With these two Pac-12 Conference rivals set to clash on Saturday night, Arizona State will be put to the test against the UCLA Bruins.
Arizona State entered the season with high expectations and has posted a 3-1 record through the first month of play. However, they suffered a disappointing loss to No. 13 ranked BYU in Week 3.
The Sun Devils also have a dark cloud hanging over their heads due to allegations of a recruitment scandal, which has seen three members of their coaching staff in defensive backs assistant Chris Hawkins, wide receivers coach Prentice Gill, and tight ends coach Adam Breneman get placed on administrative leave, as a result.
This recruiting violation is said to be due to ASU hosting high school players during the COVID-19 dead period, among other infractions. While the NCAA launched their investigation recently, head coach Herm Edwards has insisted it has not been a distraction for his team, who has gotten off to a solid start.
Regardless, UCLA has gone 3-1 as well, and they are ranked No. 20 in the nation. The outcome of this game could ultimately differentiate these two west coast schools between being contenders and pretenders this season.
Best Bet: UCLA Moneyline (-165) at BetMGM
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Arizona State vs. UCLA Prediction
As previously mentioned, Arizona State’s loss to BYU was their first failed test in the early part of the season in proving whether they are for real or not.
On an additional note, UCLA is ranked in the top 25, but they also had a bad loss to No. 18 Fresno State in Week 3.
UCLA is averaging 38 points per game through the first four weeks, while Arizona State has scored 32.5 points per week. On the other hand, the Bruins have surrendered 25.2 points each game, and the Sun Devils have only allowed an impressive 13.5 points per game.
A lot is riding on the line for these teams, who have both shown the ability to run the football effectively, and play stout defense.
Rachaad White (55 attempts, 256 yards, seven total touchdowns) and DeaMonte Trayanum (six carries, 52 yards, two touchdowns), who just returned from a foot injury last week to make his season debut, have formed an impressive two-headed monster in the Sun Devils’ backfield.
But so has Zach Charbonnet (46 carries, 360 yards, seven touchdowns) and Brittain Brown (47 carries, 263 yards, two touchdowns) for UCLA.
At this point, these two opponents are in a similar weight class. However, ASU commits a ton of penalties (23 in the past two weeks combined), and UCLA is the current favorite as the home team, which is why they have the advantage in this matchup.
Betting Pick: UCLA 24, Arizona State 17
Arizona State vs. UCLA Best Bets
Best Bet: UCLA Moneyline (-165) at BetMGM
I really like the value of this moneyline bet for UCLA in Week 5. The Bruins racked up 455 total yards in a 35-24 win over Stanford last week. They also established a balanced attack, and if they stick to a similar game plan, they should be able to outlast Arizona State.
As for the Sun Devils, their defense has been dominant, and so has their rushing attack, but UCLA’s defense did a great job containing the running game against Stanford last week. This factor, along with having home-field advantage, is why I like UCLA to pick up a victory on Saturday.
Best Bet: UCLA -3.5 (-105) at DraftKings
Although the -3.5 spread is a tricky pick, given how close this game could wind up being, I do believe there is still value in this bet. That’s because I like UCLA to beat Arizona State by a score of 24-17.
Playing at home should help the Bruins out immensely since their crowd will be fired up for this Pac-12 rivalry matchup. Arizona State will ultimately fall to UCLA, as their penalty issues will continue in this contest. The sloppiness will be too much for ASU to overcome against a tough opponent in UCLA.
Best Bet: Under 55.5 (-110) at Caesars
Not only are these two teams on a similar level, but they also have strong defenses. That is why I like the under in his matchup.
While ASU and UCLA have each averaged 30-plus points through the first four weeks of play, this game will likely come down to which defense has the better performance and who can run the ball more effectively.
This contest is gearing up to be an old-school, smash-mouth style football game that will feature a ground-and-pound blueprint on both offenses. That is why you should take the under in this game.