The UCLA Bruins are coming off one of the worst online NCAAB betting seasons in school history. After posting a 15-17 record – only the 4th time the program delivered a losing season since 1948 – UCLA failed to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. However, the pitiful performance UCLA turned in last season was not enough to discourage sportsbooks and future march madness betting fans from favoring the Bruins this time around.
Most basketball betting sites have the Bruins facing some of the best odds in the nation of winning this year’s tournament. So far, UCLA has been proving that the bookies prediction was not misguided. After competing in 22 games, the AP polls have ranked the Bruins as the 11th best team in the nation.
With a record of 19-3, the Bruins are currently ranked 3rd in the Pac-12. With only 3 games behind conference leaders Arizona, UCLA ‘s chances of winning the Pac-12 and receiving an automatic bid to this year’s tournament are still very legitimate. A win against the Washington State Cougars Wednesday night would be a step in the right direction.
Wednesday night, the Bruins will make the pilgrimage to Washington to face off against the Cougars at the Wallis Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum. The Cougars, who are unranked and are sitting on a losing record, likely won’t pose much of a challenge for this year’s Bruins. Either way, let’s see what the sportsbooks have to say about Wednesday’s contest.
ONLINE NCAAB BETTING – REGULAR SEASON – Wednesday, February 1st
UCLA Bruins -15 (-110) 164½ (-110) -1500
Washington State Cougars +15 (-110) 164½ (-110) +1000
Understandably, the bookies have strongly come out against Washington State. The Cougars, who have only appeared in the NCAA Tournaments six times (most recently in 2008), are coming off a wretched 9-22 season. Although they’ve already won more games than last season, the Cougars aren’t having what you would call a successful season.
After playing in 21 games, Washington State has an amassed a less-than-impressive 11-10 record that ranks them 7th in the Pac-12. So far this season, the Cougars have posted a 4-5 record in conference play. Washington State will be coming off their most recent 91-83 victory over the Arizona State Sun Devils this past online NCAAB betting Sunday.
The Cougars are led by Josh Hawkinson who is averaging 16 points, 10 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1 block per game. Washington State’s second leading points scorer is Ike Iroegbu who is netting 11.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game. Additionally, Malachi Flynn is averaging 11.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game.
The sportsbook favorite Bruins are coming into this contest off a 2-game losing streak after losing back-to-back contests to USC and Arizona. UCLA will be relying on leading point scorer Bryce Alford to help them snap their losing streak. Alford is currently averaging 16.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. Second for the Bruins is TJ Leaf who is putting up 16.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. Isaac Hamilton is UCLA’s third-leading points scorer who is gaining 15.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game.
Last season, March Madness odds didn’t apply to UCLA. But if the Bruins can keep their momentum rolling, and refrain from posting consecutive losses again this season, UCLA could very well open the NCAA Tournament as March Madness betting favorites.