With just over three months to go until kick-off, oddsmakers have offered some concrete expectations for the Bruins’ upcoming season.
BetOnline released its over/under regular-season winning totals for the 2022 college football season on Monday, setting the first expectations for teams across the country. UCLA’s mark has been set at 8.5, meaning anyone taking the lead would bet the Bruins would improve on their 8-4 campaign from last fall.
The odds of UCLA making the over are -120, while the odds of missing nine regular season wins are -110.
The Bruins have not had nine regular-season wins since they did so in consecutive 2013 and 2014 seasons under coach Jim Mora. Coach Chip Kelly has not broken eight after finishing his first three regular seasons at Westwood under .500.
However, UCLA is heavily favored to start the season 3-0 with no Power Five opponents on their non-conference list. The Bruins would then only need to go 6-3 in the Pac-12 game — a mark they’ve reached in 2021 and four of the last 10 seasons — to make the over while they’re about the business against Bowling Green, Alabama State and take care of southern alabama.
UCLA brings back its offensive play-caller, quarterback and running back from the No. 1-scoring offense in the conference in Kelly, Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Zach Charbonnet.
However, receiver Kyle Philips, tight end Greg Dulcich, right tackle Alec Anderson and left tackle Sean Rhyan have moved to the NFL, and the defense lost 10 starters to the pros and transfer portal. Former Boston College defensive coordinator Bill McGovern replaces Jerry Azzinaro — bolstered by new position coaches Chad Kauha’aha’a, Ikaika Malloe and Ken Norton Jr. and several top-level transfers — to reverse the unity that cost Bruins have notched up a handful of wins in recent seasons.
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In the entire Pac-12, USC has the highest regular-season over/under with 9.5 wins. Oregon and Utah have the second-highest win totals with UCLA at 8.5. With the new non-divisional Pac-12 championship game format introduced on May 18, this means the Bruins are considered the second most likely team, alongside the Ducks and Utes, to face the Trojans in the title game.
Arizona is placed last with a 2.5 win over/under as the favorite, while Colorado is not far behind with 3.5 wins. Arizona State, Cal, Oregon State, and Washington State are all at 5.5, while Washington is at 7.5 and Stanford is at 4.5.
That makes USC, UCLA, Oregon, Utah and Washington the only Pac-12 teams favored to make a bowl while most of the conference is considered borderline postseason qualifiers.
UCLA is expected to play all three of the preseason co-favorites this fall, starting with a home game against Utah on Oct. 8. After a bye week, the Bruins take on Oregon on the road on October 22nd.
The crosstown rivalry game between UCLA and USC is scheduled for Nov. 19, a showdown that could decide which program deserves a spot in the Pac-12 championship game based on current odds.
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