Pick Oklahoma to Cover NCAA Basketball Spread over UCLA

Steven Suarez

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 6:06 PM GMT

The Bruins may be undefeated so far this season, but we expect them to pick up their first loss of the season against Oklahoma this afternoon. Check out our college basketball betting odds preview inside.

Odds Overview
The Sooners have opened up as 3.5-point favorites on the College Basketball betting odds board. Yes, UCLA is a perfect 4-0 on the year, but it's Oklahoma that's getting the love from the oddsmakers.

We can expect a high-paced game this afternoon, and the total reflects that thought, as the O/U is currently at 152 points. These are two very efficient offenses that will be on the court, so expect a shootout.

 

UCLA Bruins
The Bruins not only have won every one of their four games so far, they've dominated each time. They've won each game by at least 13 points, with a couple of those wins coming by massive margins.

UCLA has been off since Sunday's 77-63 triumph over Long Beach State at home.

The Bruins got off to a good start and built up a 12-point edge by halftime, which proved to be enough of a cushion. They weren't hitting at a great clip (40 percent overall), but they forced 19 turnovers and only had five turnovers themselves, which turned out to be a major factor in the win.

Individually, Norman Powell had a game-high 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting (with four threes) to go with six rebounds and six steals. Bryce Alford had 17 points, seven assists and four rebounds, while Kevon Looney had 10 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks in an outstanding all-around effort.

UCLA's offense has been on fire to start the season, as they're putting up a whopping 95.3 points per contest thus far. That's not sustainable, but it does bode well for a meeting with another skilled team in the Sooners this afternoon.

 

Oklahoma Sooners
In the early goings, the Sooners have gone 2-1 with wins over SE Louisiana and Northwestern State and a tough loss to Creighton.

Four days after losing by two to the Bluejays, Oklahoma responded with a 90-68 win over the Demons. They took out their frustrations in this one, shooting an impressive 50.0 percent from the field and hitting 10 threes in all. 

Each member of the starting five pulled their weight in the dominant win. Isaiah Cousins had 20 points and seven rebounds, Buddy Hield had 16 points, seven boards and three assists, Jordan Woodard had 13 points, nine dimes and five rebounds, and Ryan Spangler put up 13 points and nine boards. Tashawn Taylor also played 26 solid minutes.

It was a good way to build confidence back up, especially ahead of this tournament in Atlantis. The competition level is going to be high, and it starts with a meeting with UCLA, who is looking to protect a 4-0 start. 

That being said, there's a reason these Sooners were ranked so highly before the season started. There's a lot of talent on this roster, and it starts with Hield, who's averaging 20.7 PPG, 7.0 RPG and 3.0 APG through three games. He should be in for another big game here this afternoon.

 

College Hoops Betting Verdict
No one wants to go home in the first round of a tournament, especially when that tournament is held in Atlantis.

This is going to be a very competitive game featuring two teams that know how to execute offensively, so we're finding it difficult to find much of an edge in the college basketball betting odds.

Nonetheless, we love that three-headed monster of Hield, Cousins and Spangler, and we think the Sooners will be able to do enough to secure the win and ATS cover. Woodard has been running the point well too, and we simply like the balance that Oklahoma has to its rotation this season. As a result, we'll be recommending an Oklahoma cover with our sports picks today.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Oklahoma Sooners -3.5