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Free Pick: Oregon (5-1) at UCLA (5-2) 10/23/21
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Free Pick: Oregon (5-1) at UCLA (5-2) 10/23/21

This is a big game between two teams from different divisions in the PAC-12. They each have one loss and whoever loses this one is in serious trouble in getting to the Conference Championship game. This should be an exciting, closely contested game between these two rivals. Let’s take a look at our betting angles.


It is very rare when both teams have the exact total team points, but these two teams do, as each of them is at 28.5 points. Oregon’s best running back, C.J. Verdell, is out for the season with injuries and that has hurt their offensive production since he got hurt. In the three games that he has missed, they have scored 41 against winless Arizona, and 24 against Stanford and California, which are hardly defensive juggernauts. Remember, they went into Ohio State and put up 35 points against the Buckeyes with him in the lineup. They are facing a UCLA defense that won’t ever be confused with Georgia but they have played better the last two weeks on the road. Bottom line; this is not the offensive team of the past for Oregon.

UCLA has been consistent on offense scoring less than 29 points only twice in seven games. They are averaging 424 total yards per game and are balanced between the pass and the run. The Oregon defense is allowing 409 total yards per game but only 21 points per game. However, that statistic includes games against Stony Brook where they allowed 7 points, Arizona (19 points) and California (17 points). In short, if UCLA can play turnover-free, they might surpass the 28.5 total team points.


The over/under is 60.5 for the two teams combined point total. Both teams are averaging 34 points per game which would indicate this total is possible to reach. The Oregon defense is giving up 21 points per game, but when you look at their schedule closely, there are some interesting things to consider. They have played 2 quality teams in Fresno State (they gave up 24 points) and Ohio State (they allowed 28 points). The other 3 games against FBS teams, (Stony Brook doesn’t count). have been against very mediocre teams and they gave up an average of 22 points per game against those teams. These are hardly quality stats. In short, UCLA should be able to score with an offense that scored 38 on LSU, 37 against Fresno State, and 35 at Stanford.

On the other hand, UCLA’s defense has given up some high point totals in games against Fresno (40), LSU (27) and Arizona State (42). So, their defense is vulnerable also. Can the Oregon offense put up some points on the Bruins? One would think so.


UCLA is currently a 2-point favorite in this game, which in our opinion is an easy line to bet. If you like UCLA, chances are they will cover the bet if they win since the spread is so low. Conversely, if you think the Ducks will win they should beat that spread also. Since the spread is so low, Vegas thinks this game is, in reality, a toss-up, which means maybe you should consider betting the team total or the over/under.


AARON’S PICK: UCLA over 28.5 team points

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