Pac 12 Upset Alert: UCLA +2.5 Our NCAA Basketball Pick vs. Oregon State

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 6:42 PM GMT

Pac-12 action features UCLA traveling to Oregon State as both teams are hoping to rebound after losses in their last outings. Let review the NCAA basketball odds first.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: UCLA +2½ 
Best Line Offered: at Bet365

 

UCLA (11-7 SU, 6-12 ATS)
UCLA has had a week to think about their 89-75 loss to their Pac-12 rivals the USC Trojans and how things could have turned out so much differently had the Bruins avoided a lethargic first half trailing by 18 at the break. Senior forward Tony Parker enjoyed his strongest offensive output of the season with 27 points and 12 rebounds but the team’s 12-game home winning was streak was snapped by the upstart Trojans. UCLA was installed as three-point home favorites by the NCAA basketball odds makers after straight up and ATS covers over Arizona and Arizona State.

The Bruins have had the luxury of playing their last three games in the familiar confines of Pauley Pavilion but now they must take to the highway where success has been virtually nowhere to be found for all those who have backed them in their NCAA basketball picks when away from home. UCLA has a straight-up record of 3-5 but a money-burning 1-7 ATS mark when on the road. Though the team has done a solid job offensively scoring an average of 80.1 PPG (49th) their defense has been a glaring weakness allowing 77.5 points per contest which ranks them tied for 297th in the nation.

 

Oregon State (11-5 SU, 8-7 ATS)
The Beavers last outing was bad for their record, losing 59-53 in a defensive battle with Utah, but good for those who backed them as nine-point road dogs. Yet the event catching everyone’s attention was the Jarmal Reid referee-tripping incident that caught Reid an ejection as well as a four-game suspension from the team. Reid is a spare part in Oregon State’s rotation so this will not be a devastating absence but his 15.7 minutes/game average will need to be filled by his teammates.

Defense has been the key to any success the Beavers have had this season allowing only 66.7 points per game (68th) while their offense has been slow to gel scoring just 71.9 points per contest (214th). The team could sorely use some help on the glass where they are gathering up just 35.8 boards per game (tied for 226th) which would improve their points per game average. Gary Payton II is leading the team in minutes (34.8/game), rebounds (8.3/game), assists (5.1/game) and points (17.3/game).

 

Betting Analysis
These schools have not faced each other this season but when last they played the Bruins handled the Beavers with relative ease cruising to a 75-59 win as nine-point home chalk. However, Oregon State is 5-1 against the number in their last six home games and 6-2 against the spread in their last eight games. UCLA on the other hand is 2-6 ATS in their last eight games, 1-4 against the number following a game in which they did not cover the spread, and 0-5 ATS following a double-digit home loss which they suffered in their last outing to USC.

It should be noted that the underdog has had success recently between these two teams covering in four of the last five meetings. And along those lines I am going to back the Bruins on the highway in this one despite what the trends say. Though defensively they are not at the same level as the Beavers they can score in bunches and have an enormous advantage on the glass which leads to easy points. I say the travelin’ dog wins this one outright but grab the points just in case.