Weekday NCAAF betting preview: UCLA vs. Stanford & more

Profile Picture: Ashley Anderson

October 16th, 2019

+7 (-115)
O 53 (-110)
-7 (-105)
U 53 (-110)
Chip Kelly’s second season at UCLA was supposed to go a lot more smoothly. Following the team’s 48-31 home loss to Oregon State, the Bruins enter Week 8 with a 1-5 record.

UCLA’s lone win of the season came at No. 19 Washington State, in a 67-63 come-from-behind shootout. The only other ranked opponent the Bruins have faced is No. 5 Oklahoma, which crushed UCLA 48-14.

Stanford and ninth-year head coach David Shaw is faring a bit better in the Pac-12. Currently 3-3, the Cardinal suffered a three-game skid at USC, at No. 17 UCF and against No. 16 Oregon, but bounced back at Oregon State and defeated No. 15 Washington, 23-13, in Week 6.

Stanford will face a UCLA defense ranked 124th in the nation in opponent yards per game (503.3) and 127th in opponent passing yards (340.7). While that should make the Cardinal an overwhelming favorite in this game, Stanford must play shorthanded Saturday, with quarterbacks Davis Mills (890 yards, five touchdowns) and K.J. Costello (471 yards, two touchdowns) recovering from injury.
Sophomore Jack West is expected to get his first collegiate start, as a result. He’ll lean on receivers Michael Wilson (317 yards, 3 TDs) and Connor Wedington (252 yards), plus tight end Colby Parkinson (264 yards), in the passing game.

Running back Cameron Scarlett will be key to maintain Stanford’s composure. The senior has accounted for 564 yards and two scores on 127 carries in 2019, with another 138 yards on 13 receptions.

Even with Stanford’s third-string quarterback under center, UCLA’s defense is just too poor to stop the Cardinal and keep this game close.

The Bruins are 5-16-1 against the spread in their last 22 games against the Cardinal and 1-5 ATS in the last six at Stanford.

Pick: Stanford -7

Louisiana-Lafayette (-6.5) at Arkansas State, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU

Appalachian State snapped the Ragin’ Cajuns' four-game win streak with last week’s 17-7 loss in Lafayette.

The No. 10 rushing offense in college football was unable to reach the end zone last week, as the Ragin’ Cajun’s Elijah Mitchell, Raymond Calais and Trey Ragas combined for 139 yards on 29 carries.

Louisiana-Lafayette quarterback Levi Lewis completed just 13 of his 24 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown on a 14-yard catch by Nick Ralston.

The Ragin’ Cajuns' 18th-ranked passing defense kept App State quarterback Zac Thomas from doing much damage with his arm, but the junior was able to run for 63 yards and two scores.

Louisiana-Lafayette should have an easier time against the 3-3 Arkansas State Red Wolves, who surrender the second-most yards per game (539.6) in the nation. The Red Wolves are especially bad against the pass and allow opponents an average of 321.8 yards through the air. Their rushing defense isn’t much better at 111th in the FBS (217.8 YPG).

The Ragin’ Cajuns aren’t particularly dangerous through the air, but their trio of running backs are a force. Ragas leads Lafayette in rushing yards, with 572 on 63 carries, while Mitchell has tacked on nine scores and 470 yards on 80 carries. Calais is the third option and has tallied 320 yards and two touchdowns on 41 attempts.

The Ragin’ Cajuns are 4-0 against the spread in their last four road games and 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall. Louisiana-Lafayette is also 8-3 ATS in the last 11 games against Arkansas State, though the underdog is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings.

Pick: Louisiana -6.5

South Alabama at Troy (-17), Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN 2

In another Sun Belt Conference clash, the 1-5 South Alabama Jaguars take on the 2-3 Troy Trojans on Wednesday night.

The Jaguars are coming off a bye a week after they dropped a game to Georgia Southern, 20-17, in double overtime. Troy enjoyed a week of rest as well and will look to end its two-game losing streak.

The Trojans boast the No. 14 passing offense in the nation and average 309 yards per contest. Troy also features the No. 20 rushing defense (104.8 YPG) but gives up the second-most passing yards per game in the country (362.5 YPG).

South Alabama is 125th on offense, with 275.2 total yards on average, and opposing offenses are putting up an average of 427.6 total yards on its defense.

The Jaguars are 4-0 against the spread in their last four conference games, whereas the Trojans are 1-4 ATS in their last five homes games and last five overall. The road team is also 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings between these two teams, and the underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last six.

Pick: South Alabama +17

Bet all the Week 8 college football action at BetAmerica!