UCLA on 11-Game Winning Streak
The Utah Utes were riding high in Pac-12 Conference play but then lost their first conference game over the past weekend. They need to bounce back on their road trip to Los Angeles.
If they can, they should feel good about their NCAA Tournament chances, but if they can’t grab a win this week, their margin for error will shrink considerably.
UCLA is atop the Pac-12 standings and is on an 11-game winning streak. The college basketball odds suggest an easy win for the Bruins, but is this game that straightforward in the sportsbook?
Utes Offense Unreliable
The Utes ran into problems this past Saturday at home against Oregon. They have not beaten Oregon at home since 2013, and their decade-long drought in Salt Lake City against the Ducks continued.
Utah’s offense bogged down, which is the danger this team has had to deal with for a good portion of the season. The team ranks 99th in the KenPom.com Adjusted Offensive Efficiency.
Utah barely won an overtime road game at Washington State in which it failed to score 60 points. They also lost a low-scoring game against Mississippi State, and its offense did not play particularly well in a close win over a bad Georgia Tech team.
Utah is extremely hard to beat when its offense plays well, such as the 81-66 win over Arizona earlier in the season, the signature victory for the Utes to this point on their schedule.
However, when the offense struggles, this team can go south in a hurry, and Utah faces a steep challenge against UCLA’s locked-in defense.
The Utes will need to call forth all their resources and get contributions from a lot of role players, not just their stars like Branden Carlson.
Bruins Perfect in Pac-12 Play
UCLA is unbeaten in Pac-12 play, but the Bruins know they have been living on the edge. They trailed Washington State for most of the game on Dec. 30 before a late rally enabled them to pull out a 67-66 victory.
They then blew a 16-point lead against USC, falling behind by two points in the final minute before rallying to win, 60-58. They made the plays they absolutely had to make over the past two weeks, but the Bruins are really cutting it close.
They go through 10- or 15-minute segments within games in which their offense shuts down and doesn’t accomplish anything.
Those who bet online know that Utah has a defense capable of locking down the Bruins’ offense. UCLA has to be sharp to win this game, which matches two teams at the top of the Pac-12 standings.
Utah vs UCLA Game Injuries
Utah vs UCLA Head-to-Head
These two schools last met in 2022. UCLA won 63-58.
Utah vs UCLA Game Information
- Game: Utah (12-5, 5-1 Pac-12) vs UCLA (14-2, 5-0)
- Location: Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA
- Day/Time: Thursday, Jan. 12, 11:00 p.m. ET
- Utah vs UCLA Live stream: TBS.com
Utah vs UCLA Betting Lines
Utah vs UCLA Picks and Prediction
The Bruins have played on the edge and are now being asked to cover a 12-point spread in the sportsbook.
Coach Mick Cronin will get his UCLA players to produce a focused and complete game, but the margin still feels too high. Look for Utah to stay within the 12-point spread.
UCLA is listed at -750 in our Vegas lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Bruins, you have a chance to win $13. Utah is +520, offering a chance to win $520 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Utes a 16.13% chance to win, with the Bruins at 88.24%.