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Colorado vs. UCLA Predictions, Odds

 

  • January 2, 2020
  • By Thom Cunningham
  • VegasInsider.com

A huge Pac-12 matchup sees the Colorado Buffaloes enter their third straight road game when they go up against the UCLA Bruins. Opening tip is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. (ET) and will air on the Pac-12 Network.

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WHERE TO BET COLORADO-UCLA

Colorado-UCLA Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: UCLA -2
  • Money-Line: UCLA -156 Colorado +125
  • Total: 138.5

Odds Subject to Change

UCLA enters this home game as a slight -2-point favorite, although that line has gone both up and down depending on which sportsbook you use. The Bruins are undefeated at home, while covering the spread in five of eight games this season.

Colorado is coming off a huge road win against USC, dusting off a rubbish performance against Arizona. This marks the Buffaloes' third straight road game, going 3-2 away from Boulder. Colorado has covered six of its last nine games.

The point total is 138.5, which Colorado has seen go UNDER in six of nine games this season. UCLA has gone OVER the point total in five of eight games played this season.

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Betting Analysis – Colorado Buffaloes

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 7-2
  • ATS: 6-3
  • SU - Home: 4-0
  • SU - Away: 3-2
  • O/U: 3-6

What a huge win Colorado saw against USC this week, playing great defense and getting points off forcing bad shot selections. Colorado's second half scoring did slow down, as it seemed the point total was heading OVER at halftime.

This brings more conviction into betting on Colorado's defense more times than not, as the Arizona game seemed to be a fluke rather than a real concern. Colorado was able to win a slower tempo game against USC, which is to be expected again here. The Buffaloes allow the 32nd-fewest points per game at 61.3 and have held opponents to 69 points or less in eight of nine games.

With Chris Smith questionable for UCLA, it's fair to assume Colorado's defense will be evident in this game. McKinley Wright IV will be taking on UCLA's Tyger Campbell, a fun matchup to watch. Expect Wright IV to play great defense in this game, averaging 1.2 steals per game.

Evan Battey was able to help close out the Trojans, and is becoming the timely-played veteran that Colorado can go to in clutch situations. He and Jeriah Horne are great big men for Wright to play around, as this team is very dangerous when playing with defensive urgency.

Colorado is also the best free throw shooting team in the nation, so UCLA will have its hands full if Chris Smith can't go. Colorado is the much more physical team in this matchup, but the thought of fatigue setting in for a third straight road game is warranted for concern.

Betting Analysis – UCLA Bruins

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 6-2
  • ATS: 5-3
  • SU - Home: 5-0
  • SU - Away: 1-2
  • O/U: 5-3

UCLA is a tough read, dropping close games to both San Diego State and Ohio State while beating Marquette. The one take away from UCLA is that the team plays vastly better at home, evident from a pair of road losses to the mentioned schools.

UCLA typically plays good teams close, so seeing the small spread isn't a surprise. It's not a surprise to see UCLA favored either, as the Bruins are tough to beat inside the Pavilion. Tyger Campbell has already been mentioned, the team's quarterback despite only being a sophomore.

Campbell averages over seven assists per game, but he may have to produce more buckets if Chris Smith can't go. Jaime Jaquez leads the Bruins in scoring, averaging 13.3 points per game. This game will come down to three players if Chris Smith can't go.

Jules Bernard, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley all have to play well if UCLA wants to win this physical battle. All three players average 8.5 or more points per game, along with five or more rebounds per game. If Smith can go, then they won't be needed as much - but either way their production will determine whether or not UCLA can pull away from a tough Colorado defense.

Inside the Stats – Colorado Buffaloes

  • PS/G: 76.8 (109th)
  • PA/G: 61.3 (32nd)
  • Off Rtg: 112.7 (41st)
  • Def Rtg: 90 (62nd)

Inside the Stats – UCLA Bruins

  • PS/G: 76.6 (114th)
  • PA/G: 67.8 (135th)
  • Off Rtg: 111.3 (56th)
  • Def Rtg: 98.4 (193rd)

Key Players to Watch

  • CU - McKinley Wright IV (15.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 5.4 APG)
  • CU - Jeriah Horne (10.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG)
  • UCLA - Jaime Jaquez (13.3 PPG, 5.9 RPG)
  • UCLA - Tyger Campbell (10.9 PPG, 7.3 APG)

Colorado-UCLA Predictions

There's no reason to doubt the UNDER again, as Colorado typically does. UCLA has gone OVER in five of eight, but Colorado's defense is more trustworthy to control the game than UCLA's offense is (especially without Smith). The Arizona scare should be put at rest for Colorado UNDER bettors, as the USC game provided conviction in a much more focused Colorado team to close out the tough road slate.

Picking a winner is difficult, and might actually come down to Smith's status in the game. The point total going UNDER would seem to favor Colorado here, but taking UCLA with the point total should see one bet hit at minimum. UCLA is a better lean at home as well, as Colorado might keep it close before fatigue ultimately sets in from three long road games.

Buying into the fatigue theory Colorado may hit at some point in this game, perhaps taking UCLA to win the second half is a good bet as well. Consider live betting that approach, but have no fear in the point total going UNDER between all the bets discussed.

  • Score Prediction: UCLA 67 Colorado 64
  • Best Bets: UNDER
  • Best Bets: UCLA

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