UCLA vs Villanova Odds
Saturday, Dec. 9
7 p.m. ET
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Villanova Wildcats will look to bounce back when they host the UCLA Bruins at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Both of these teams had NCAA tournament aspirations to start the season, and despite the Wildcats’ recent struggles, they remain on that trajectory. Mick Cronin’s Bruins may be short-handed if star freshman Sebastian Mack doesn’t play due to a toe injury.
Both of these teams are due for some positive regression, according to ShotQuality, so let’s uncover the correct betting angle and make a Villanova vs. UCLA pick below.
The Bruins already have a thin rotation and will have their hands full if they are short-handed in this contest. Forward Berke Buyuktuncel has already been ruled out for this matchup, which will disrupt UCLA’s normal rotation.
This is a very intriguing game for the Bruins as their two losses have come from Power-5 opponents and their five victories are all over Group of 5 teams.
I like the components of this roster, especially Mack, who is an absolute flamethrower from deep. UCLA did lose a ton of players from last year’s squad, but I still think the Bruins will be battling in the top half of the Pac-12 when the season comes to a close.
So far, the Bruins have been elite on the defensive end of the floor, ranking 21st in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency.
This is a very slow offense. It’s clear Cronin’s focus is to slow down the opposition and turn each game into a grind. The Bruins are 343rd in adjusted tempo.
UCLA’s 3-point shooting hasn’t been great, but I’m certain that once Mack is back to playing a normal workload, those percentages will increase dramatically. If the Bruins want to win this game, they’ll need to cash in from deep since the Wildcats have been vulnerable defending the perimeter.
The size advantage is in the Bruins’ favor and big men Aday Mara and Adem Bona will need to step up as Villanova does an excellent job of limiting second-scoring chances.
The path to victory for the Bruins may seem simple, but it’s looking like it’s going to be a tough task short-handed. If Mack can play and UCLA starts to cook from deep, the Bruins should have the upper hand.
I’m not quite sure if Kyle Neptune is the long-term answer at head coach for the Wildcats, but this fan base is starting to get impatient. I liked how Villanova clawed its way back in the second half against Kansas State, but the Wildcats were unable to overcome their poor shooting night in overtime.
This is a massive game that can completely change the outlook of Villanova’s season.
I wasn’t joking when I hyped up the Wildcats in my last write-up, I think they have a lot of talent.
However, things won’t be easy against the Bruins, as UCLA is 21st in adjusted defensive efficiency. UCLA is a much better interior defensive team, so the Wildcats will need to hope their 3-point shooting starts to turn the corner.
Guard Justin Moore only played eight minutes in Tuesday night’s loss and is out for this matchup.
According to ShotQuality, the Wildcats are due for some positive regression and I think this is a great spot for that to come to fruition. The Bruins’ defense allows a ton of 3-point attempts, which fits Villanova’s offensive game plan perfectly.
On the defensive end of the floor, I’m not too worried about Villanova’s ability to contain the Bruins on the inside. Villanova does a great job of crashing the glass, so even with a height disadvantage, I wouldn’t expect many second-scoring chances.
The Bruins’ offensive rebounding is massive for their success as they’d love to prevent the Wildcats from running up and down the court. However, I don’t think that’s going to happen.
For extra value betting Villanova, use our FanDuel Promo Code and get bonus bets as a new user welcome.
Moore is out, but I still like Villanova
The Bruins’ offense can’t keep up in a track meet and UCLA has allowed a ton of 3-point attempts. Also, the Bruins haven’t played in nearly eight days and could be a bit rusty.
This is where Villanova’s offense thrives, and considering the Wildcats have some positive shooting regression coming their way, I like their chances in this game. I expect Villanova to bounce back here.
Pick: Villanova -3.5
How would you rate this article?
This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.