The best USA sportsbooks are getting on the Chip Kelly gravy train. The UCLA Bruins are 16.5-point home favorites against the Cincinnati Bearcats. And not a little of that favoritism has to do with the return of one Charles Edward Kelly to college football. Kelly may be the Bruins’ first-year head coach-cum-offensive coordinator. But he built a legacy as the architect of the Oregon Ducks’ success before trying his hand at the NFL. Kelly led Oregon to four consecutive BCS bowl game appearances. Including the 2011 BCS National Championship Game. And now he’s ready to pick up where he left off. And not a minute too soon for UCLA. The Bruins have not won a conference championship since 1998. They have a chip on their shoulder. And now they have a Chip in the sidelines.
Senior QB Hayden Moore will start under center against UCLA, barring any unforeseen event. Moore threw for 1885 yards nine TDs and 11 picks in 2017. Those aren’t mind blowing numbers. But then he’s the only quarterback on the Bearcats roster who has actually played a college game. In the rushing department, sophomore running back Gerrid Doaks led the school with 513 yards and two touchdowns last season. He also averaged with 5.9 yards per carry. However, Doaks has been recovering from a shoulder injury. Which allowed Michael Warren II to step up in practice. Warren rushed for more than 100 yards in a scrimmage at Nippert Stadium. Additionally, he ran for 324 yards and a touchdown as a true freshman, with 6.0 yards per carry.
On defense, “I think we’re a lot better,” head coach Luke Fickell said. “I really do. I think we’re stout. We can run. The ability to cover is still what we’ve got to find out. Creating some havoc and some disruption plays has got to be a key for us, not just sacks. I think we’re on the right path.”
The biggest question for the Bruins is who will be the new chosen one to replace Chosen Rosen. Erstwhile starting QB Josh Rosen decided to forgo his senior year and enter the 2018 NFL draft. That left a spot open for three guys; Devon Modster, Wilton Speight, and Dorian Thompson-Robinson. As Rosen’s former backup, Modster is the de facto starter. Moreover, he’s the only one of the three who participated in spring camp. Modster had 15 extra practices in Chip Kelly’s offense before his Speight and DT-R arrived. As a result, he is well acquainted with the ins and outs of the blur offense and has a grasp of what Kelly wants from a QB. So unless Wilton does some of his Speight of hand, Modster is a lock at quarterback.
Cincinnati Bearcats vs. UCLA Bruins Betting Information
- Date: September 1st
- Time: 7:00 pm ET
- Venue: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
Best online sportsbooks odds from InterTops.eu:
- Cincinnati +16½ (-110) 59 (-110) +575
- UCLA -16½ (-110) 59 (-110) -850
- The Bearcats are 2-7 SU in their last nine games.
- The Bearcats are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games.
- The total has gone under in four of the Bearcats’ last six games.
- The Bruins are 2-4 SU in their last six games.
- The Bruins are 2-4 ATS in their last six games.
- The total has gone under in the Bruins’ last three games.
Our FREE Prediction: Coach Kelly is going to want to prove he’s more hope than hype at the Bearcats’ expense. And Modster is going to want to prove he’s more than just Rosen’s understudy. If both deliver, then UCLA should be able to beat Cinci and cover the spread as well.