Off-Court Issues to Keep Total Down in Georgia Tech-UCLA

Jason Lake

Friday, November 10, 2017 12:02 AM UTC

Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 12:02 AM UTC

The 2017-18 college basketball season tips off Friday, and the NCAAB odds are already buzzing for the game between Georgia Tech and No. 21 UCLA in China.

Free NCAAB Pick: Under 147Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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Georgia Tech vs. No. 21 UCLA

It sure didn’t take long for college basketball to make headlines this year. The No. 21 UCLA Bruins are among the Division I teams opening their 2017-18 seasons Friday (11:30 p.m. ET, ESPN); they’ll take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Shanghai of all places, but the Bruins will be missing three freshmen: LiAngelo Ball (of the basketball Balls), Cody Riley and Jalen Hill. They were arrested after someone allegedly shoplifted some sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store. All three could end up spending 20 days house arrest inside the team hotel.

What effect will their absences have on Friday’s matchup? On the NCAAB odds board, UCLA has already moved up from –6 to –8.5. Well, all righty then. Maybe the Bruins were already that much better than Georgia Tech to begin with. Or maybe people are just betting on the team they recognize. Let’s see if there’s some value on the Yellow Jackets in this situation.

Who’s Stealing From Whom?

This figures to be a challenging year for UCLA as it is. They have to replace both Lonzo Ball (now with the L.A. Lakers) and T.J. Leaf (now with the Indiana Pacers), among others; Ken Pomeroy has the Bruins at No. 29 on his preseason rankings, eight spots worse than the AP writers and 11 spots behind the coaches in their respective polls. Factor in those arrests, and this seems like a perfect time to hop aboard the fade train.

That’s if Georgia Tech plays along. The Jackets aren’t one of the powerhouse teams in the ACC, checking in at No. 44 on the preseason Pomeroy charts, and they’ve got problems of their own: Tadric Jackson and Josh Okogie are being kept off the team for now over allegations of improper benefits. That’s their two top scorers from last year, at a combined 41.3 points per 40 minutes. Not good.

With that in mind, we’re inclined to avoid the point spread in this matchup and direct our eyes towards the UNDER for our college basketball picks

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