Washington Huskies vs. UCLA Bruins: Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds - 9/30/2022

by Chuck Sommers

Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
Where to watch: ESPN

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Washington -2.5
FanDuel: Washington -2.5
BetMGM: Washington -2.5
Caesars: Washington -2.5

Season record
No. 15 Washington: 4-0 (1-0 Pac-12)
UCLA: 4-0 (1-0 Pac-12)

What a big week and some fun shake up in the top 25, as we enter Week 5 of the college football campaign. And what a week it was for our own Wayne Root with a 7-1-0 stint to continue what has been a strong start for our champion handicappers through the early stages of this college football season. But now things are going to get interesting with conference play underway and some big-time matchups in the coming weeks. You're going to want to follow our top-notch handicappers if you want to get on this action. Make sure you visit our Best Bets page to find out more.

Washington - UCLA preview, analysis and prediction


Last week
Washington: won 40-22 vs. Stanford
UCLA: won 45-17 at Colorado

We’re going to finally find out if the Washington Huskies are for real. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re No. 15 in the country, you’ve done something right to this point. You have a defense that looks strong, you have some wins under your belt that not a lot of teams can say they have, and now you begin conference play likely as the best team in the Pac-12 that’s not named USC. Things are going well. But finally, you’re hitting the road and things are a bit more tense now. Washington takes on a fellow undefeated Pac-12 team that is off to a strong start. Maybe not as strong as yours, but you know whoever loses this game is completely in the shadow realm for the facts that they are a fraud and we know it. The Huskies opened conference play with a 40-22 win over Stanford on Saturday in a game that was essentially over by the third quarter. Michael Penix Jr. continued his Heisman candidacy in a strong way with 309 yards and two touchdowns, with Rome Odunze catching eight passes for 161 yards and a touchdown. The Stanford team as we once knew and loved no longer exists, but it means a lot to beat a Stanford team on the road.

''It's a great feeling because you know the momentum can snowball,'' Washington pass rusher Bralen Trice said. ''The momentum is going to keep going. You see it with everybody else, everyone else is eating, getting sacks and making tackles. Just the snowball effect.''

Every game Washington has played to this point has been a blowout by double digits. Michigan State was even a late rally that ended in an 11-point victory. There may not be a doubt that Washington has the best quarterback in the conference, but this group now needs to figure out if it can go on the road and win. But who would’ve thought he’d kill it in Washington after so many down years in Indiana? Kind of wild, honestly. If he can do it in the Rose Bowl, things will be looking good.

The UCLA Bruins, never the bride, always the bridesmaid. That’s about as real as it gets for this program right now, but at least they can finally show that they are for real with this home showdown against Washington on Friday night lights. UCLA’s level of competition isn’t great, but really the only thing wrong with it compared to Washington is they haven’t beaten anybody noteworthy. The Bruins opened conference play this past Saturday with a 45-17 win over Colorado in Boulder, and that’s not even seen as an impressive feat. Keep in mind that the Bruins barely hung on to defeat the South Alabama Jaguars the week prior, 32-31, and looked vulnerable doing it. Against a lowly Colorado team, Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw for 234 yards and two touchdowns, while Zach Charbonnet ran the ball just nine times but had 104 yards and three touchdowns.

“Any time you get a conference went on the road, that's huge,” Bruins coach Chip Kelly said. "If you want to be relevant in this league you have to win road games. And that's really the most important thing for us.

Methinks that if you can run the ball that efficiently that you’re playing a horrid defense, which is exactly what Colorado is. But UCLA has talent and they’re winning most of their games by double digits to this point. That alone gives them confidence to think they can pull off this win.

Prediction


Washington is favored by 2.5 early in the books. The biggest difference between Washington and any team UCLA has played to this point is the fact that Washington’s defense has been great through this run. If that defense can travel, which I expect it to, the Huskies are going to go to 5-0 and look really good doing it. Keep in mind that the Huskies have won 10 of their last 14 when favored. Washington by 14

Betting trends


Washington is 6-8 ATS in its last 14 as a favorite.

Washington is 8-12 ATS in its last 20 overall.

Washington is 14-33 ATS in its last 47 following a game with a turnover margin of +3 or better.

UCLA is 5-3 ATS in its last eight as an underdog.

UCLA is 4-0 ATS in the last three seasons following two straight overs.

Statistical leaders


Washington:
Passing: Michael Penix Jr. -- 1,388 yards, 12 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Wayne Taulapapa -- 307 yards, 3 TD
Receiving: Jalen McMillan -- 367 yards, 3 TD

UCLA:
Passing: Dorian Thompson-Robinson -- 896 yards, 8 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Zach Charbonnet -- 293 yards, 4 TD
Receiving: Jake Bobo -- 221 yards, 1 TD

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert football picks today. And if you enjoyed this Washington Huskies - UCLA Bruins prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily college football projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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