One of the best games of the week in college football is a Top 10 matchup between Pac-12 foes when undefeated UCLA heads to the raucous Autzen Stadium to take on 5-1 Oregon in what is being dubbed the “Chip Kelly Bowl.”
Kelly rose to prominence as head coach of the Ducks from 2009-2012, leading the team to four consecutive BCS bowl games, including the 2011 National Championship. Now in his fifth season at UCLA, he is hoping to finally replicate the success he had in Eugene.
They call it the Autzen Zoo for a reason, but is UCLA getting nearly a touchdown on the spread overlooking what the Bruins have done so far this season?
I dig through the number for this massive Pac-12 showdown and bring you my best bet for college football picks and predictions UCLA vs. Oregon.
UCLA vs Oregon best odds
UCLA vs Oregon picks and predictions
Many wondered if UCLA would be able to build off its 8-4 record last season, and so far, that is exactly what has happened.
UCLA is 6-0 thanks in large part to its backfield combo of quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and running back Zach Charbonnet, leading a Bruins offense putting up 41.5 points per game.
Thompson-Robinson has been uber-efficient this season. The senior QB is completing 74.8% of his passes for 1,510 yards with 15 touchdowns compared to just two interceptions while adding another 213 yards and four scores on the ground. It certainly helps that he has a back like Zack Charnonnet to alleviate some of the pressure, rushing for 615 yards at a clip of 7.1 yards per carry.
UCLA has also notched consecutive solid victories over Washington and Utah. The win over the Utes was particularly impressive as the Bruins were able to overpower a physical Utah team in the trenches, leading to over 500 yards of total offense in that game.
That is the type of performance that showed UCLA can compete with a team like Oregon, which is strong on both lines.
While Oregon’s defensive front can create some pressure and does a good job of stuffing the run, DTR should have what it takes to take advantage of the Ducks’ biggest weakness, which is the deep ball.
Oregon gives up a lot of chuck yardage. So much so that the team ranks 126th in the country, surrendering 313 passing yards per game. It also feels like DTR is rising to the occasion as the season goes along. He’s completed 75% of his passes for 614 yards with seven TDs and one pick in the Bruins’ last two wins over the Huskies and Utes.
On the other side, Ducks' QB Bo Nix has never really been the guy to “rise to the occasion.” Yes, he is having a very good year in Eugene, but what is the best team he has faced since Georgia?
BYU? Washington State? Those are OK teams, but not great ones.
And whether it was during his time at Auburn, or the season-opening matchup against Georgia, Nix seems to make some questionable decisions when it matters most.
UCLA’s defense isn’t elite, but its defensive line is good enough to get pressure on Nix in some key situations and will keep this game tight all the way to the final whistle.
My best bet: UCLA +6.5 (-110 at FanDuel)
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UCLA vs Oregon spread analysis
The movement for the spread in this exciting Pac-12 matchup has looked a little like watching a tennis ball go back and forth on the court.
It opened at Oregon -6, but that was quickly bought up and moved to -6.5. There was subsequent UCLA buyback to send Oregon to -5.5 midweek, but the line has since returned to 6.5.
Honestly, though, I was a little surprised to see a number like this. Oregon head coach Dan Lanning has worked out the kinks since the embarrassing loss to Georgia, but I would still like this number closer to the 3.5-4.5 range.
Obviously, the key matchup in this game is between DTR and Charbonnet going against the Ducks' defense. If they can generate some production on the ground on early downs, it could be really hard to slow the Bruins down.
Ultimately, I think it’s the Bruins' defense that is getting overlooked a bit here. They have done a great job stuffing the run, ranking 14th in opponent yards per attempt, and have forced 12 turnovers this season.
Have I mentioned before that I like fading Bo Nix?
UCLA vs Oregon Over/Under analysis
The scoreboard operator at Autzen Stadium could be in for a workout on Saturday. The total for this game hit the board at a hefty 70.5, and it is sitting at 71.0 as of Friday afternoon.
Both of these teams average over 500 yards of offense and 40 points per game. While both defenses have some excellent pieces, they are certainly not invulnerable.
Then there is the forecast. There is a chance for some heavy rain in Eugene on Saturday, and in slick conditions, you always give the edge to the offense.
It’s the second-highest total of the week, but if a combination of Pac-12 teams can take this number down, it’s these two.
UCLA vs Oregon betting trend to know
UCLA is 7-1 ATS in its last eight road games. Find more NCAA betting trends for UCLA vs. Oregon.
UCLA vs Oregon game info
|Location:||Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR|
|Date:||Saturday, October 22, 2022|
|Kickoff:||3:30 p.m. ET|
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UCLA vs Oregon weather
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