Free College Basketball Picks: Nevada at UCLA Odds
by George Monroy - 11/27/2013
The UCLA Bruins have been on a tear to start the college basketball season. The team has won five straight, and outside of a close victory over Drexel during the first game of the year, UCLA has dominated its opponents by an average of 29 points per game. The Bruins have benefitted from a light schedule over their first five games, but they are about to play their first back-to-back of the year when they face the Nevada Wolf Pack and the Northwestern Wildcats in the Las Vegas Invitational tournament beginning Thanksgiving night.
The Wolf Pack started the season on a mediocre 3-3 pace and are about to play their biggest game of the year when they face the No. 19 Bruins. Nevada is not expected to face another Top-25 team all season but will play four nationally-televised games this year. Let’s take a closer look at Thursday’s matchup between Nevada and UCLA and figure out which side has the most value to wager on.
Nevada at UCLA Betting Story Lines
The Bruins last played the Chattanooga Mocs on Sunday and blew the team out by 41 points. They scored 59 in the second half alone. UCLA was led by second-year guard Jordan Adams, who scored 22 points on 7-13 shooting and added 10 rebounds and seven assists. Kyle Anderson also added 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, while forward Tony Parker grabbed 14 boards for the team.
UCLA is one of the highest-scoring teams in the nation and averages 87.2 points per game. The team has four players scoring in double-digits and averages 42 rebounds per game. Adams is averaging 22 points per game, while the Bruins are shooting .532 percent from the field and .721 percent from the free throw line. UCLA could use some improvement from the three-point range where the team only shoots .351 percent. The Bruins, however, have played fantastic on the defensive end by smothering opponents on the perimeter and allowing few fast-break points.
Nevada has only covered two spreads through the team’s first six games of the season and is coming off of a five-point loss to Morehead State. The Wolf Pack are being led by senior Deonte Burton, who is averaging 24 points and 2.5 assists. Overall, the team is shooting .446 percent from the field, which is average at best, and they are grabbing only 33 rebounds per game. Nevada shot poorly from the field during its last game on Sunday and made only 17 of 50 shots while shooting 29 percent from the three-point line. The Wolf Pack’s strength has been their free throw shooting, which continually falls in the 70- to 80-percent range.
Nevada at UCLA NCAA odds and Key Trends
UCLA opened as a -13.5 point favorite over the underdog Wolf Pack. The total was off the board at the time this article was written. The Bruins are 5-2 ATS during their last seven games following a SU win, and they have dominated their last 23 Thursday games with a 15-7-1 ATS record. However, the team has had trouble covering back-to-back spreads and is 5-13 ATS following an ATS win dating back to last season. The Wolf Pack are a solid 7-2 ATS over their last nine Thursday games, but they are only 3-7 ATS over their last 10 overall games. Nevada is 2-5 ATS following a SU loss and carries the same record over its last seven nonconference games.
Free College Basketball Picks: Nevada at UCLA Predictions
Nevada does not grab nearly enough rebounds to control the pace of the game, and will be at the mercy of a fast UCLA team that likes to run with the ball. The Bruins are big, can rebound, and shoot at a high percentage from most areas of the floor. Expect Nevada to rely on Deonte Burton to do most of the heavy lifting, but UCLA has a very athletic defense that should be able to contain him and shutdown the rest of the offense. Take UCLA minus the points.
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