Cincinnati vs. UCLA Total Prediction
Chip Kelly makes his UCLA debut on Saturday night when the Bruins host the Cincinnati Bearcats at 7:00 p.m. ET. Will it take at least one week for Kelly’s offense to get going and thus, allow under bettors to cash this weekend?
7:00 p.m. ET, Saturday, September 1, 2018
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Bruins are 14.5-point favorites to beat the Bearcats. The total, meanwhile, sits at 63.5 points. As of this writing, 53% of the public betting tickets wagered on this matchup are on the Bruins.
On Cincinnati's depth chart for their Week 1 showdown with UCLA, starting quarterback was listed as senior QB Hayden Moore OR redshirt freshman Desmond Ritter. It was somewhat assumed that Moore would simply take the job outright in camp, but looks like Ritter gave him a run for his money. We don't blame Bearcats HC Luke Fickell for keeping his options open. Moore's a player who has underwhelmed at multiple turns in his career, especially in light of his occasional ability to put out a huge statistical showing. As Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline puts it, Moore has "never [taken] his game to another level."
UCLA named senior QB Wilton Speight starter for the upcoming season. Speight (6'6/232) was fighting it out with sophomore Devon Modster and true frosh Dorian Thompson-Robinson in preseason camp. The three were initially listed as co-starters when the Bruins released their depth chart earlier this week, but no more cloak and dagger games for HC Chip Kelly (at least on this front). Speight transferred over from Michigan in the spring after turning in a mostly unforgettable stint of action in Ann Arbor. His strongest showing came during the 2016 season, when he threw for 2,538 yards (61.6-percent completions) with an 18/7 TD/INT ratio. He's also got the movement skills of a statue, making him -- at least outwardly -- something of a different fit for Kelly's offense than we saw most recently with Marcus Mariota. Great coaches adapt to their personnel, though. We'll get our first opportunity to watch Speight in action in his new digs when the Bruins take on Cincinnati on Saturday.
The under is 8-2-1 in the Bearcats’ last 11 non-conference games.
The under is 4-1 in the Bruins’ last five home games.
It could take a few weeks before Speight gets this Kelly offense rolling, especially with a rebuilt offensive line. The defense, however, has depth and experience, which are two things that the Bruins didn’t have a year ago. Meanwhile, Cincinnati will have issues defending the pass at times this year but if I’m right and Kelly’s offense won’t fire on all cylinders at the start of the year, then the Bearcats’ defense shouldn’t an issue on Saturday night.
College Football Prediction: Cincinnati/UCLA under 63.5