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UCLA vs. Utah 2023 College Football Week 4 Odds, Preview & Pick

By Hank Blaine

The Pac-12 Conference will cease to exist as we know after this season, but there’s a huge early game from the league on Saturday as No. 24 UCLA visits No. 12 and fellow unbeaten Utah. Both may move up in the new polls on Monday. It could be their final meeting in decades.

UCLA Bruins vs. Utah Utes Game Information

  • When: Saturday, September 23, 2023, 3:30 PM ET
  • Where: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT
  • TV: FOX
  • Radio: WDGL 98.1 FM (UCLA) // 92.1 KALL (Utah)
  • Live Stream: Fox Sports Live
  • College Football Odds: UCLA (+5) // Utah (-5)

Why Bet on the UCLA Bruins?

UCLA (3-0) has not been challenged yet and will play its first game outside California this year. The Bruins trounced North Carolina Central 59-7 this past Saturday. True freshman quarterback Dante Moore picked up the start for the second consecutive week and completed eight of his 12 attempts, throwing for 182 yards and two touchdowns before leaving with the game in hand.

Moore connected with Kam Brown on a 67-yard scoring pass on the first play from scrimmage in the game. It marked the third straight game in which Moore has thrown for at least one 60-yard touchdown pass – 81-yard pass to Josiah Norwood at San Diego State; 62-yard pass to J.Michael Sturdivant against Coastal Carolina.

Moore has looked like a veteran against relatively underwhelming competition, completing 62.8% of his passes for 615 yards with seven touchdowns and one interception. Sustaining that success against Utah would be something else entirely, especially at a place where the Bruins haven’t won since 2015.

UCLA rushed for 404 yards in Saturday’s win, the most by the Bruins since they recorded 402 yards against Arizona State in 2022. Five Bruins recorded rushing touchdowns in the win; UCLA last scored six rushing touchdowns against Arizona in 2015. Under head coach Chip Kelly, UCLA is 23-6 when it rushes for at least 200 yards in a game.

UCLA has opened the season by holding all three opponents under 20 points (North Carolina Central 7, San Diego State 10, Coastal Carolina 13). The last time UCLA held three straight opponents in a season to 20 points or less was in 2009 when it defeated San Diego State 33-14, Tennessee 19-14, and Kansas State 23-9.

Why Bet on the Utah Utes?

Utah (3-0) is the two-time defending Pac-12 champion. It comes off a 31-7 home win over Weber State but had played solid teams in Baylor and Florida prior to that. The Utes held Weber State to just 127 yards of offense while producing 424 themselves. It was the first time the Utes have held an opponent to under 130 yards since Sept. 10, 2022 against Southern Utah (85 yards) and the fourth time since Morgan Scalley took over the defense.

The Utes finished the game with 23 first downs compared to Weber State’s five, also dominating the time of possession battle at 40:05 to 19:55. Utah also racked up 73 total plays, averaging 5.8 yards per rush and 14.8 yards per completion. In his first career start, quarterback Nate Johnson recorded a career-high 193 yards on 13-of-21 passing with one touchdown, also adding a career-best 16 rushes for 71 yards and a rushing score.

Lander Barton had his first career pick-six (23 yards) during the third quarter. It was Barton’s first career interception as well. It extended Utah’s FBS-leading active streak to 20 straight seasons with an interception returned for a touchdown. It is the longest active streak, and ties Arizona State (20 seasons from 2000-19) for the longest such streak dating back to 1996.

The Utes are 32-4 in regular season non-conference games since joining the Pac-12 and are 22-0 at home during that era. Utah is 3-0 at the end of non-conference play in 2023, the first time the Utes have been undefeated in regular-season non-conference games since 2019 and the 12th time under Kyle Whittingham.

Utah has won 16 straight games inside Rice-Eccles (dating back to Dec. 5, 2020) and 26 of its last 27 home games. The 16 straight is the second-longest such streak under Whittingham, short only of a 21-game run from Sept. 15, 2007 through Oct. 23, 2010.

This could be the last UCLA-Utah meeting for many years with the Bruins headed to the Big Ten and the Utes to the Big 12. Utah lost at UCLA last season 42-32. QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson passed for 299 yards and four TDs while also running for a score to lead the Bruins. He’s now in the NFL with Cleveland. Zach Charbonnet had 198 rushing yards and a touchdown for UCLA and he’s in the NFL too.

Cameron Rising passed for 287 yards and ran for a pair of scores for the Utes, who had won five straight in the series by an average of 27 points. Rising hasn’t played this year yet for Utah off a torn ACL but might return on Saturday.

UCLA vs. Utah Betting Trends

  • UCLA is 2-5 ATS in the last 7 games.
  • Bruins are 4-1 SU in its last 5 games.
  • The total went over in 10 of UCLA’s last 14 games.
  • Utah is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 games played in week 4.
  • Utes are 5-1 SU in its last 6 games.
  • The total went under in 7 of Utah’s last 10 games.

UCLA vs. Utah Expert Betting Predictions

Utah ATS.

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