[4:00 PM] #19 Utah @ UCLA

Who will WIN this matchup?

#19 Utah Utes (6-1)

@ UCLA Bruins (3-4)


Current odds:

Utah Utes: (+218)

UCLA Bruins (-14.5): (-250)


ESPN simulations have UCLA as 69.9% favorites to win the game.

74% of sports bets are currently on Utah to win as (+218) underdogs.

UCLA is expected to have quarterback Josh Rosen back from a one-week absence, and No. 18 Utah should have leading receiver Tim Patrick at full speed when the teams collide Saturday afternoon in their Pac-12 matchup at the Rose Bowl. Rosen, a two-year starter, missed last week’s 27-21 loss at Washington State with shoulder and leg injuries, while Patrick looks to be 100 percent after missing the win against Arizona on Oct. 8 with an unspecified injury and then playing sparingly last week.

The Utes have another reason to feel confident with their scoring abilities now that running back Joe Williams has returned to the team. Williams quit two games into his senior year and wasn’t expected back, but changed his mind at the urging of teammates, then rushed for 179 yards on 34 carries and scored a touchdown in last weekend’s 19-14 win at Oregon State.

The Utes enter this game tied with Colorado atop the Pac-12 South Division standings and two games ahead of USC. Scoring at least 25 points seems to their benchmark, as Utah is 9-1 over the past two seasons when scoring that many, while UCLA is 2-9 in that span when surrendering at least 25. One area Utah figures to dominate is special teams, as the Utes rank second in the nation in net punting average, have a four-year starter at place kicker who owns the school’s career field-goal record and even their long snapper has been on the field for every snap over the last four seasons.

UCLA will likely need to lean on its defense, as the run game is struggling and Rosen might be shaking off some rust, and the entire defensive unit has been solid so far, not allowing an opponent to amass 400 total yards in the last six games. Just one opponent has managed to complete at least 53 percent of its passes this season, and the secondary has accounted for eight interceptions on the year.

UCLA has outscored opponents 84-43 in the final 15 minutes of regulation this season, which is 46 percent of its total scoring output.


StreakSmarts Pick: #19 Utah Utes

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick