College Basketball Picks: UCLA Bruins Futures Odds
by George Monroy - 10/4/2013
It has been 18 years since the UCLA Bruins last hoisted up a NCAA basketball championship banner in Pauley Pavilion. It has been so long that any basketball bettors under the age of 30 would hardly remember it. The epic heroics of Ed O’Bannon and Tyus Edney would fall on deaf years if you tried to recount them in this day and age. The last time the Bruins had any sort of success in the single-elimination tournament was in 2008 when the team made the Final Four and was eliminated by Derrick Rose and the Memphis Tigers.
Last season, the Bruins entered the NCAA Tournament as the six-seed in the South bracket only to be upset in the first-round by the No. 11-seed Minnesota Golden Gophers. This season UCLA is expected a solid team that will probably be invited to the tournament but will not be a threat to actually win a national title. The team is closer to the bottom of the championship odds than they are to the top Let’s take a closer look at the UCLA Bruins and figure out just how good they will be this season.
UCLA Bruins: +10000
The UCLA Bruins are not a real title threat this season, and wagering on them is probably a waste of a bet. This future is for the hardcore fans that want something to sweat for the entire season, and they would hate themselves if a miracle happened and UCLA made a Cinderella-type run. However, just because the Bruins will most likely not be winning a national title next year, that does not mean that there is no value wagering on the team. Last year UCLA finished the season with a 25-10 mark and nearly had a .500 ATS record as well. And this year the Bruins should receive a helping hand from the oddsmakers with its spreads since the team is not expected to be a powerhouse in the Pac-12.
UCLA hired a new coach Steve Alford—a former Indiana player and Iowa and New Mexico coach—who comes with a world of basketball experience and a bit of a hot streak as his teams have made the postseason tournament during six of the last eight years. The team will be returning three of its starters from last season in Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson and Travis Wear. Adams averaged 15 points-per-game last season and is expected to carry the scoring load for the Bruins this season and should be able to average around 20 points per game with the offense running through him. Travis Wear and his twin brother David Wear will also be important parts of the team and will anchor the defense and low-post offense.
The Bruins will be one of the larger teams in the nation, and if they can fall in line with coach Alford and build chemistry during the early portions of the season, they could be a threat to cover spreads and maybe even make a deep tournament run. Arizona will be the favorite to win the Pac-12, but UCLA could be a dark-horse pick to have a great season.
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