45 to Oregon. It’s highly probable that DTR and Charbonnet are found dancing in the end zone plenty of times Saturday night.

When Stanford has the ball, they will be shorthanded after losing running back Casey Filkins last week with what is likely a season-ending injury. Considering he became a workhorse filling in for E.J. Smith — who was also lost for the year — this is now a huge question mark.

The word out of Palo Alto going into the season is that running back depth was one of the biggest question marks on the team, and now we’re about to see it tested. 

The good news is that quarterback Tanner McKee is very talented and has a good crop of receivers to throw to — when his offensive line provides requisite protection. UCLA is a poor defensive team, ranking 93rd in EPA and 101st in success rate.

It’ll be interesting to see if Stanford can generate a rushing attack with unproven backups against a Bruins front that ranks 101st in rushing success rate and 117th in line yards. Overall, it’s easy to see why the total is so high between two defenses that grade out very poorly.

Stanford vs UCLA betting trend to know

The Over is 9-2 in the Bruins’ last 11 home games. Find more NCAA betting trends for Stanford vs. UCLA.

Stanford vs UCLA game info

Location: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
Date: Saturday, October 29, 2022
Kickoff: 10:30 p.m. ET

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