Can UCLA Pull Off Upset at Michigan?

Willie Bee

Saturday, December 9, 2017 2:02 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017 2:02 PM UTC

After losing a big lead and getting whipped at Ohio State, the Michigan Wolverines are favored on the NCAA basketball odds today against the UCLA Bruins.

UCLA Bruins vs Michigan Wolverines

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Free NCAAB Pick: UCLA +4½Best Line Offered: at Heritage

Steve Alford and the UCLA Bruins left home Friday with fires burning all around Los Angeles. Saturday in Ann Arbor, they’ll likely see the other extreme with snow in the forecast while they’re in town to take on the Michigan Wolverines.

The good news is it should be toasty inside Crisler Center for the noon (ET) tip that will be carried by CBS. Both teams are in search of their eighth win on the campaign, and BetOnline believes Michigan has the best chance with the Wolverines listed -4½. Scoreboard punters have some options with 145-147 being offered by various shops for the total.

Wolverines Blow 20-Point Lead, Fall At Ohio State

Those wildfires around LA forced the Bruins to cancel their game with Montana earlier this week, otherwise they would be in search of No. 9 on the season. With all of the distractions from both the fires and the shoplifting debacle while UCLA was in China a month ago, Alford has done a good job keeping his team focused with just the lone loss to Creighton in the Hall of Fame Classic marring their record. After failing to cover their first four games, the Bruins have bounced back with three spread winners in the last four contests.

Michigan returns home following a 71-62 loss at Ohio State on Monday. John Beilein’s boys seemingly had the game in hand when up by 20 in the first half, but the Buckeyes went on a 26-3 run that straddled the two halves to gain control in a game that closed with Ohio State favored by a bucket on the NCAA basketball odds. Moritz Wagner had 14 for the Wolverines along with nine rebounds, but both he and Duncan Robinson battled foul trouble much of the second half.

Rivalry Trends, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

It’s the 18th meeting between the two schools, and comes a day short of exactly one year since the last get-together. Eight of the matchups took place at neutral sites, including a Round of 32 contest in the 1998 NCAA Tournament that UCLA won. The Bruins posted a 102-84 decision at Pauley Pavilion last December, almost doubling-up a -8½ point spread to take a 12-5 lead in the series. The final had more than enough to cash for those holding ‘over’ 146 slips.

Michigan’s last two losses – at Ohio State and at North Carolina – had similar feels to them with the Wolverines going stale late in the first half and coming out even flatter to start the final 20 minutes. Maybe the hostile crowds played into that and being home today will be different. Still, I’m grabbing the Bruins plus the points for my free college basketball pick.

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