California Golden Bears at UCLA Bruins
Thursday, 1/3/12, 11:00 PM EST, TV: Fox Sports Net National
Opening Point Spread: UCLA -7
Current Betting Line: UCLA -7
Opening Total: 151
Current Total: 152
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
California opens the calendar year and Pac-12 Conference play down in Los Angeles, as it looks to bounce back from a disappointing 67-62 setback to Harvard as 11-point home favorites last week. The Golden Bears are third in the conference in rebounding, as they’ve grabbed more boards than their opponents in 10 of 12 games this season. On the offensive end, it’s all about the junior guard duo of Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs, as they combined to average 37.3 points per game. California is 2-2 ATS as a road underdog of 6.5 to 9 points the last two-plus years, with the OVER going 4-0 in that situation.
The Golden Bears will need Crabbe to have one of his best games of the season in order to cover the number that’s represented on the college basketball odds page, as he ranks 25th on the school’s all-time scoring list. California is 3-1 in Pac-12 openers under head coach Mike Montgomery, but it dropped an 82-68 decision in its only opportunity on the road in that situation on Jan. 2, 2010. The two schools have split the last 10 meetings, with Thursday night’s visitor taking both meetings last year.
UCLA is 13-9 against California during the Ben Howland era, as it looks to build off its 97-94 overtime win over the Missouri Tigers as 3.5-point home favorites, while going OVER the posted total of 153.5. The Bruins are averaging a Pac-12-leading 80.9 points per game, totaling at least 89 points in their last four games. Freshman sensation Shabazz Muhammad is the player to watch offensively, ranking third in the conference in averaging 19.6 points per game, while Jordan Adams is tied for fifth. UCLA is 6-1 ATS as a home favorite of 6.5 to 9 points since 2010, which can’t be ignored when making your college basketball picks against the spread.
The Bruins are relying on their freshman trio of Adams, Kyle Anderson and Muhammad, as they’ve accounted for 51.3 percent of the team’s scoring and 41.1 percent of the rebounding through 13 games this season. UCLA was picked to finish second in the conference in a poll of media members before the season tipped off.
Sports bettors will likely back the Golden Bears due to their 10-6 ATS mark in January, while the Bruins are 1-5 ATS versus teams with a winning record.
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