UCLA Bruins at Arizona State Sun Devils (+4.5,
Arizona State will have to get by without its starting
quarterback when the No. 12 Sun Devils host No. 10 UCLA in a
key Pac-12 contest on Thursday night. Taylor Kelly remains
sidelined with a right foot injury suffered Sept. 13 against
Colorado, the last time the Sun Devils played a game. UCLA
might also have to go with a backup as quarterback Brett
Hundley remains questionable with an injury to his non-throwing
elbow, which occurred in a Sept. 13 win versus Texas.
In the absence of Kelly, Mike Bercovici will make his first
collegiate start for Arizona State and he’s familiar to UCLA
offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, who recruited him when he
was an assistant coach at Arizona State under former head coach
Dennis Erickson. If Hundley is unable to play against the Sun
Devils, the Bruins would likely start Jerry Neuheisel, son of
former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel, but coach Jim Mora also
indicated freshman Asiantii Woulard might get some action
behind center. Hundley would certainly be missed, as he has
completed 70.4 percent of his passes through three games,
accounting for 686 yards and three touchdowns through the
TV: 10 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1.
LINE HISTORY: The Westgate LV Superbook opened the Sun
Devils as 5.5-point home dogs, but that now sits +4.
INJURY REPORT: UCLA – QB Brett
Hundley (Probable, elbow), OL Jake Brendel (Questionable,
knee), OL Conor McDermott (Questionable, undisclosed).
Arizona State – DE Ezekiel Bishop
WEATHER: Temperatures in the low-90s with
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: UCLA (-15.5) – Arizona
State (-14.5) + home field (-3.0) = Arizona State -2
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “Status of both starting
quarterbacks (UCLA’s Brett Hundley questionable; Arizona
State’s Taylor Kelly out) has put line on this contest in
question. Bruins will look to snap a gnarly 0-8 ATS road record
when seeking conference revenge (lost, 38-33, to ASU last
season) while the Sun Devils look to start the season 4-0 for
the first time since 2007 in this battle of PAC-12 South
division leaders.” Covers
Expert March Lawrence.
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “As we expected, the betting community
believes the underdog on national TV has a good chance to
upset. We’re in the mid 60s as far as percentile for ASU side
and moneyline. This spread has slowly crept down after a small
initial jump and we just moved to +3.5. I won’t be surprised if
this one closes at a field goal.” John Lester,
ABOUT UCLA (3-0 SU, 0-3 ATS, 1-2 O/U): The
Bruins have found little room in the run game this season but
one of the few bright spots has been the play of Paul Perkins,
who has rushed for 304 yards and three touchdowns this season.
He posted the first 100-yard rushing game of his career in the
win against Texas, finishing with 126 yards on 24 carries, and
his bruising running style should wear on the Sun Devils. UCLA
returned its top four rushers from last season but are still
looking for Jordon James and Myles Jack to flash the
elusiveness they showed a year ago.
ABOUT ARIZONA STATE (3-0 SU, 1-2 ATS, 1-2
O/U): De’Marieya Nelson caught seven passes for 107
yards and two touchdowns last season but the 6-3, 224-pound
senior is expected to see more action at linebacker than tight
end against the Bruins. He had 16 tackles on the defensive side
of the ball a year ago, forced two fumbles and recovered
another. Nelson is also a key special-teams player for the Sun
Devils, making him one of the rare three-way stars of college
* Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
* Bruins are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 meetings.
* Over is 6-0 in Sun Devils last six games following a bye
* Sun Devils are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a
COVERS CONSENSUS: 60 percent of wagers on Covers
Consensus are backing Arizona State.