LSU vs. UCLA Predictions, Odds, Preview

Sept. 4, 2021
Jonathan Willis
VI Betting Expert

LSU Tigers vs. UCLA Bruins Predictions

Score Prediction - LSU 38 UCLA 28

The UCLA Bruins were the most impressive team in Week 0 of the new college football season. UCLA routed Hawaii 44-10 last Saturday and jumped out to a 24-3 lead in the first quarter. That has some optimistic about their chances against the LSU Tigers this weekend. LSU is coming off a 5-5 season that ended with Ed Orgeron changing both his coordinators just one year after winning a national championship.

We didn’t see too much out of Dorian Thompson-Robinson last week. UCLA’s star quarterback completed just 10 of 20 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown, as the Bruins carved up Hawaii’s front seven. Michigan transfer Zach Charbonnet ran for 106 yards and three touchdowns on six carries, while Brittain Brown carried the ball 13 times for 78 yards and a score.

It won’t be anywhere near as easy to run the ball on LSU. The Tigers were uncharacteristically bad on defense in 2020, but former NFL assistant Daronte Jones should bring a return to normalcy this season. LSU’s front seven has a lot of talent and Derek Stingley is one of the top cornerbacks in the country.

There are a lot of questions surrounding the Bayou Bengals. Myles Brennan is out for an indefinite amount of time, leading to LSU starting Max Johnson under center for the opener. Johnson wasn’t as effective as Brennan in 2020, but he wasn’t bad either, completing 58.7% of his passes for 7.1 YPA with eight touchdowns and an interception.

LSU wants to establish the run in order to help Johnson out as much as possible. This offensive line should be one of the best in the country with four seniors or graduate students starting up front, so Tyrion Davis-Price and John Emery Jr. should have some nice running lanes.

UCLA’s defense has not been good during the Chip Kelly era, but the Bruins did play well on this side of the ball last week.

The LSU Tigers have won eight straight non-conference games. (AP)

LSU Tigers vs. UCLA Bruins Best Bets

  • LSU -3

LSU Tigers vs. UCLA Bruins Game Odds

  • LSU -155
  • UCLA +125
  • LSU (-3) -110
  • UCLA (+3) -110
  • Over 65 -110
  • Under 65 -110

Odds per BetMGM - Subject to Change

LSU Tigers vs. UCLA Bruins Betting Resources

  • Venue: Rose Bowl
  • Location: Pasadena, California
  • TV-Time: FOX - 8:30 p.m. ET
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LSU Tigers vs. UCLA Bruins Betting Analysis

Don’t get blinded by what you saw in Week 0. UCLA looked awfully impressive, but the Bruins had the benefit of playing a Hawaii team that is in disarray. LSU has far more talent and is loaded with future NFL players on defense. Johnson is good enough to lead the Tigers to a comfortable win in the Rose Bowl.

LSU Tigers vs. UCLA Bruins Betting Trends

  • LSU has lost three of its last five road games.
  • UCLA has seen one team score at least 43 points in three straight games.
  • UCLA has lost two of its last three home games.