BYU vs. UCLA Odds For NCAA Tournament First Round
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: BYU forward Matt Haarms (3) and guard Alex Barcello (13)
#6 BYU vs. #11 UCLA Odds
|Moneyline||-143 / +120|
|Time||Saturday, 9:40 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday morning and via DraftKings.|
How BYU & UCLA Match Up
|All stats via KenPom.|
What To Know About BYU
First off, BYU can really shoot, as the Cougars led the WCC at 39.8% from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Cougars defense has actually improved, ranking 25th in adjusted defensive efficiency while holding opponents to just 45.2% from inside the arc. It helps to have a tree protecting the rim, whether it’s 7-foot-3 Matt Haarms or 6-foot-11 Richard Harward in the game. So while the Cougars don’t turn opponents over often — they rank outside of the top 300 in steal rate — they rank inside the top-25 in interior defense from a shooting percentage and rebound perspective.
All of the advanced metrics (adjusted for opponent) back up BYU being a legitimate top-25 team, so don’t be fooled by their lack of competition in conference. This team has enough experience, shooting and length to make a decent run in the tournament. The one concern would be the perimeter defense against elite guards, especially in pick and roll. — Collin Wilson
What To Know About UCLA
UCLA snuck into the NCAA Tournament on the back of a very efficient offense that ranks 24th in the country, according to KenPom.
The Bruins slow the game down and look for the best shot, as evidence of their 335th-ranked tempo. They rank inside the top 50 in 3-point-shooting percentage this season, a rate that would be even better if guard Chris Smith didn’t tear his ACL in a New Year’s Eve game against Utah.
The Bruins are fortunate to have gotten into the tournament, having lost their final four games of the season. They might not be a pick to make a run in the Big Dance. — Matt Trebby