No. 21 UCLA the Pick to Roll Past Long Beach State Late Friday

Willie Bee

Thursday, November 8, 2018 2:27 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018 2:27 PM UTC

Despite all of the preseason injuries, the UCLA Bruins are chalked big on Friday’s college basketball odds card against the Long Beach State 49ers.

Season Record: 1-1 (-0.10 units)

Long Beach State (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) at No. 21 UCLA (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)Friday, 11 p.m. ETFree Pick: UCLA ATSBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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There probably wasn’t anyone happier with UCLA’s season-opening 96-71 win over Fort Wayne on Tuesday than Bruins head coach Steve Alford. A disappointing campaign a year ago put Alford on the hot seat entering this season which began with a string of injuries leading into the opener, so seeing his squad respond with a dominant dubya had to bring a sigh of relief.

Like Alford, Bruin backers were also happy to return to the pay window after laying 14 points at Bookmaker, and now we’ll see if UCLA can make it two in a row in a Friday matchup with the Long Beach State 49ers at Pauley Pavilion.

Can 49ers Handle UCLA Freshman Brown In Paint?

Dan Monson brings his 49ers into the contest off consecutive losing seasons and minus their top scorer from a year ago, Gabe Levin (18.5 ppg). Long Beach hopes to keep senior Bryan Alberts healthy for the entire campaign this time around, and the 6-5 senior is very capable of picking up the scoring slack left by Levin’s departure. Deishuan Booker gives Monson a very reliable guard on the point, with wing Jordan Roberts and center Temidayo Yussuf working the glass.

The fall term had barely started at UCLA when the Bruins lost a couple of big men in their plans, Shareef O’Neal (heart) and Alex Olesinski (foot). Tyger Campbell (knee) was next to go down, followed by Cody Riley (jaw) just this past week. O’Neal and Campbell are out for the season, while Riley could return around Thanksgiving with Olesinski expected back in December. None were missed in Tuesday’s win as Kris Wilkes tallied a career-best 27 points while 7-foot frosh Moses Brown stuffed the stats sheet with a double-double (19 pts, 17 reb) in his UCLA debut.

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“Yeah, I’ve been waiting for this all summer, the season opener. I’ve been looking at the schedule and marking it down day-by-day, and we finally got out and did it.”

Freshman center Moses Brown (@MosesBrown_), on his debut pic.twitter.com/aHERyyb08x

— UCLA Basketball (@UCLAMBB) November 7, 2018
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UCLA Aiming For 5th-Straight Win In Rivalry

This series dates to the early '70s when the 49ers had some strong squads for a few years only to go up against a Bruins team that was busy winning one national championship after another. UCLA leads the series, 15-1, Long Beach State’s only victory coming in the 2009 at the 76 Classic in Anaheim when the Bruins were suffering through one of their worst campaigns. UCLA has won all four meetings since, covering the NCAA basketball odds three times.

The Bruins should breeze through their next three games to stand 4-0 heading into the Las Vegas Invitational that begins Thanksgiving Day against Michigan State. They should be able to repeat that 25-point win on Tuesday, and then some, which is why I’ll take UCLA with my free college basketball pick.

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