NCAAB UCLA vs. Stanford Predictions, Picks, Odds (12/1/22)

UCLA is 5-2, but the Bruins still don’t have an impressive win to their name this season. Beating Stanford might not count as impressive, but it would certainly be a sign that there’s no reason to panic after a pair of disappointing losses.

The Cardinal are hoping to recover from some early-season slip ups of their own and establish themselves as one of the Pac-12’s better teams before fully diving into conference play later in December.

Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for Thursday night’s matchup at Stanford.

UCLA vs. Stanford Odds

UCLA enters as a 5.5-point road favorite at Stanford.

The season hasn’t started exactly how UCLA envisioned, but this is still a talented team with one of the best collections of guards in the nation. Is that something Stanford can compete with? This would be the Cardinal’s biggest win in some time, and it’ll likely take a terrific defensive effort to make that happen. The Bruins will try to go into Palo Alto and pile on the points.

UCLA vs. Stanford Prediction & Pick

It feels like we’ve been waiting two years now for Stanford to round into an NCAA Tournament team. So far, it hasn’t happened, and it’s not going to happen this year without a breakthrough after a disappointing start. The Cardinal have struggled to score with no one shining through as a clear No. 1 option, even losing games when they held Wisconsin to 60 points and Memphis to 56 points. It’s unlikely that works against UCLA, even with a pretty strong defense.

It’s possible this style of play throws UCLA off its game on the road, but it’s tough to see Stanford outscoring the Bruins’ talented collection of guards regardless of how well the defenses perform. UCLA -5.5 is the more reasonable bet.

UCLA vs. Stanford Key Matchups

UCLA is very clearly the better offensive team in this game. The Bruins are 33rd in the nation in points per game and 32nd in three-point percentage, also rarely turning the ball over. Jaime Jaquez Jr. is one of the nation’s most experienced scorers, while Tyger Campbell has been leading UCLA’s backcourt for what feels like an eternity. The two of them attempted a combined 45 shots in UCLA’s loss to Illinois, so expect them to have a heavy workload against Stanford.

The key to this game might be freshman Amari Bailey. The five-star recruit completely disappeared against Illinois and Baylor but looked great in the Bruins’ last two games. He has as much raw talent as any of UCLA’s many guards, but it might take some time to come together against tough opponents. Fortunately for the Bruins, they’re not overly reliant on Bailey with Jaquez and Campbell carrying the load.

Mick Cronin recently criticized his team’s defense, and rightfully so. UCLA allowed 79 and 80 points against Illinois and Baylor, respectively. That can’t happen against a Stanford team that just scored 48 against Memphis. Luckily, it shouldn’t. The Cardinal are a pretty brutal three-point shooting group (28.3%) and sit 295th in the nation with 66.6 points per game. So far, they don’t have anything close to a go-to scorer, and that’s an issue against a UCLA team that has a clutch shooter in Jaquez.

If Stanford’s going to win this game, it’ll be defensively. The Cardinal haven’t allowed more than 74 points in a game since their season opener, and you could argue UCLA hasn’t faced a defense like this one yet – the losses to Baylor and Illinois were shootouts.

Dan is a lifelong sports fan and graduate of Boston University. He’s covered several sports on Instagram since he was 12 and now writes about everything from betting trends to breaking news for Lineups.

Hot College Basketball Stories