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CFB Upset & Underdog Pick: Week 4 (September 23)

Down go the Bulldogs in rather ugly fashion, as the Upset of the Week column takes a minor setback. That loss puts us at 2-2 on the year and +210 so far. On to Week 4, as the previous week’s theme of minimal upsets shouldn’t carry over to this Saturday. There are some tighter spreads with home dogs that can be appealing here, but patience will prove best for not only the bettor — but more importantly, the dog we are taking! As the CFB Upset & Underdog Pick for Week 4 heads to Salt Lake City, all we are asking from Chip Kelly is just a little patience.

CFB Upset & Underdog Pick for Week 4: UCLA-Utah

Looking for more 2023 college football predictions? OddsShopper’s experts are here to break down this college football season — make sure to check out the rest of our college football articles. If you still need more picks, our market-based betting model might just be for you — or try it out now!

UCLA-Utah Odds

Odds via BetMGM
UCLA: +175 | Utah: -210
UCLA +4.5: -110 | Utah -4.5: -110
Over 51.5: -110 | Under 51.5: -110

UCLA-Utah Upset Pick

Chip Kelly is known for pushing the ball and game tempo as fast as humanly possible. Some of it is based on how talented his quarterback and offense are, some relies on how weak the opposition is, the other parts are simply taking advantage of a worse or less-seasoned coach. The Bruins head to Salt Lake to take on Utah, and the Utes are hoping to see quarterback Cameron Rising for the first time this year. It hasn’t hurt the Utes, as they enter 3-0, beating up on Baylor, Florida and Weber State. Meanwhile, the Bruins are flying high on offense, dominating bad teams for three straight games. The biggest matchup here — the one that can help the Bruins to an outright victory — is Utah’s time of possession versus UCLA’s ability to score.

Not having Rising means adjusting, which is exactly what Nate Johnson has done — limiting mistakes by controlling the ball on the ground and thus controlling the clock. Utah ranks fifth in the nation in time of possession, so expect the same game plan as always from Kyle Whittingham and Utah. The easiest way to bust this stat and gut a team is by scoring fast. The Bruins rank 10th in total offense and top 3 in rushing offense this year, with big plays coming quick on the ground. Dante Moore is more than capable of throwing against Utah, as he’s had three warmup games to throw for over 600 total yards. Utah’s defense comes prepared to stop the run, so any big strike in the air can help soften up the Utes.

While the run game may look impressive, along with some wins, Utah isn’t actually punishing teams on the ground. They sit 72nd overall in yards per rush at 4.34 on the year and struggle to get their backs open holes before contact. The Bruins defense is better than advertised because the offense is on all the billboards, but this is a sneaky matchup where UCLA can suffocate some of the Utes rushing attempts, rendering them a pass-first team. Even if Utah does start Rising, there’s a sound argument that Moore is actually better. Add up the coaching, the tempo, the ability to score and the quarterbacks, that spells U-P-S-E-T!

CFB Upset Pick for Week 4: UCLA +175 BetMGM

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