Pittsburgh vs. UCLA best bet, odds and how to bet

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The Pittsburgh Panthers and UCLA Bruins will face off Friday in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

The Panthers have had an up and down season in 2022, but were able to finish strong with four straight wins. They hope to continue that push with an upset of the No. 18 Bruins in the Sun Bowl.

The Bruins went on an undefeated streak until Week 8 when they fell to Oregon. Chip Kelly’s team posted losses to Arizona and USC to finish 9-3. Although the Bruins are favored to win, they could be without their star quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Thompson-Robinson is “on track to play,” Kelly told reporters amid earlier reports the QB will skip the bowl to prepare for the NFL Draft.

Will the ranked Bruins prove their dominance or will the Panthers take advantage of some missing pieces in their opponents lineup?

Here’s everything you need from a betting perspective on the Pittsburgh vs. UCLA game, from point spread, money line, Over/Under total and expert pick (with odds at through Bet FOX).

Pittsburgh vs. no. 18 UCLA (2 p.m. ET Friday, Dec. 30, CBS)

Distribution of points: UCLA -5.5 (UCLA is favored to win by more than 5.5 points, otherwise Pittsburgh covers)
Moneyline: UCLA -227 favorite to win (bet $10 to win $14.41 total); Pittsburgh +170 underdogs to win (bet $10 to win $27 total)
Total Over/Under Score: 53.5 points scored by the two teams together

Pittsburgh Panthers



UCLA Bruins


Pick through the FOX Sports NFL Analyst Geoff Schwartz:

Well, how can you prevent a football match where the best players will not play? I will give my best. Currently, quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and running back Zach Charbonnet are scheduled to play in this bowl game for UCLA. However, I wouldn’t count on seeing either or both of them play much. Pittsburgh will also be missing some pieces. Panthers starting quarterback Kedon Slovis has announced his transfer to BYU, while their top running back (Israel Abanikanda) will not play Friday as he prepares for the NFL Draft. Pittsburgh is also without four defensive players who have declared for the draft.

On paper, I’d take the points with the Panthers because their defense has excelled at stopping the run, which is what UCLA does best. The Bruins rank second in rushing percentage, while the Panthers are 15th in rushing defense. But since Pittsburgh is down several defensive starters, I don’t expect their rushing defense to be as strong. If UCLA’s quarterback and running back play, the Bruins will run all over the Panthers. And even if they don’t play, UCLA’s offensive line and running backs can play. Also, we know Chip Kelly can scheme an offense.

UCLA’s defense hasn’t been good this season, but Pitt is playing without its quarterback, without its best offensive weapon and without two offensive linemen. So I feel less confident about what the Panthers can do on offense. I think you have to play the Bruins here or nothing else. At the very least, you get their quarterback and running back.

At worst, they have a well-planned offense playing a ton of backups with a defense facing the second-string quarterback and half of a backup offensive line.

COLLECT: UCLA (-5.5 at FOX Bet) to win by more than 5.5 points

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