NCAA Basketball Picks: Oregon vs. UCLA

Jeff Grant

Saturday, March 16, 2013 3:00 PM GMT

Saturday, Mar. 16, 2013 3:00 PM GMT

The UCLA Bruins have tallied two impressive come-from-behind wins in the Pac-12 Tournament to this point, but they’ll be without one of their best players when taking on the Oregon Ducks Saturday night.


Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball betting odds for this high-profile affair at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, with the opening tip scheduled for 11:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Looks like another championship run

Oregon has opened up the Pac-12 Tournament with victories over the Utah Utes and Washington State Cougars, which could lead to another title in this event, as it has won both of its previous appearances in the title game.

The Ducks are 1-5 against the spread (ATS) in their last six neutral site games, while the UNDER is on a 5-1 run in that situation.

Broken dreams

UCLA was a legitimate contender to reach the Final Four this year, but any type of run likely ended Friday night, as second-leading scorer Jordan Adams suffered a season-ending foot injury in a 66-64 win over the Arizona Wildcats as four-point underdogs.

Adams joined up with fellow freshman Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad to account for 55.4 percent of the team’s points heading into this event, while the trio played 43.1 percent of the minutes.

70 is the key number

In averaging 71.5 points per game on the season, Oregon is certainly capable of going above that mark Saturday night, considering its opponent is allowing 69.0 points per game on a neutral floor during the 2012-13 NCAA basketball season.

The Ducks are 17-1 when scoring 70 or more points, which includes a 76-67 victory over the Bruins as five-point road underdogs on Jan. 19, while going UNDER the posted total of 146.5.  

This one is sure to be a 'Show Stopper'. Another killer game will be Michigan State vs. Ohio State!

Muhammad is the key player to watch

College basketball handicappers are certainly aware of the impact Muhammad has on a game, which is clearly demonstrated in the Bruins’ 12-1 record when he finishes with 20-plus points in a game.

He’ll certainly be a fan favorite for any locals that attend this matchup on the Las Vegas Strip—playing his prep basketball in the area.

The freshman star finished with 10 points against the Ducks in the only regular-season meeting between these two teams, but he played just 28 minutes due to starting on the bench due to being late for a practice leading up to the game.

[gameodds]14/224856/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’ve established the Ducks as 3.5-point neutral-site favorites in this affair, which means they’d offer value at a number of three or lower, while the Bruins should attract your attention at four or higher in the basketball betting market.

Handicapper Line Prediction:  Oregon Ducks -3.5

comment here