The Utah Utes will look to break from their recent slump on Thursday when they host the fourth-ranked UCLA Bruins. The once-promising club from Utah has lost consecutive games and four of their last six, which is an undesirable way to close the season. The Bruins are a (speculative) (-5.5) road favorite, with the total currently set to 130 points. The contest is scheduled for an 11:00 PM EST tip-off from the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, UT, and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1. Check out MyBookie’s College Basketball betting odds for the pick of day.
MyBookie College Basketball Game of the Day for 2/24: UCLA Bruins at Utah Utes Preview and Pick
These two programs first met each other on the hardcourt back in the early 1960s but took a long hiatus between meetings until 1983. Another hiatus took place, but the two have now met 18 times since 2011-12. UCLA leads the all-time series by a surprisingly close 13-8. The Bruins have won six straight meetings, including a 19-point victory on January 12th of this year.
UCLA Bruins Team Overview
Despite two separate two-game losing streaks this season, the Bruins have been one of the most consistent teams in the nation. Considering the revolving door that seems to be taking place at the top of the Associated Press rankings each week, that is a large compliment. UCLA is currently on a six-game streak in the right direction bringing their overall record to a sparkling 23-4 with a league record of 14-2 in the Pac-12.
The Bruins are the second-best team in the Pac-12 this season against the spread with a record of 16-11. They are outperforming the anticipated margin by a league-best +3.0 points per contest with a margin of victory of +14.7 points which also leads the league. The Bruins have covered in four of their last five games, including a 24.5-point spread in their most recent contest against the Cal Golden Bears.
Utah Utes Team Overview
As stated above, Utah was once in very good standing on the season before falling on hard times. As of January 26th, the Utes were 15-7 with an 8-3 record in league play. Since then, Craig Smith’s club has gone just 2-4 straight up and removed themselves from the tournament discussion.
Utah has been mediocre against the spread on the season with a 14-14 record ATS to this point. The Utes are outperforming the spread by +1.3 points per contest and own a margin of victory number of +6.9 points, which ranks third in the Pac-12 on the seasons. Utah has covered just a single game over their last six contests but has gone under the total in five of their last seven games, which creates a juicy trend.
The spread is certainly attainable and likely in UCLA’s favor as Utah has not been their best as of late while the Bruins are charging towards a possible top seed in the dance. The under is also in play here as both teams rank within the top 35 in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, and both clubs have gone under in five of their last seven contests.
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