Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. UCLA Bruins Betting Preview & Predictions

Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. UCLA Bruins Betting Preview & Predictions

Darin Zank
Date: March 23, 9:45 pm
Location: T-Mobile Arena

Betting Odds

Point Spread: Gon +2/UCLA -2
Total: 145.5

It’s a rematch of an epic Final Four game from a couple of years ago when Gonzaga meets UCLA in a West Regional semifinal Thursday night in Las Vegas. The Bull-dogs tied for a share of another West Coast Conference regular-season title this season, then won the conference tournament. The Bruins won the PAC-12’s regu-lar-season crown, then lost the conference tournament championship game.</p>
<p>Which way are we going here with our free NCAA tournament betting pick?</p>
<h2>NCAA Tournament Betting Odds </h2>
<p>The NCAA tournament betting lines opened UCLA as a point-and-a-half favorite over Gonzaga, with an over/under of right around 145.5. Early betting action then bumped the Bruins to -2.</p>
<p>According to Sagarin’s NCAAB ratings at USAToday.com, UCLA should be favored by 1.5 points for this match-up.</p>
<h2>Gonzaga-UCLA Betting Preview</h2>
<p>The Bulldogs opened this NCAA tournament last week with an 82-70 victory over Grand Canyon but came up short ATS as 16-point favorites. Gonzaga then outlast-ed TCU Sunday night 84-81 but again came up short ATS at -4.5.</p>
<p>Nonetheless, the Zags are back in the Sweet 16 for the eighth straight Big Dance.</p>
<p>Gonzaga trailed Texas Christian by as many as 10 points in the first half last Sun-day, 38-33 into the locker room and 55-50 with 12 minutes left. But the Bulldogs then used a 13-0 run to take the lead for good and held on from there.</p>
<p>Unfortunately for Zags financial backers, a meaningless half-court Horned Frogs 3-pointer at the buzzer cost Gonzaga the cover.</p>
<p>The Bulldogs “only” shot 45 percent from the floor Sunday, eight percentage points below their season average, which led the Nation. But they also won the battle on the glass 43-36.</p>
<p>Two days prior to that, Gonzaga led Grand Canyon by 22 midway through the second half but took its foot off the gas and gave up the cash.</p>
<p>The Zags are now 9-4 SU but 4-9 ATS this season against teams that made the NCAA tournament.</p>
<p>Meanwhile, the Bruins opened their NCAA tournament with an 86-53 romp over UNC-Ashville, covering at -18. UCLA then held off Northwestern last Saturday 68-63 but came up short ATS at -7.</p>
<p>So the Bruins are back in the Sweet 16 for the third straight season.</p>
<p>UCLA led the Wildcats Saturday by as many as 14 points in the first half, by ten into the locker room, and by 13 early in the second half. The Bruins then allowed Northwestern to rally and tie the score at 45 with 11 minutes left. But UCLA then scored the next six points of the game and held on from there for the victory.</p>
<p>Unfortunately for the Bruins' financial backers three late Wildcats free throws cost them the cash.</p>
<p>UCLA shot 50 percent from the floor and held Northwestern to just 37 percent shooting.</p>
<p>Two days prior the Bruins shot 54 percent from the field against UNC-Ashville and led by as many as 33, on their way to the W.</p>
<p>So UCLA is now 8-5 SU, 6-6-1 ATS against teams that made the Big Dance this season.</p>
<p>On the injury front the Bruins are already without G Jaylen Clark (Achilles) and now fellow G David Singleton (ankle) is listed as questionable for Thursday night.</p>
<h2>Gonzaga-UCLA Recent History </h2>
<p>These teams played an epic Final Four game two seasons ago, a 93-90 Zags over-time victory decided on a 35-foot banked 3-pointer at the OT buzzer. Gonzaga then beat UCLA early the next season 83-63.</p>
<h2>College Basketball Betting Trends </h2>
<p>The PAC-12 is 3-3 both SU and ATS, in this NCAA tournament.</p>
<h2>Totals Report </h2>
<p>The Overs are 20-14 in Bulldogs games this season which are averaging 162 total points.</p>
<p>The Totals are split 18-18 in Bruins games this season, which are averaging 134 points.</p>

Zaga vs. UCLA Sweet 16 Pick ATS

Gonzaga leads the Nation in offense but UCLA is the better defensive team. And in match-ups like this we love betting on the better defense. Plus, the Bruins come from the better conference and posted the better spread record against teams that made the tournament. We like UCLA here.

Free Pick: Take UCLA -2
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