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UCLA vs. Stanford College Basketball Odds, Pick: Back the Bruins

UCLA vs. Stanford College Basketball Odds, Pick: Back the Bruins article feature image

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images. Pictured: Amari Bailey (UCLA)

  • UCLA and Stanford face off on Thursday evening in Pac-12 Conference play.
  • The Bruins have advantages across the board against the Cardinal.
  • But how are we betting this matchup? Alex Hinton has you covered below.

UCLA vs. Stanford Odds

Thursday, Dec. 1
10:30 p.m. ET
-112o / -108u
Stanford Odds
-112o / -108u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The UCLA Bruins have gotten off to a 5-2 start and are No. 21 in the AP Top 25. UCLA's five victories have come by average of 29.6 points.

However, the Bruins lost their only games against high-major opponents, losing to Illinois and Baylor in the Continental Tire Main Event in Las Vegas. Those showdowns were early tests and will boost UCLA's resume, just like its conference schedule.

UCLA will begin Pac-12 play with an early-season trip to Stanford on Thursday.

Stanford has been tested early with games against Wisconsin, San Diego State, Ole Miss, Florida State and Memphis. However, the Cardinal are just 1-4 in those games and 3-4 overall.

An early-season upset over UCLA would be a momentum builder and will look good on Stanford's resume come March. However, that will be difficult, as UCLA has controlled this series of late.

UCLA has won 17 of the last 25 meetings between the two dating back to 2010. The Bruins swept the season series last year, including a 79-70 victory at Maples Pavilion.

This time, the Bruins are 5.5-point favorites. Can they cover on the road?

UCLA Bruins

Veteran experience and highly-touted freshmen make up one of the most potent offenses in the country.

Senior Jaime Jaquez Jr. is averaging 16.7 points and six rebounds per game. He scored a season-high 27 points in Sunday's win over Bellarmine.

Senior Tyger Campbell is averaging 14 points and 4.9 assists a night.

Junior Jaylen Clark averages 15.7 points and he is one of the best rebounding guards in the country at 7.7 per game. Clark missed Sunday's game with an illness and he is questionable as of this writing.

Senior David Singleton averages 11.3 points per game off the bench, and he is off to a torrid start, shooting 54.5% from behind the arc.

Freshman guard Amari Bailey averages 10.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and three assists while shooting 50% from the field. He is the reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Week after averaging 15.5 points and six rebounds in wins over Pepperdine and Bellarmine.

Freshman forward Adem Bona is averaging 8.7 points, five rebounds and 1.2 blocks. He is extremely efficient around the rim, shooting 69% from the field.

UCLA's offense is efficient, as it ranks eighth in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency and 17th in offensive rating. The Bruins are 25th in effective field goal percentage and commit just 10.1 turnovers per game, 17th fewest in the country.

They are also eighth in the nation in assist-turnover ratio and No. 11 in turnover margin.

UCLA is 41st with 17.1 turnovers forced and 45th with 9.4 steals. Clark, Campbell, Jaquez and Bailey each average over a steal per game, with Clark leading the way at 2.7 steals per game.

Opponents are only making 29.6% of their 3s against the Bruins, a trend that should continue against Stanford. Overall, the Bruins are 28th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency.

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Stanford Cardinal

Defense has not been the problem for Stanford, as it is holding opponents to 63.3 points per game this season. It has allowed 70 points in just two of its first seven games.

It ranks 41st in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency.

Stanford simply does not give its opponents second chances. It allows the sixth-fewest offensive rebounds per game and it ranks fourth in defensive rebounding percentage.

However, Stanford does itself no favors offensively. Stanford is averaging just 66.6 points per game. It does play at a slow pace, but it is still 277th in offensive rating and 107th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency.

The Cardinal's three leading scorers average just over 10 points per game.

Senior forward Spencer Jones leads the team with 10.7 points per game and four rebounds.

Sophomore forward and former five-star recruit Harrison Ingram averages 10.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and leads the team with 3.3 assists.

Davidson transfer Michael Jones is averaging 10.3 points, three rebounds and two assists. He shot 42% from 3 in two of his three seasons at Davidson, but he is shooting just 19% from 3 to begin this campaign. UCLA will present a difficult matchup for him to break out of his early-season slump.

Stanford is making just 28.3% of its 3s as a team, which is 320th nationally. It does make 53% of its 2-point attempts, which is where it will want to attack UCLA.

The Bruins are 198th in 2-point percentage defense and lack rim protection when Bona is off the floor. However, Stanford still is just 220th in effective field goal percentage.

Stanford is also 271st in turnover percentage, with 21.1% of its offensive possessions ending in turnovers. Coughing up the ball will not help its chances against UCLA.

UCLA vs. Stanford Betting Pick

These teams are very familiar with each other, not only as conference rivals, but also in terms of player continuity.

UCLA brought back five players from its Sweet 16 team while Stanford returns eight of its top nine.

UCLA has controlled this series recently, and I expect that trend to continue on Thursday.

Stanford's defense will make UCLA work offensively, but the Cardinal will not be able to keep up offensively, particularly if UCLA gets going from deep. UCLA is shooting 39% from 3 while Stanford is 146th in 3-point percentage defense.

Barring an outburst from Jones, UCLA could have a 12-to-15 point edge just off of 3s.

On the other end, I expect UCLA's pressure to give the Cardinal issues, particularly if Clark is back in the lineup.

Stanford turnovers will allow UCLA to get out in transition and create easy baskets. That should help UCLA open up a comfortable lead.

UCLA has covered in six of the last nine meetings in this series, and I expect it to win by six on Thursday. I would play this line up to -7.5.

Pick: UCLA -5.5 (Play to -7.5)

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