College basketball bettors don’t have to wait until Saturday this week for a marquee matchup as it’s a potential Final Four preview on Friday night when No. 4 Villanova visits No. 2 UCLA in a late-night national TV matchup. UCLA likely will be a short favorite on the NCAAB odds.
How to Bet Villanova at UCLA NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info
- When: Friday, 11:30 PM ET
- Where: Pauley Pavilion
- TV: ESPN
- Stream: ESPN app
- Radio: Tunein.com
- Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA
Villanova leads the all-time series 3-2 in a series that began in the 1971 NCAA Final, won by the Bruins 68-62 in Houston’s Astrodome. Villanova made its only other visit to Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 13, 2001, falling to UCLA 93-65. The last meeting was Nov. 24, 2010, and Nova won 82-70 in the 2010 NIT Season Tipoff at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Why Bet on Villanova?
The Wildcats (1-0) opened the season with a 91-51 win over Mount St. Mary’s on Tuesday. Villanova never trailed in a contest when it dropped in 15 3-points by five different players and limited the Mount to 3-of-12 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. The Wildcats also forced 18 turnovers which resulted in a 27-5 advantage in points off turnovers. Justin Moore (27) and Brandon Slater (17) had career-highs in points.
Slater is joining the starting lineup for the first time as a full-time member. He had an effective junior year, but was purely a low usage role player. He showed flashes but only took 54 total field goals during the 2020-21 season.
“We played pretty well,” stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright. “They’re a team that was in the NCAA Tournament last year with a lot of veteran players. They do a really good job. We have respect for them. We thought we played well. That was a good start for us.”
Wright said that he aimed to incorporate a nine-man rotation against the Mountaineers, if possible. He ended up rolling 10 deep, with all 10 checking in at least once by the eight-minute mark in the first half.
The Wildcats are now 20-1 in season openers in the 20 seasons of Wright’s tenure as head coach, including the last 19 in a row since a 73-61 loss to Marquette to open the 2002-03 regular season at Madison Square Garden.
Collin Gillespie was named Preseason Big East Player of the Year and to the Preseason Associated Press All-American team. He had 13 points and five assists Tuesday. Like Gillespie, Jermaine Samuels elected to exercise an additional year of eligibility offered by the NCAA in April. Samuels had 17 points.
Why Bet on UCLA?
UCLA (1-0) opened with a 95-58 win over Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday. Five Bruins scored in double figures, with Jules Bernard and Johnny Juzang contributing 19 points apiece to lead all players. Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 14 points for UCLA, which also got 10 each from Tyger Campbell and Jaylen Clark. Clark added a game-high seven rebounds in a reserve role, while Campbell dished out a game-best four assists.
The Bruins made 31 of its 62 shot attempts (50%), including 13 of 27 (48%) from 3-point range. Defensively, they logged eight blocked shots and seven steals and scored 23 points off Roadrunner turnovers.
UCLA has multiple options to play point guard this year: “We’ve worked really hard this year on whoever gets the rebound is the point guard. I think the more we can carry that over to the games against Villanova, it will help us where I won’t have to draw everything up and these guys can create for each other,” Coach Mick Cronin said. “We’re still growing in that area. We have no problem finding guys who can put it in the basket. But when you play real teams, you’ve got to have guys that can get people open. They’ve got to beat their man and make somebody help and find the open man.”
The news wasn’t all good as starting center Cody Riley hurt his left knee eight minutes into the game and didn’t return. He is not expected to play Friday at a minimum. Riley went for a loose ball and had Roadrunners guard Grehlon Easter dive to the floor and hit his left knee straight on. He lay on the court as the arena went silent, but eventually limped off to the locker room with some fans chanting his name.
Riley started 31 of UCLA’s 32 games last season, including all six in the NCAA tournament. The 6-foot-9 big man averaged 10.0 points and 5.4 rebounds in 23.3 minutes per game last year. The redshirt senior is the Bruins’ most experienced player, having been on the roster since the start of the 2017-2018 season.
- UCLA 80, Villanova 78