The No. 9 UCLA Bruins have been a success ever since Jim Mora took over as head coach in 2012. This could be their best season yet, and their road to the Pac-12 title starts this Saturday (8:00 PM ET, ABC) in Tucson, where the No. 16 Arizona Wildcats are laying in wait. UCLA is a 3.5-point favorite (even) at press time.
The Bruins won all three of their non-conference games at 1-1-1 ATS, but their defense has already lost three key players for the rest of the season: linebacker Myles Jack (knee), defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes (knee) and cornerback Fabian Moreau (foot). All three are NFL prospects, but Jack will be the most difficult to replace – he also plays running back and returns kicks.
Arizona (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) is in its fourth year under head coach Rich Rodriguez, finishing the 2014 campaign at 10-4 (5-9 ATS) after making it all the way to the Fiesta Bowl. The Wildcats are coming off a 77-13 victory over the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (+34.5 away) of the FCS, in a game where Arizona led 7-6 after the first quarter. The last time the ‘Cats scored 11 touchdowns was against UTEP in 1921.