College Basketball Odds & Pick UCLA vs. Oregon: Bet on Bruins as Underdog in Pac-12 Showdown
Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyger Campbell.
- Oregon hosts UCLA on Wednesday night in a big matchup atop the Pac-12 standings.
- The Ducks have won three straight games, but the Bruins present a potentially difficult matchup.
- Pat McMahon breaks down the matchup and why he's backing the underdog Bruins.
UCLA vs. Oregon Odds
|Moneyline||+155 / -190|
|Time | TV||9 p.m. ET | ESPN2|
|Odds as of Tuesday Night and via BetMGM.|
The two teams atop the Pac-12 standings collide in Eugene on Wednesday when Oregon hosts UCLA.
The Bruins (17-6, 13-4 Pac-12) dropped a game at Colorado on Saturday but still cling to first place in the league by one half-game over the Ducks. This is a massive final week of the regular season for the Bruins, who play the third-placed Trojans on Saturday. A pair of victories this week would give UCLA the top seed in the Pac-12 tournament and go a long way toward determining its seeding on Selection Sunday.
Oregon (17-5, 12-4) is looking to play spoiler and wrestle away the top seed from the Bruins. After Wednesday’s game, they close the season at in-state-rival Oregon State on Saturday.
When Oregon has the ball
The Ducks have a very efficient offense thanks to its balanced attack and strong shooting splits. As a team, Oregon shoots 46% from the floor, 36% from 3-point range and 71% from the free throw line. The Ducks currently boast the nation’s 26th most efficient offense, per KenPom.
The offense has been particularly strong of late, as Oregon is averaging 75 points per game over its last three and is shooting 40.6% from beyond the arc during that stretch.
Chris Duarte (17.4 points per game) and Eugene Omoruyi (17.0) rank fourth and fifth in the Pac-12 in scoring. Duarte has been remarkably efficient, shooting 53.6% from the floor and 44.1% from 3-point range. Omoruyi is a really tough cover for any defense due to his ability to score inside and out. He does a great job of playing aggressively and getting to the foul line, having attempted a team-best 95 free throws, hitting them at a 77.9% clip.
LJ Figeuora (11.6 points per game) and Eric Williams Jr. (10.7) also average double figures for the Ducks. Will Richardson (9.5) had thumb surgery in December and has only appeared in 10 games on the season, but he’s healthy now and has given the Ducks a nice boost over the past month.
The one concern for Oregon’s offense is how it has fared against tougher defenses. The Ducks are just 4-5 against teams with a top-80 adjusted defensive efficiency ranking. This isn’t the best defense Mick Cronin has ever had, but the Bruins are still strong on that end, ranking 78th in defensive efficiency.
UCLA is in the middle of the pack when it comes to most defensive field goal numbers, although they really thrive on the defensive glass. The Bruins rank 28th in defensive rebounding percentage and 46th in rebounding margin.
UCLA ranks 335th in adjusted tempo and can really frustrate teams when it’s able to control the pace while limiting the opponent to just one shot on the other end.
When UCLA has the ball
The Bruins have been fantastic offensively, especially of late. Similarly to Oregon, UCLA takes its time but is very efficient (20th in adjusted offensive efficiency).
UCLA has excellent balance offensively, with four starters averaging double figures. Jules Bernard is right behind them at 9.4 points per game.
Point guard Tyger Campbell is a true floor general who does a great job of getting everyone involved. Campbell is second in the conference in assists at 5.6 per game.
The Bruins are a very strong shooting team. They rank second in the Pac-12 in 3-point percentage at 37%, and fourth in field goal percentage at 45.8%. Four of their regular rotation players are shooting above 37% from 3-point range.
UCLA has dealt with its fair share of injuries, as well. Unfortunately for the Bruins, they will not get star guard Chris Smith back this season after undergoing surgery on his ACL in early January. Forward Jalen Hill has been out for the past three weeks, and there is no timetable for his return.
The good news for the Bruins is they’ve now played 15 games without Smith and seven without Hill, and they’ve maintained their ability to execute at a high level offensively.
Oregon boasts a tough defense, ranking 62nd in defensive efficiency. The Ducks do a nice job of defending perimeter, and allow just 33.1% from beyond the arc.
The Ducks are a little deeper than the Bruins, and I expect them to use that to their advantage. They have a number of athletic guards that can rotate on Campbell and Johnny Juzang. Turnovers will play a big factor, as the Ducks do a nice job of turning the opposition over. However, the Bruins do a great job of taking care of the ball, ranking 47th in turnover rate, per teamrankings.com.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I don’t see a huge edge for either side here, so I’m going to take the points with the Bruins. To me, this line should be closer to a pick’em, but I think the line is a little inflated with the Bruins coming off a loss and the Ducks having won three straight.
I also like that UCLA has had more time to prepare, whereas Oregon played Monday against Arizona and only had one day of practice between games. The Ducks also have some 3-point shooting regression coming their way, having been hot from beyond the arc over their last three games against subpar defenses. The Bruins are a disciplined defensive team and can make it a long night for Oregon’s shooters.
The Ducks are a tough team to beat in their gym, but Cronin’s teams are scrappy and never back down from a challenge. I like the Bruins’ chances to pull out a close one and get one step closer to claiming the Pac-12 regular-season crown.
Pick: UCLA +4.5 (down to +3)