Kentucky vs. UCLA - 12/23/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
UCLA Bruins (8-3) at Kentucky Wildcats (9-1)
College Basketball: Saturday, December 23, 2017 at 4:00 pm (Smoothie King Center)
The Line: Kentucky Wildcats -6.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Smoothie King Center will be the host of Saturday college basketball activity as the UCLA Bruins and the Kentucky Wildcats meet up.
Kentucky comes into this game with a 9-1 record so far. The Wildcats are sitting on a seven-game win streak, most recently taking out Virginia Tech. In that one, Kentucky forward Kevin Knox put up 21 points.
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Knox leads the Wildcats on 15.8 PPG with 5.7 RPG, while Hamidou Diallo is second with 15.2 PPG and 4.7 RPG. Also in double-figures for Kentucky are Quade Green (11.0 PPG) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (10.0 PPG).
As for UCLA, they’re sitting at 8-3 this season. The Bruins had two losses to Michigan and Cincinnati but won their last game versus South Dakota. UCLA center Thomas Welsh led the team on 19 points in that one.
Heading up the scoring for UCLA is Aaron Holiday, with 17.4 PPG, and Welsh is second with 13.2 PPG and 10.6 RPG. Also in double-digits for the Bruins are Jaylen Hands (12.0 PPG), Kris Wilkes (11.6 PPG) and Prince Ali (10.1 PPG).
Kentucky is 3-0-2 ATS in their last five neutral-site games and 4-1 ATS in their last five games following a straight-up win. The Wildcats are also 4-1 ATS in the last five overall and 4-1 ATS in the last five non-conference games.
Meanwhile, the Bruins are 10-25 ATS in their last 35 overall and 2-6 ATS in the last eight neutral-site games. UCLA is also 3-11 ATS in their last 14 versus the SEC and 1-4 ATS in their last five non-conference games.
Ever since their lone blemish against Kansas (a four-point loss), Kentucky has been chugging along and taking out the lesser teams on their schedule. UCLA will be the Wildcats’ toughest opponent since that Kansas game, however. That said, the Bruins haven’t really been playing well, losing to Michigan in overtime and falling 77-63 to Cincinnati. I like Kentucky to stay strong and cover here.