The 7th-seeded Northwestern Wildcats (22-11) and No. 2 UCLA Bruins (30-5) will battle in a Saturday NCAA Tournament game in Sacramento. The West Region 2nd-round game at the Golden 1 Center will tip off at 8:40 p.m. ET (TNT). Let’s analyze Tipico Sportsbook’s lines around the Northwestern vs. UCLA odds as we make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and best bets.
Northwestern advanced with a 75-67 win over Boise State Thursday. The 75 points marked the most in a Wildcats road or neutral-site game since Jan. 25 (78 vs. Nebraska). Northwestern committed just 7 turnovers Thursday; NU has averaged just 7.9 TO per game according to sports-reference.com.
UCLA is No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll.
The Bruins downed UNC Asheville 86-53 Thursday, and the win sealed the program’s 10th 30-win season. UCLA has allowed just 59.3 points per game in going 13-1 since Feb. 2 (sports-reference.com).
Northwestern vs. UCLA odds
Provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 9:10 a.m. ET.
- Moneyline (ML): Northwestern +280 (bet $100 to win $280) | UCLA -340 (bet $340 to win $100)
- Against the spread (ATS): Northwestern +7.5 (-112) | UCLA -7.5 (-108)
- Over/Under (O/U): 126.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)
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Northwestern vs. UCLA picks and predictions
UCLA 70, Northwestern 64
UCLA is a worth 75% favorite here, so there is not enough return on the underdog side and too much of a price on the favorite side. PASS.
UCLA figures to keep this one right around a 2-possession lead. No lean on this spread. PASS.
The Over is 2-1 in NU’s last 3 games and 4-2 in UCLA’s last 6.
Some regression in defensive field-goal percentages is the forecast here, and in a slow-vs.-moderate battle, figure this total as being a touchdown too low.
The Bruins have been getting to the line more of late. Look for chances there and on putbacks to fuel some higher scoring here.
BACK THE OVER 126.5 (-110).
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