NCAA Men’s Basketball Betting Preview: San Diego Toreros vs. UCLA Bruins

Big South Tournament
UCLA is 10.5 points favorites in NCAA men’s basketball action against San Diego

San Diego at UCLA
Time: 7 PM ET
TV: Pac-12 Network
Spread: UCLA -10.5
Total: 143

Betting Odds c/o Bovada

UCLA is 6-2 and 5-0 at home this season, sitting atop the Pac-12 conference. The Bruins are a strong team on the glass and move the ball well, and playing the San Diego Toreros is unlikely to be much of a challenge. College basketball oddsmakers set the line 10.5-points in favor of the hosting Bruins.

UCLA showed inadequate offensive abilities against Oklahoma and UNC already, dropping back to back contests on Nov 26 and 27th, while averaging just 61 points against both teams. The Tar Heels won 78-56 and then the Bruins rebounded with wins over UAB and Cal-State Fullerton. Norman Powell leads the team in scoring with 17.9 points per game and 4.9 boards per game. Kevin Looney averages a double-double of 13.6 points and 11.3 rebounds per game, while Isaac Hamilton provides some rim protection, blocking 2.6 shots per game.

6’3” combo guard Bryce Alford has been a phenomenal point guard. He’s averaging 17.1 points and 7.1 assists per game this season, and he’s had 6 or more assists in three of the past four contests. His performance against Oklahoma was exceptional, as he went 8-of-18 from the floor, though struggling from three-point range, as he has in all four of the last games.

Still, Alford has been a big minute man for the Bruins, playing over thirty minutes per game in all five of the last contests, including 37 and 38 minute games against Oklahoma and Long Beach State on Nov 26 and 23rd. The sophomore is making a strong case to be a first team Pac-12 selection this year.

San Diego is 4-4 on the season. The team shoots reasonably well from the floor, hitting 46.1 percent, but the Toreros sometimes struggle to get easy looks at the rim. Johnny Dee is the primary source of Torero offense. Dee is now in his senior season and he’s increased is scoring all four years at San Diego. The biggest difference this year for the 6’0” guard from California is that he’s hitting 49 percent from the floor in addition to being deadly from three-point range where he hits 45.8 percent. He keeps his turnovers down despite his high usage and he’s money from the stripe (see: 94.5 percent last year).

Dee keeps the Toreros in games, and if he absolutely explodes the Toreros could cover this spread. He had 16 points in the loss to then- No. 13 San Diego State, but had monster games against Princeton, Xavier and Western Michigan. In the win over Princeton, Dee had 29 points on 9-of-13 shooting while hitting five threes in the game.

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