Oregon Plus The Points Is The Play At UCLA

Oregon Ducks player

Thursday, February 9, 2017 2:17 PM GMT

What's this? It's not even Valentines Day and we have a matchup between a couple of 21-win teams? Sign me up for a preview and free college basketball pick.

Hey buddy, looking to get in some March Madness practice? Then you're in luck with a couple of huge back-to-back biggies tonight pitting a quartet of legitimate contenders for the Final Four. ESPN starts with the UNC-Duke battle, then segues out west to the Oregon Ducks visiting the UCLA Bruins for a tip-off a little past 10 PM (ET).

Pauley Pavilion should be reclassified as a mental ward for this one, which finds UCLA a 5 point favorite after opening -4½ where the total is 162½.

It's a rematch I've been waiting for since the two opened their conference slates against each other up in Eugene. Dillon Brooks' trey with under a second to go lifted the Ducks to an 89-87 upset, albeit very slight with Oregon getting a point at the closing bell. The final made it past a 163 point total with plenty to spare, stopping a 5-game run of 'under' winners in the rivalry.

 

Dorsey & Ducks Bury Arizona Early With Deep Shots

Tied atop the Pac-12 ranks with Arizona, Oregon (21-3 straight up, 13-9 against the odds) swept the Grand Canyon State schools last week, surviving a 71-70 scare from Arizona State in a look-ahead spot ahead of an 85-58 whipping of the Wildcats. The loss was Arizona's first and only in the conference.

The offense was amiss in Oregon's only Pac-12 loss at Colorado two weeks ago as well as the near upset by the Sun Devils, who were getting 17 points on the NCAA basketball odds. It came back with a vengeance in the Arizona game, Tyler Dorsey sinking all six of his 3-point tries and the team shooting 65% from the field overall. The Ducks will need more of that against a Bruins bunch connecting on a nation-best 53.5% field goal tries.

 

Bruins Regain Momentum On Road Trip

Two games behind Oregon, UCLA (21-3 SU, 13-11 ATS) also bounced back from a couple of losses by sweeping the Evergreen State on the road this past week. The Bruins just failed to cover a 16½ point chalk line at Washington State but breezed to a 107-66 win at Washington giving up 10½. Steve Alford's crew had Ike Anigbogu for 10 minutes against the Huskies, but he's iffy with a knee injury for this matchup.

Oregon's win about six weeks ago was the third straight for Dana Altman's gang, though the Bruins still lead the all-time series by a considerable 86-35 margin. The Ducks also pulled off a 76-68 win last season here in Westwood, as 2½ point 'dogs. Even though they've trended to the 'under' in recent years, five of the last seven at Pauley skipped past the marks. My free college basketball pick is based on expectations for another close, down to the wire finish like we saw in the first meeting; play the Ducks plus the points.

 

Free NCAAB Pick: Oregon +5 Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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