NCAA Week 5 features a massive showdown between two undefeated Pac-12 squads. The 4-0 Washington Huskies will travel to Los Angeles to take on the 4-0 UCLA Bruins.
Washington has historically been a fringe contender in the Pac-12, but they’ll be looking to take another step forward this season. This might be the year they do it behind an offense that has been unstoppable to start the year.
UCLA was once considered a college football powerhouse, but those days are long in the past. They haven’t won the Pac-12 since 1998, but they’re off to one of their best starts in recent memory. Chip Kelly is in his fifth season as the team’s head coach, so the pressure is on to see tangible results this season.
Who has the edge in his matchup? Let’s dive into the Washington vs. UCLA predictions and best bets.
Washington vs. UCLA Odds
|Washington||-3 (-110)||-155||O 66 (-110)|
|@ UCLA||+3 (-110)||+135||U 66 (-110)|
Odds via BetFred as of 7 p.m. ET on Sept. 27.
- Date: Friday, Sept. 30
- Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA)
- TV: ESPN
Washington vs. UCLA Predictions Trends
- Washington is 4-0 this season (3-0 against the spread).
- UCLA is 4-0 this season (2-1 against the spread).
- Washington was 3-8 against the spread last year.
- UCLA was 8-4 against the spread last year.
- UCLA is 19-14-2 against the spread in conference games under Chip Kelly.
- Washington is 11-2 against the spread in their last 13 games with a total of more than 55 points.
- The Over is 7-2 in UCLA’s past nine games.
- UCLA is 1-7 against the spread in their last eight games vs. teams with a winning record.
- UCLA is 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 games as underdogs of less than five points.
- As of Tuesday, DraftKings reports that 75% of the spread bets and 54% of the handle is on Washington.
- For the total, 57% of the bets and 60% of the handle are on the Under.
Washington: Best Offense in the Country?
Ok, so Washington probably doesn’t have the best offense in the country. That said, it’s not a ridiculous question. They’ve averaged 530.8 yards through their first four games, including 502.0 yards per game against FBS competition. That’s the 10th-best mark nationally.
They’ve also had no problems putting points on the board. They’ve scored at least 39 points in all four games, including an 11-point over a ranked Michigan State squad. Michigan State is far from a defensive juggernaut, but it’s still hard to imagine a more impressive start to the year.
Michael Penix Jr. with the LASER pic.twitter.com/7sMnW8XxhO
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 18, 2022
The Huskies have been dominant through the air and on the ground. Transfer Michael Penix Jr. has always been an extremely talented player, but he struggled with health throughout his time at Indiana. However, he’s healthy at the moment, and he’s averaged 11.1 adjusted yards per attempt with 12 touchdowns and one pick through the first four games.
On the ground, running back Wayne Taulapapa has averaged 6.4 yards per attempt, and their top three running backs have combined for nine touchdowns.
Can they keep that production going vs. UCLA? I don’t see why not. The Bruins defense has been strong to start the year, but they’ve also been largely untested. Colorado is their only Power Five opponent through the first four weeks, and they might as well be a mid-major. Expect the Huskies to hang another big number on the scoreboard.
Is UCLA Finally Back?
The first four years of the Chip Kelly experience have been underwhelming. They started with three straight losing seasons before showing some minor improvement last year. They racked up eight wins, and it could’ve been nine if not for their bowl game getting canceled.
The Bruins are led by quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, a former four-star prospect who is back for his fifth year. He was solid last year, averaging 9.0 adjusted yards per attempt and adding 609 yards on the ground. He’s been even better to start the new year, averaging 9.4 adjusted yards per attempt as a passer and 8.1 yards per carry as a rusher.
UCLA strikes first! Dorian Thompson-Robinson with a strike to Matt Sykes for the 24 yard TD! pic.twitter.com/3V5ubiwkQJ
— 𝗙𝗢𝗟𝗟𝗢𝗪 @𝗙𝗧𝗕𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗱𝟳 (@FTBeard7) September 24, 2022
UCLA lost some contributors from last year’s squad, but talent is not an issue. They rank 28th in 247’s Composite Talent Index, which puts them just slightly behind Washington and Stanford.
The big question is can the Bruins keep it up against higher levels of competition? They’ve dominated a cupcake schedule to start the year, and they played a pretty easy schedule last year as well. They only faced two ranked squads, and one of them was LSU early in the year. LSU finished the year with a losing record, so the only confirmed good team that they played was Oregon. How they fare this week against the Huskies will ultimately tell us a lot about this program.
Washington vs. UCLA Predictions
There has been a bit of sharp activity on the Bruins, which has caused this line to drop from 3.5 to 3.0. That’s only a half-point move, but moving from 3.5 to 3.0 is one of the most important half-point moves in football. I’m still not sold on UCLA being good enough to compete with the Huskies, but it is slightly concerning.
Instead, I’m going to focus on the Over. Washington is averaging more than 40 points per game, and I think they’re going to get their points in this matchup. Whether or not UCLA can hold up their end of the bargain is the bigger question, but their offense has also been pretty dominant to start the year. They’ve actually averaged 516.0 yards in FBS games, so they can put some points on the board themselves.
Pick: Over 66 total points | -110 at BetFred Sportsbook