The UCLA Bruins (3-3, 2-1 in the Pac-12) travel to the Arizona Wildcats (1-4, 0-4 in the Pac-12) this weekend as both teams return from their bye weeks. Though UCLA sports a better record, the Wildcats are three-and-a-half point favorites, according to Odds Shark.
The line seems to favor the Wildcats too much, given the play of both teams through the college football season's first half. Arizona averages 27.33 points per home game this season while UCLA averages 26.67 points per game on the road, suggesting a very even match-up.
The point difference in this game will likely be determined by Arizona's pass attack. Quarterback Nick Foles and the Wildcats are averaging 383.0 yards per game through the air, third-best in the nation. If Foles can beat the UCLA secondary and connect with his receivers, the Wildcats can score points in a hurry and put the Bruins on their heels. The Bruins may find themselves facing a deep deficit, should Foles get hot.
If UCLA can keep Foles in check, the game should remain close and could be decided by a field goal here or there. Bruins quarterback Kevin Prince will try to match Foles and exploit the Wildcats secondary, which has given up lots of big passing plays this season.
Ultimately, whether or not Arizona covers the three-and-a-half point spread depends on the performance of Foles. The Bruins have a good chance of disappointing those betting on this match-up and a good chance of winning this game if they can contain Arizona's pass attack. Look for the Bruins to be extremely active early in the secondary to prevent Foles from getting into a rhythm.