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UCLA vs Kentucky Prediction, Preview, Stream, Odds, & Picks

Bruins Coming off First Win of Season Against Ranked Foe

Blue Bloods Head to the World’s Most Famous Arena

This should be a fun one with Kentucky, winners of four games in a row, and UCLA, riding a six-game winning streak, meeting up at Madison Square Garden.

It will be a homecoming for Kentucky’s third-leading scorer and No. 2 rebounder Jacob Toppin, a native of Brooklyn. Lance Ware and Kareem Watkins grew up in nearby New Jersey.

UCLA vs Kentucky Prediction, Preview, Stream, Odds, & Picks
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images/AFP

The teams have split two previous matchups in the CBS Sports Classic, with Kentucky winning 83-44 in 2014 and UCLA emerging with an 83-75 win in 2017. UCLA is 5-2 and Kentucky 3-5 in previous CBS Sports Classic appearances.

Kentucky lost its only other game this season against a team ranked in the Top 25 in the Associated Press poll as the Wildcats fell to Gonzaga 88-72 on Nov. 20, so there is still plenty to be learned about this Kentucky team.

UCLA is coming off its first win over a ranked team, rolling past Maryland by 27 points on the road. UCLA has more of its nucleus intact and that could prove beneficial in a game this early in the season. Kentucky could have an edge in interior defense as proven by the 5.7 blocked shots per game.

According to the college basketball playoff odds, Kentucky  (+1400) is tied for fourth and UCLA (+2000) is tied for 10th in the odds to win the national title.

Both Kentucky and UCLA moved up three spots in the Associated Press Top 25 poll with Kentucky coming in at No. 13 and UCLA at No. 16. Kentucky is ranked 13th and UCLA 14th in the coaches’ poll.

Let’s check the latest college basketball odds, stats, injury reports, and college basketball lines for UCLA vs Kentucky. We’ve plenty of NCAA basketball odds for you to consider.

Making a Statement

When UCLA dropped its first two games against ranked opponents and picked up wins against teams like Sacramento State, Long Beach State, Norfolk State, Bellarmine and Denver, more than a few critics wondered about this Bruins team.

The doubters got quiet in a hurry after heading across the country to play a nationally-ranked Maryland team in a true road game.

UCLA led by 29 points at halftime en route to the routine 87-60 victory.

Some familiar faces led the way as Jaylen Clark had 19 points, Jaime Jaquez Jr. had 14 points and fifth-year senior David Singleton came off the bench to add 18.

UCLA came up with 13 steals in the emphatic victory.

Seven of UCLA’s last eight games went over the college basketball predictions total.

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Tshiebwe Getting Going

In his brief time at Kentucky, national player of the year candidate Oscar Tshiebwe has displayed the ability to play his best against the top competition.

He had 17 points and 20 rebounds against nationally-ranked Duke last season in his first game for the Wildcats. In the final five games against ranked teams during the 2021-22 regular season, the 6-foot-9 forward averaged 19.4 points and 15 rebounds.

He picked right up where he left off when he put up 22 points and 18 rebounds in a double-overtime loss to Michigan State. He finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds against then-No. 2 ranked Gonzaga.

Tshiebwe is coming off a game with a season-high 28 points to go with 12 rebounds against Yale the last time out.

While Kentucky has won four games in a row, the Wildcats failed to cover against the Las Vegas odds in each of the last three games.

UCLA vs Kentucky Injuries

UCLA vs Kentucky Head-to-Head

This is the first meeting between the teams since 2017, when UCLA won 83-75 as a 6½-point underdog in a neutral-site game played in New Orleans.

Including a win by Kentucky in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, the teams have played five times from 2014-17 with UCLA winning three of those teams. In each of the wins by the Bruins, the game finished over the total.

In the last 10 meetings, only one of the games has finished as a one-score affair.

UCLA vs Kentucky Game Information

  • Game: UCLA (9-2) vs Kentucky (8-2)
  • Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City
  • Day/Time: Saturday, Dec. 17, 5:15  p.m. ET
  • UCLA vs Kentucky Live Stream: TBS

UCLA vs Kentucky Betting Lines

UCLA vs Kentucky Prediction

Keep an eye on the line with UCLA currently a 2-point favoritee. The Bruins are 8-1 when listed as the favorite and 1-1 as the underdog. The total is 143½.

Each of Kentucky’s last four games finished under the total.

UCLA is 7-0 when scoring at least 80 points this season while Kentucky has hit the 80-point mark just three times, so a faster-paced game should face the Bruins

UCLA is listed at -135 in our Vegas college basketball lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Bruins, you have a chance to win $74. Kentucky is +115, offering a chance to win $115 on a $100 wager.

The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives UCLA a 57.45% chance to win, with the Wildcats at 46.51%.

UCLA vs Kentucky Edge

UCLA vs Kentucky Results

UCLA vs Kentucky Game Summary

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