UCLA vs Arizona Picks and Predictions: Bruins, Wildcats Exchange Punches

The Wildcats might be 0-4 on the season but they've played tough and have a competent offense. Coming off a bye week will help them trade blows with the Bruins and push this total of 61 past the Over. Read more in our UCLA vs. Arizona picks.

Last Updated: Oct 8, 2021 10:35 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Stanley Berryhill Arizona Wildcats NCAAF
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The UCLA Bruins will look to rebound after a 42-23 loss to Arizona State in which they were blanked in the second half. They travel to Tucson on Saturday to face the Arizona Wildcats, who sit at 0-4 on the season but are coming off a bye week.

Will the extra time for preparation help the Wildcats keep this one close as three-score underdogs?

Find out with our free college football betting picks and predictions for UCLA vs. Arizona on October 9.

UCLA vs Arizona odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

The line has remained steady, as UCLA opened -16 across most books and that’s the current line as of the time of this writing. The total, meanwhile, opened at 60 across some books but now sits at 61. Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full college football odds before placing your bets.

UCLA vs Arizona picks

Picks made on 10/7/2021 at 11:20 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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UCLA vs Arizona game info

Location: Arizona Stadium, Tucson, AZ
Date: Saturday, October 9, 2021
Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

UCLA vs Arizona betting preview

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NCAA football weather info.

Key injuries

UCLA: Mike Martinez TE (Doubtful), Mo Osling III CB (Questionable), Quentin Lake S (Questionable), Kenny Churchwell III S (Questionable).
Arizona: Will Plummer QB (Questionable).
Find our latest NCAA football injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Bruins are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games as a road favorite. Find more NCAA betting trends for UCLA vs Arizona. Find more NCAA betting trends for UCLA vs. Arizona.

UCLA vs Arizona predictions

Arizona may not be a very good football team. That much is probably true. Kevin Sumlin left this program a mess and new head coach Jedd Fisch has a long rebuild ahead of him. 

That being said, the Wildcats have not performed terribly this season. Granted, they’re 0-4 with one loss coming against an FCS school, but they’ve managed to keep most of the results close. The 24-16 loss to BYU in the opener has aged well — the Cougars are currently ranked 10th in the AP Poll. 

Arizona also held its own against Oregon, as the score was 22-19 entering the fourth quarter. After being counted out in nearly every game, the Wildcats have managed to mostly make a game of things.

As for UCLA, this is a spot that it hasn't done well in, going 1-7 ATS in its last 8 games as a road favorite. The Bruins have struggled to take care of business on the road against teams with a losing record, too, going 0-5 ATS in their last five instances in that spot.

Expect this Arizona home crowd to be a factor, as the fans are holding a whiteout for their PAC-12 home opener. The Wildcats also hold the advantage of coming in off a bye week, giving Fisch some time to recuperate after a tough handful of opening games to start the season. 

The Wildcats covered as underdogs against Oregon despite quarterback Jordan McCloud tossing five interceptions. As long as they can limit the turnovers, they should be able to move the ball against a woeful Bruins secondary ranked 128th in the country, allowing 321 passing yards per game.

We’re backing them to cover here as three-score underdogs. 

This UCLA secondary is really struggling. The coaching staff decided to continue running Cover 0 against Arizona State despite looking lost for most of the evening and clearly needing help over the top. In all, it led to two wide-open touchdowns for Sun Devils receiver Ricky Pearsall and 15.8 yards per attempt on the evening for quarterback Jayden Daniels.

It’s a continuation of struggles for this secondary that's allowing 341 passing yards per game since the opener against Hawaii. UCLA games have only gone under 61 points one time since that opening contest, and it was a narrow one at that — 59 combined points against Stanford, which plays at the slowest tempo in the country.

It’s not like this Arizona offense is lifeless, either. It put up 426 yards against BYU and 435 against Oregon — two solid defenses. Expect the Wildcats to target go-to wideout Stanley Berryhill III early and often against this beatable Bruins pass defense.

The UCLA offense should be able to find points as well behind an effective ground game that’s rushed for over 200 yards in all but one contest. The Arizona front seven has struggled to stop the rush, allowing 192 yards per game on the ground. It could be a big day for Zach Charbonnet and this Bruins backfield.

College football parlays

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