College Basketball Odds, Pick & Preview for Oregon vs. UCLA (Thursday, January 13)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyger Campbell.
- The Oregon Ducks travel to Los Angeles on Thursday night to take on the UCLA Bruins in a late-night Pac-12 battle.
- About six weeks ago, this would have been a blockbuster matchup in the Conference of Champions, but the Ducks have underwhelmed up to this point.
- Now with a double-digit spread, Tanner McGrath breaks down how to bet Ducks-Bruins.
Oregon vs. UCLA Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
About six weeks ago, this would’ve been a significant Pac-12 matchup. Instead, it’s a battle between a powerhouse and an underachiever.
UCLA continues to blow through the opposition, holding onto a top-three ranking. Meanwhile, Oregon is 9-6 with just one KenPom top-100 win (SMU).
The Ducks also pair that lone resume victory with bad losses to Arizona State and Stanford. It’s been a comedy of errors in Eugene this season.
So, does Oregon have any hope against the Bruins?
Let’s dive a little deeper into the Oregon disaster.
Jacob Young and Quincy Guerrier transferred in to help fill the hole of Chris Duarte and Eugene Omoruyi. Pairing those two alongside Will Richardson and Eric Williams Jr. would keep Dana Altman’s Ducks rolling.
Besides, this is what Altman does every season. He loses players, rebuilds, and then makes a run in March.
The offense really hasn’t been catastrophic. Outside of a sub-200 non-steal turnover rate and a sub-330 free-throw rate, the Ducks are making shots. Their 53 eFG% ranks 62nd nationally.
The defense is where things get ugly.
The Ducks are getting boat-raced in transition, ranking 344th nationally with 1.155 PPP allowed. They’ve also been poor at defending cuts, defending hand-offs, and blocking shots. They’re sub-300 in 2-point defense as a result.
UCLA is so tough. Despite one of the lowest rim-and-3 rates in the nation (73%, 340th), Johnny Juzang and Jaime Jaquez continue to drain tough shots.
Here’s a predictable UCLA stat: The Bruins lead the nation in short shot clock points per possession. With four or fewer seconds left on the shot clock, the Bruins are scoring an absurd 1.351 PPP.
ShotQuality‘s metrics will always predict negative regression for the Bruins. But I think the nation understands that won’t happen. The Bruins have a distinct offensive identity that works, even if it’s anti-analytical.
Plus, Tyger Campbell — the savviest point guard in the nation — runs an offense that’s sixth in turnover rate and seventh in non-steal turnover rate. UCLA takes care of the basketball.
It’s also tough defensively. The Bruins are 18th in defensive efficiency but really shine on the boards, where they’re 13th in defensive rebounding rate.
Myles Johnson has helped a lot in that regard. Although he’s pulling down only seven per game, he paces the team in offensive and defensive rebound metrics.
Oregon vs. UCLA Betting Pick
This season, Oregon is 302nd in defending long 2-point jump shots. Additionally, UCLA ranks in the 95th percentile in transition PPP.
Those stats do not bode well for Oregon.
Oregon played well against SMU and tough against Baylor, but both of those games were in Eugene. On the road this season, Oregon is 0-4 against the spread.
Moreover, Oregon is 0-3 ATS as an underdog.
There really isn’t a good situation to back the Ducks right now, and there are no clear matchup advantages in this game.
If Oregon could manage to slow down the pace — where the Ducks are 302nd in tempo — it could maybe stay within double digits for 40 minutes.
I don’t see that happening. At anything better than -11, I’ll be on UCLA.
Pick: UCLA -10.5 (Play to -11)
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