Explosive UCLA To Rout Michigan At Pauley Pavilion

UCLA player in court

Saturday, December 10, 2016 5:32 PM GMT

SBR contributor Ross Benjamin breaks down Saturday’s game between Michigan and UCLA. Go inside to read Ross’ thoughts pertaining to this contest, and the article culminates with one of his college basketball predictions.

Michigan Wolverines vs UCLA Bruins

The #2 UCLA Bruins and Michigan Wolverines get together on Saturday night for an intriguing non-conference game. The opening tip from Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles comes at 8:00 PM ET, and it will be televised nationally on ESPN2. This will be the first meeting between these storied college basketball programs since 2011.

Currently (9:40 AM ET) the college basketball odds at BetOnline.com has UCLA as a 9.5-point home favorite, and there's a posted total of 150.5. If you're in search of the best sportsbooks, check out our online sports betting rating guide.

Wolverines Calling Card is Defense

After getting off to a 4-0 start, including impressive wins over Marquette and SMU, the Michigan Wolverines have cooled off a bit during its previous 5 games by going 3-2. Nevertheless, one aspect of Michigan's game that's been consistent has been their play on the defensive side of the floor. Michigan is allowing a paltry 58.7 points per game, holding opponents to 40.7% shooting, and limited them to a 30.4% conversion rate from 3-point territory. Conversely, Michigan is averaging only 63.0 points scored per game in its last 5 outings and shot a less than inspiring 41.9% from the field.

Explosive and Impressive

UCLA ascended themselves to a #2 rating in the national polls this week, compared to their previous #11 ranking. The major reason for the drastic jump was a 97-92 road win last Saturday over then #1 Kentucky. That upset victory came as a 10.5-point underdog and improved their record to 9-0, including 6-0 ATS in its last 6. This will be their first game since that epic win at Rupp Arena in Lexington.

The Bruins have been a dynamic and explosive offensive team thus far, besides being extremely entertaining to watch. UCLA heads into today averaging a robust 97.0 points per game, shooting a sizzling hot 55.1% from the field and has converted on a terrific 45.4% of their 3-point attempts. Their 24/13 assist to turnover ratio has been off the charts good. When playing at Pauley Pavilion this season, UCLA has been even more impressive, going 5-0 while winning by 30.6 points per game, and they're averaging a mammoth 104.2 points scored per contest.

Final Analysis and Pick

I've been less than enamored with Michigan in recent games. They barely squeaked by an inexperienced Texas team at home winning by 3 as a sizable 10.0-point favorite, blew a big lead in Ann Arbor during a loss to Virginia Tech, and were blown out 61-46 at South Carolina. I won't bore you with any more accolades about UCLA. Give me the home favorite in this game for one of my Saturday college basketball picks.

Free NCAAB Pick: UCLA -9.5

Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3100619, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,93,123,1275,92], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1 }[/]