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Behind the lines

In one way, UCLA is dependable

September 28, 2007|Lonnie White | Times Staff Writer

UCLA's play on the football field may be a little inconsistent but the Bruins' play against the spread vs. Pacific 10 Conference competition has been solid.

The Bruins are 6-0 against the spread in their last six games vs. Pac-10 opponents, including a 44-31 victory over Washington last week at the Rose Bowl.

On Saturday, UCLA (3-1) will travel to Oregon State (2-2) where the Bruins are two-point underdogs. But they have several positive trends going in their favor.

In UCLA's last five games as an underdog of 0.5-3.0 points, the Bruins are 5-0 against the spread. In UCLA's last five road games, the Bruins are 4-1 against the spread and in their last nine games overall, the Bruins are 7-2 against the spread.

And Oregon State? The Beavers are 1-4 in their last five games against the spread vs. teams with winning records.

In other college football action, West Virginia (4-0) is a seven-point favorite at South Florida (3-0) tonight in a key matchup between ranked teams. According to Wagerline.com, the Mountaineers have received 58.19% (1,229-883) of the bets placed as of Thursday.

Pro Football

Dallas (3-0) is off to a great start and is a heavy favorite at home against St. Louis (0-3) on Sunday.

The Cowboys opened the week as a 12-point favorite but the line climbed as high as 14.5 on some boards after news broke about Rams quarterback Marc Bulger's broken ribs.

With St. Louis running back Steven Jackson out because of leg injury, Dallas has received 66.35% (1.244-631) support this week, according to Wagerline.com.

It also should be noted that the Cowboys are 3-0 against the spread this season and 10-3-2 against the spread versus road teams with losing records. And, the Rams -- who have scored only two offensive touchdowns in three games -- are 1-5 in their last six games against the spread versus a team with a winning record.

Here's an interesting NFL note for the week: out of the 14 games being played this weekend, the road team is favored nine times.

Major League Baseball

The New York Mets, who have led the National League East since May 16, are in danger of not only losing out to Philadelphia for the division title but the entire playoffs if they fail to gain a wild-card spot.

The Mets start a crucial three-game series against Florida tonight at Shea Stadium and are -165 favorite to win Game 1, according to Covers.com.

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lonnie.white@latimes.com

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