Glass Work is Key in Cincinnati-UCLA Clash: Free NCAAB Picks

Willie Bee

Saturday, December 16, 2017 1:32 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017 1:32 PM UTC

Being a home underdog on the NCAA basketball odds doesn’t happen often for the UCLA Bruins, but that’s the case today with Cincinnati visiting Pauley Pavilion.

My pick: Cincinnati-UCLA Under 148½
Best Lines are (-105) at Heritage
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Saturday afternoon’s matchup in Los Angeles between the UCLA Bruins and Cincinnati Bearcats is a rematch from the Round of 32 this past March. Could it also be a preview of another NCAA Tournament game three months from now?

Only time will tell if such a rematch will take place when invitations are extended to the next Big Dance. For now, the time we’re concerned with is a 3:30 PM (ET) tip at Pauley Pavilion that CBS will televise. 5Dimes is carrying Cincinnati on a -3 line with 148½ for the total.

Bruins Hit Floor For 1st Time Since Tough Loss At Michigan
With renovations ongoing at their own Fifth Third arena, every game this year is going to feel like a roadie – or at best, a neutral site affair – for the Bearcats who are playing their ‘home’ games across the Ohio River in Kentucky. Mick Cronin’s crew put a pair of losses to Xavier and Florida behind them on Tuesday with a 65-50 decision over Mississippi State as 13 point chalk, using an 8-0 run in the first half to take control of the contest and hand the Bulldogs their first setback of the campaign.

Steve Alford’s squad has had a week off since a disappointing overtime loss at Michigan last Saturday. The Bruins were up by 15 a little more than five minutes into the second half but couldn’t maintain the momentum in seeing a 4-game win streak stopped. Aaron Holiday scored 27 and Thomas Welsh added 22, but the UCLA bench contributed very little on 1-of-13 shooting and an empty 0-for-7 from 3-point range.

Series History, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
After each side posted comfortable wins in the opening round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, UCLA and Cincinnati collided in Sacramento for the second round of the South Region. The No. 6 seed Bearcats went to the locker room with a small lead, but the No. 3 seed Bruins used a strong 18-5 run in the second half to assume command en route to a 79-67 win as 3½ point favorites. UCLA pulled off a similar triumph in the ’02 Tournament, toppling West Region No. 1 seed Cincinnati in overtime of a second round match. The series stands knotted at 2-2 now, three of their meetings take place in the NCAA’s.

These are two of the better teams at giving themselves second chances on the offensive glass, and they’re each top 20 in overall rebounds. How close the refs call the bumping and pushing under the board could be a huge factor, and I like the ‘under’ for my free college basketball pick in the end.

Season: 11-16 (-5.80)

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