Colorado Buffaloes (7-2) at UCLA Bruins (6-2)
College Basketball: Saturday, January 2, 2021 at 8:00 pm (Pauley Pavilion)
The Line: UCLA Bruins -2.5 -- Over/Under: 136.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
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The Colorado Buffaloes and the UCLA Bruins meet in Pac 12 conference college basketball action from Pauley Pavilion on Saturday night.
The Colorado Buffaloes will look to add to their 7-2 record after picking up a 72-62 road win over USC in their last outing. McKinley Wright IV leads the Buffs with 15.9 points per game as well as 5.4 assists per game while shooting a blistering 56.6% from the field this season. Jeriah Horne has 10.8 PPG with a team-leading 6.1 rebounds per game and Evan Battey has 10 PPG as Colorado’s 3rd double-digit scorer this season. Dallas Walton is close to being Colorado’s 4th double-digit scorer this season, averaging 9.6 PPG on 67.6% shooting from the field this season. As a team, Colorado is averaging 76.8 points on 45.7% shooting from the field, 38.5% from behind the arc and 85.6% from the foul line which is the best free throw percentage in the country heading into Saturday’s action. The Buffaloes are also allowing opposing teams to average 61.3 points on 39.7% shooting from the field and 31.8% from 3-point range this season.
The UCLA Bruins will look to add to their 6-2 mark on the year after a 72-70 win over Utah last time out. Jaime Jaquez Jr. leads UCLA in scoring with 13.3 PPG along with 5.9 RPG while Chris Smith has 12.6 PPG and 6.4 RPG for the Bruins this season. Johnny Juzang’s 3rd in scoring with 11.3 PPG while Tyger Campbell is 4th with 10.9 PPG in addition to his team-leading 7.3 assists per game this season. Jules Bernard has 10 PPG for UCLA to give the Bruins five double-digit scorers on a per game basis this season, giving coach Mick Cronin a lot of scoring depth and options at his disposal. As a team, UCLA is averaging 76.6 points on 46.2% shooting from the field, 37% from 3-point range and 70.7% from the foul line while allowing opposing teams to average 67.8 points on 42.5% shooting from the field and 30.1% from 3-point range this season.
Colorado is 14-40 ATS in their last 54 road games and 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 6-2 in their last 8 games overall. UCLA is 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 home games and 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 games overall while the over is 5-0 in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record. The underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings between these two teams.
I get UCLA being favored at home, but the Bruins narrowly got by a Utah team that’s not really known for performing well on the road in recent years. Colorado continues to get little respect from oddsmakers and this is a legitimate Buffaloes team that can make some noise later in the season. I think this is a close game, and if it’s another game that comes down to the wire, getting points with the best team in the country from the free throw line sounds like a pretty good spot to be in. I’ll take Colorado and the free bucket in this one.