The UCLA Bruins visit the Colorado Buffaloes for their season openers, Saturday at Folsom Field at 7 p.m. ET. Below, we analyze the UCLA-Colorado college football betting odds and lines, with picks and predictions.
UCLA at Colorado: Betting odds, spread and lines
UCLA at Colorado: Three things to know
This is year three of the Chip Kelly-experience for UCLA and the first two seasons haven’t been as successful as the Bruins faithful hoped they would be. UCLA is just 7-17 since Kelly took over the head coaching position and it has the worst against the spread record in the PAC-12 in his tenure (9-13-2 ATS).
First-year Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell was an assistant for the Miami Dolphins in 2019 and his only head coaching experience is for UCLA from 2003-07. Dorrell had a 35-27 overall record and was 1-3 in bowl games.
UCLA is 1-1 straight up and 1-1 ATS vs. Colorado in Kelly’s first two seasons as the helm. The Bruins took down the Buffaloes last year 31-14 as QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson completed 21 of 28 passes for 226 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
UCLA at Colorado: Odds, betting lines, predictions and picks
UCLA 38, Colorado 28
Money line (ML)
The only way you can start a UCLA-Colorado handicap is with your confidence-level on Bruins coach Kelly. Personally, I thought Kelly did a good job with the Philadelphia Eagles, while the San Francisco 49ers situation wasn’t a fit and his achievements running the Oregon Ducks from 2009-12 speaks for themselves. So, on a 0-10 scale, I’ll say my confidence in Chip Kelly having a bowl-eligible 2020 is at a 7.5.
Colorado (+170) coach Dorrell has a 2005 Pac-12 Coach of the Year trophy under his belt but his Buffaloes team has just the 115th-graded return in production, according to ESPN. All my Dorrell-knowledge is a Wikipedia briefing so he’s an unknown commodity as far as I’m concerned.
UCLA’s Thompson-Robinson is in his third season as a starting QB in Kelly’s offense and I think we’ll get the best iteration of a Bruins offense that’s been disappointing since Kelly took over. Even though UCLA lost its 2019 leading rusher to the NFL (RB Joshua Kelley), the Bruins still return ESPN’s 33rd-most offensive production.
Against the spread (ATS)
I “LEAN” UCLA -6 (-110) because I refuse to believe Kelly’s team can’t turn the corner. This Colorado defense was bad last season and doesn’t have much hope for 2020. The Buffaloes defense is ranked 70th in return of production, and last season they were 114th in yards per play. UCLA can have success against the Colorado defense in its first game under Dorrell.
UCLA’s defense was even worse and returns less production than Colorado’s in 2019. The Bruins were ranked 125th in opponent’s yards per play and 116th in points per game. Plus, they are ranked 96th by ESPN in defensive return of production. GIMME OVER 56.5 (-110) in a UCLA-Colorado shootout.
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