UCLA Bruins vs Alabama Crimson Tide Sweet 16 Betting Picks, Odds & Lines
The No.2 seed in the East, Alabama, cruised through the first two rounds. Now, they’re facing the Cinderella of the region, No. 11 UCLA, with the Elite Eight place on the line.
The Crimson Tide is coming to the game on an 8-game winning streak. Besides, they won 11 of the last 12 games. Over the season they posted the 26-6 record, going 18-13-1 against the spread. On the road to Sweet 16, they easily dispatched Iona and Maryland. This is the eighth regional semifinal for Alabama in 21 NCAA Tournament appearances.
The Bruins came to the tournament after four straight losses. In total, they are 20-9 for the season, with a 15-14 ATS record. To get to this stage, UCLA needed three wins. They sneaked through the First Four, against Michigan State, before producing an impressive performance vs BYU. The Lady Luck smiled on them in the Second Round as they went against the No.14 seed, Abilene Christian. The Bruins won easily 67-47.
UCLA Bruins vs Alabama Crimson Tide Sweet 16 Betting Line Movement
Alabama opened as -5.5 favorites and the line has gone even further up to -6.5. It’s still one of the lowest spreads his season in the Crimson tide’s favor. The total was initially set at 143.5, but early action on OVER pushed the line to 145.5.
Notes On The UCLA Bruins
The Bruins got through the first three rounds on the back of their aggressive defense, strong rebounding, and efficient offense. They’re very careful with the ball, committing only 20 turnovers in three games. They play at a methodical pace, ranking 337th in tempo in the country. The key against Alabama will be stopping their three-point shooting and transition offense. UCLA has plenty of experience with trigger-happy teams in PAC 12, but they allowed the second-highest three-point attempt rate. If the Crimson Tide gets hot from three, it could spell trouble for the Bruins. However, UCLA should be able to keep up with Alabama’s running as they’re in the 94th percentile in transition defense.
Coach Mick Cronin has a balanced roster at his disposal. Five players are averaging double-digit points. Still, the go-to scorer is shooting guard Johnny Juzang who has 69 points from the first three games.
Notes On The Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama is coming off a game in which they set a school record for made three-pointers. They scorched Maryland with 16 made shots for the deep and are virtually unstoppable if they get hot. Coach Oates likes to spread the floor and allows his players to shoot from almost anywhere. They also like to run in transition and aggressively go after offensive rebounds. They have 10 or more offensive boards in the last ten games. On defense, they should be able to deal with UCLA’s pick and roll-heavy attack. The Crimson Tide is probably the best team in the country in this department. Overall, they’re second in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency.
The strong defense is anchored by Herb Jones. The senior forward is the SEC Player and Defensive Player of the Year. On the other side of the court, the Crimson Tide is led by Jaden Shackelford who averages 14.3 ppg.
UCLA Bruins vs Alabama Crimson Tide Sweet 16 Betting Pick: Alabama -6.5
UCLA did well so far in the tournament, but their opponents were nowhere near Alabama’s level. The Crimson Tide is solid in all areas and it will be difficult for the Bruins to find a weak spot.