UNC Asheville vs. UCLA Tips & Odds
March 10, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Tyger Campbell (10) celebrates with UCLA Bruins guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. (24) after a second-half scoring game against the Oregon Ducks at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
- The No. 2 UCLA Bruins are 17.5-point favorites over the No. 15 UNC Asheville Bulldogs in their NCAA Tournament West Region game on Thursday, March 16
- UNC Asheville have led 9-0 in their last nine games
- UCLA vs UNC Asheville odds and tips are below
The UNC Asheville Bulldogs (27-7, 17-15 ATS) will play their first NCAA tournament game in seven years and meet the UCLA Bruins (29-5, 19-13-2 ATS), the most winning team in March Madness history. UCLA has won a record 11 national titles and, with the team ranked No. 7 in the nation, has a roster that seems capable of a straight dozen.
Surely the odds makers are devastated as the Bruins make short work of the Bulldogs. It’s UCLA that stands as the 17.5-point favorite in this game. The Bruins are the clear betting favorites this season at 28-2.
Odds between UNC Asheville and UCLA
|team||spread||money line||In total|
|UNC Ashville||+17.5 (-110)||+1150||O 136 (-110)|
|UCLA||-17.5 (-110)||-2400||U 136 (-110)|
UCLA is set at a +1200 betting line in the March Madness odds, making the Bruins fifth pick to win the tournament. The Bruins gain a -250 chance of making the Sweet 16. UNC Asheville are assigned odds of +200000 to win the NCAA tournament.
Pick for this game is scheduled for Thursday, March 16th at 10:05pm ET at the Golden 1 Center. The game will be broadcast by truTV.
March 15 odds at Caesars. Get Caesars Sportsbook Promo Code.
Bulldogs vs Bruins betting trends
People show mixed feelings when it comes to betting on this game. In the public spread splits, the Bulldogs get the love. UNC Asheville pulls 75% of the handle and 51% of the bets. In the moneyline splits, there’s a key advantage for UCLA. The Bruins collect 66% of the handle and 90% of the bets.
The over sees the action totaling 136 points. It grabs 58% of the handle and 71% of the bets. Nine of UNC Asheville’s last 13 games have come to an end. In UCLA’s last 16 games, eight undershoots and eight overshoots have occurred.
Worrying injuries for Bruins
A key player is out for the Bruins and a second key performer is unsure if he will play in this game.
Guard Jaylen Clark, the Pac 12 Defensive Player of the Year, is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon. He is third on the team in scoring (13.0 points per game) and second in rebounding (6.0 boards per game).
Adem Bona in the open practice. pic.twitter.com/f6sKwTtc6a
— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) March 15, 2023
Forward Adem Bona, the Pac 12 Freshman of the Year, is questionable with a shoulder injury. He’s trained but will be a game decider. The 6-foot-10 forward averages the best 1.7 blocks per game.
Revenues are a treat for UCLA
UCLA enforces 15.9 turnovers per game. That’s 20th in the nation. According to KenPom, the Bruins rank 19th in the NCAA for forcing non-steal turnovers.
This is of concern to the Bulldogs. They flip the ball 14.1 times per game. This ranks UNC-Asheville 44th in the NCAA for committing turnovers. Senior forward Drew Pember (3.3 per game) and senior guard Caleb Burgess (2.7) are the biggest underdogs for the Bulldogs. Together they have committed 205 of UNC Asheville’s 480 turnovers.
However, Clark’s absence could be a factor here. He averaged a team-high 2.6 steals per game.
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UNC Asheville a widespread threat
UNC Asheville, the 7th best team in the nation from across the arc, hits the 3-point shot at 39.01% odds. Guards Tajion Jones (45.6%) and Fletcher Abee (42.1) are both over 40% from distance. Pember (37.1) is a third starter over 35% in three-shooters.
Many are familiar with UNC Asheville’s Drew Pember, but Tajion Jones is a lesser-known STUD for the Bulldogs. Jones is the only player to have shot 60%+ from 2P and 45.6%+ from 3P on 200+ 3PA over the past 15 seasons. He had some nuclear routes to help Asheville win the Great South. pic.twitter.com/IPolhW3C3x
— Danny Johnson (@dannyjohnson_23) March 16, 2023
UCLA has allowed 714 shots from 3-point range this season. That’s the 18th highest in the nation.
UNC Asheville vs UCLA Prediction
Guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. drives the bus for UCLA. He leads the team in points (17.3) and rebounds (8.1) per game. Pember (21.2 points, 9.4 rebounds) does the same for UNC Asheville.
The difference is when Jaquez has a day off, UCLA has others to pick him up. Pember needs to play his A-game for the Bulldogs to have a chance.
UNC Asheville will keep that close, but UCLA has been with the Sweet 16 two straight years. The Bruins’ depth and experience will define the day in a close game.
Choice: UNC Asheville Bulldogs +17.5 (-110)
Other March Madness predictions for the first round:
As an industry veteran, Bob literally taught the history of sport course at the Elder College. He has worked as a sports columnist for Postmedia, has been a guest on several radio stations, has served as vice president of the Ontario Society For International Hockey Research, and has written 25 books.
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