Utah vs UCLA Odds, Picks, Predictions NCAAB (1/12/23)

Utah visits UCLA in a pivotal Pac-12 matchup. Utah is coming off a loss to Oregon at home, while UCLA is coming off a close win against USC. This should be an interesting matchup because while UCLA is a lock for the NCAA Tournament, Utah is creeping into that conversation too. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!

Utah vs. UCLA Odds

UCLA is a 12-point home favorite against Utah and is at -750 on the money line. The over/under is also set at 135.5. UCLA being this much of a favorite makes no sense, except for the fact that they are at home. The over/under does make sense because both teams can score and play okay defense too. This spread could move a bit before tip-off because it’s so high.

Utah vs. UCLA Prediction & Pick

The pick: Utah +12

Utah has been quietly making a case for an NCAA Tournament bid this year. Their coach, Craig Smith, has been the man behind the Utes’ revival. They are lead by their do-it-all center, Branden Carlson, who leads the Utes in scoring, rebounding, and blocks. Gabe Madsen is right behind Carlson in scoring and then leads the Utes in steals too. Marco Anthony has also been very good for the Utes and is after Carlson and Madsen in scoring production. Rollie Worster is also a very solid point guard for the Utes and leads the team in assists.

As a team, Utah is the 4th best team in college basketball at rebounding with 41 a game. They also are very good defensively overall.

On the other side, UCLA’s been one of the two best teams in the Pac-12 this year. They’re lead by Jaime Jacquez Jr. who leads the Bruins in scoring and is second in rebounds. He’s also one of the better players in the entire country. Jaylen Clark has been great on the wing for the Bruins and is second in scoring to Jacquez, but leads the Bruins in rebounds and steals per game. Tyger Campbell is still the point guard for UCLA and he’s an electric player that leads the team in assists and is third in scoring production. David Singleton is another name look out for with the Bruins too and provides some much-needed experience.

As a team, the Bruins excel on the defensive side of the ball the most and allow 61 points per game.

UCLA is a very good team this year, but being favored by 12 against a solid Utah team at home still feels like too much. UCLA should win this game, but expect Utah to cover here, specifically because Utah’s size has the ability to cause UCLA issue for most of the game.

Utah vs. UCLA Key Matchups

Can Gabe Madsen matchup with Jaime Jacquez Jr.? Can Adem Bona matchup with Branden Carlson?

Jaime Jacquez Jr. vs Gabe Madsen

Jaime Jacquez Jr. has been great for the Bruins this year and is one of the best players in college basketball. He averages 17 points, 2 assists, and 6 rebounds for the season. He’ll be matched up against Gabe Madsen most of the game who averages 13 points, 2 assists, and 3 rebounds per game. Jacquez is a very good offensive player and a decent defender, but Madsen is very productive too. This matchup will be huge in deciding who wins this game because of how important each player is to each team.

Branden Carlson vs Adem Bona

Branden Carlson has been carrying the Utes on his back this year. He averages 16 points, 1 assist, and 7 rebounds for the season. His matchup for some of this game will be Adem Bona who averages 8 points, 1 assist, and 5 rebounds for the season. He also leads the Bruins in blocks at 1.4 per game. This should be an interesting matchup because Carlson is the more experienced player, but Bona is the more athletic player. This should be a big matchup in deciding who wins because these big men contribute a lot to each of their teams.

Jake Faigus, graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minored in sports management. He wrote for The Daily Wildcat, as well as the Arizona Fansided blog, Zona Zealots. He currently writes for Aaron Torres Media and runs social media for BracketFanatics.

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