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UCLA vs Utah Free NCAAF Pick Against The Spread

After it appeared Stanford and Utah were heading toward a match in the Pac-12 Championship Game, a few upsets in the league last Saturday have brought those two back to the pack, leaving this Saturday's UCLA-Utah game a key one in determining the team in the driver's seat for the South Division title of the Pac-12 Conference.

 

The Utes have seen their strong start to 2015 slip away a bit. After a 6-0 start, including wins against Michigan, Oregon, and California, the Utes will enter the UCLA-Utah game having dropped two of their last four games. USC put an end to Utah's hopes of an unbeaten season in late October, winning 42-24. And Utah suffered a double overtime loss at Arizona last Saturday, 37-30.

 

Still, the Utes will carry a perfect 5-0 record at home into the UCLA-Utah game, while the Bruins have a 3-1 road record this season. UCLA's only road loss came at Stanford in mid-October, 56-35. After that loss, the Bruins compiled a three-game win streak to put themselves back into the South Division race. But a last-second loss last Saturday at home against surprisingly improved Washington State, 31-27, leaves the Bruins one game out of the division lead.

 

With UCLA and Utah both losing last week, the South Division of the Pac-12 Conference is completely up for grabs heading into the final two weeks of the season. The top three contending teams – UCLA, Utah, and USC – will play two games against each other to close the season. UCLA and Utah will play this Saturday, while UCLA will visit USC next Saturday. The Utes close with a home game against Colorado next Saturday.

 

Utah and USC are both 5-2, while UCLA is 4-3 in the league. Because USC has the tie-breaker against the Utes, it controls its fate to win the South Division, and surprisingly, so does UCLA. Utah will need to win out and get some help in the form of a USC loss, either at Oregon this Saturday or against the Bruins to close the season. But if UCLA can sweep USC and Utah, the Bruins will win a berth in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

 

The Bruins lead the all-time UCLA-Utah series, 10-3, but all three of Utah's wins have come in the last decade. The road team has won the last two games in this series, as Utah won in Los Angeles, 30-28, last season, and the Bruins won in their last trip to Salt Lake City in 2013, 34-27.