Utah Runnin' Utes (4-1) at UCLA Bruins (5-2)
College Basketball: Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 7:00 pm (Pauley Pavilion)
The Line: UCLA Bruins -6.5 -- Over/Under: 137 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Utah Utes and the UCLA Bruins meet Thursday in college basketball action from Pauley Pavilion.
Utah enters this one at 4-1 so far. Since their lone loss to BYU, the Utes have won consecutive games over Utah Valley and Idaho. As for UCLA, they’re 5-2 this season. The Bruins had a five-game winning streak broken by Ohio State in their last outing. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Utah kicked off the year with two big wins, taking out Washington 76-62 and Idaho State 75-59. The Utes were overmatched by BYU in an 82-64 loss, but bounced back with a 75-67 win over Utah Valley. In their last game, Utah took out Idaho 79-41 on December 18.
In the win over Idaho, Utah’s Timmy Allen was the top scorer on 22 points with six rebounds and one assist. Pelle Larsson was the only other Utes player in double-figures there, notching 15 points with three rebounds and two assists in 19 minutes on the court.
Over on the UCLA side, they opened up the year with a disappointing loss to San Diego State. After that came five straight wins over Pepperdine, Seattle, California, San Diego and Marquette, however. The Bruins hung around with Ohio State in their last game, but ultimately fell 77-70.
In the loss to the Buckeyes, UCLA’s leading scorer was Cody Riley with 15 points, one assist and five rebounds. Johnny Juzang added 13 points with three rebounds and two assists, and Jalen Hill posted 10 points with four rebounds in 19 minutes. Jules Bernard chipped in with eight points, six rebounds and three assists as well.
The Bruins are 15-5-1 ATS in their last 21 games overall and 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight Thursday games. UCLA is 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 home games and 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine versus a team with a winning straight-up record.
Meanwhile, Utah is 1-6 ATS in their last seven road games and 1-6 ATS in their last seven road games versus a team with a winning home record. The over is 8-2 in the Utes’ last 10 overall and 5-0 in their last five road games.
PICK: I’m going to stick with the Utes. You could probably make a case either way in this one, however; it should be a good matchup. UCLA posted a flat 58 points in their opener, but since have hit 69 or more in all six games. Utah has been scoring well themselves, with 75 or more points in four of five games. This game should be a fairly high-scoring affair and I think it’ll be tight most of the way. I like the Utes to keep a nice pace here and bang out a cover. Should be a fun game.