Sunday, February 25, 2024

March Madness: Gonzaga vs. UCLA odds, picks and predictions

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The Gonzaga Bulldogs (30-5) battle the UCLA Bruins (31-5) Thursday in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Tip from T-Mobile Arena is set for 9:45 p.m. ET (CBS). Let’s analyze Tipico Sportsbook’s lines around the Gonzaga vs. UCLA odds as we make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and best bets.

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The 3rd-seeded Bulldogs took down No. 6 TCU 84-81 Sunday, failing to cover a 4.5-point spread on a last-second 3 by the Horned Frogs. Gonzaga failed to cover its 1st-round matchup as well, beating Grand Canyon 82-70  as a 15.5-point favorite. It is 1-3 against the spread (ATS) in postseason play and 1-3 O/U as well.

The No. 2 seed UCLA is 3-1-1 ATS in the postseason. It beat No. 15 UNC Asheville 86-53 in the 1st round, covering as a 17.5-point favorite. It then failed to cover as a 7.5-point favorite against No. 7 Northwestern in a 68-63 win. The Bruins are led by G Jamie Jaquez Jr., who is averaging 17.5 points per game.

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Gonzaga 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 12:54 a.m. ET.

  • Moneyline (ML): Gonzaga +100 (bet $100 to win $100) | UCLA -120 (bet $120 to win $100)
  • Against the spread (ATS): Gonzaga +1.5 (-112) | UCLA -1.5 (-108)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 145.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)

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Gonzaga vs. UCLA picks and predictions

Prediction

Gonzaga 73, UCLA 70

Moneyline

BET GONZAGA (+100).

The Bruins are beat up with both F David Singleton and F Adem Bona dealing with injuries. They are currently the 3rd- and 4th-leading scorers for UCLA in postseason play.

While it may not seem like it has an aggressive schedule, Gonzaga has taken down Alabama, Xavier and Michigan State this season — 3 of the remaining 16 teams. It beat a top Big 12 side in TCU as well in a game that felt more distant than the 3-point ending.

The Bruins didn’t have a great non-conference schedule, losing to Baylor and Illinois yet beating Kentucky and Maryland.

Gonzaga has the most efficient offense in the NCAA per Kenpom, and with the 12th-most difficult non-conference schedule, the veteran side should be able to come out on top. Back GONZAGA (+100).

Against the spread

PASS.

I would rather play Gonzaga to win outright given the difference in odds.

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Over/Under

LEAN UNDER 145.5 (-110).

UCLA plays at the 245th-slowest pace in the NCAA. Couple that with its No. 2 defense in the NCAA, and it should want this game to be played at a slower pace, the best way to take on the Bulldogs. UCLA is 3-2 O/U in postseason play while Gonzaga is 1-3 O/U.

The pace of this game should help dictate the total, and the presence of UCLA G Tyger Campbell should be a key reason why the Bulldogs struggle to play at an ultra-fast tempo. Given that, take the UNDER 145.5 (-110).

For sports betting picks and tips, check out SportsbookWire.com and BetFTW. Plus, try out the USA TODAY Parlay Calculator and please gamble responsibly.

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