Betting Odds, Predictions & Predictions (2/24/22)

UCLA vs Oregon Betting Odds

Oregon looked great. We were approaching March and Dana Altman was lining up the Rubik’s Cubes.

Until he isn’t anymore. Oregon dropped a home game against a sneaky Cal team, then got swept away on a road trip to Arizona. The Ducks are still 10-6 in conference, but their overall resume is questionable at best.

Meanwhile, UCLA was swept away on its Arizona road trip in early February. The Bruins have won four of five since, but lost one road game to USC. The Bruins are in contention for a four-seed now, but it’s a far cry from what they expected in the preseason.

So can the Bruins increase their tournament stock with a huge road win against a struggling team? Or is it time to buy low on the Ducks?

UCLA Bruins Odds

UCLA is a great all-around team.

Tyger Campbell takes care of the ball and puts the ball in the right place. The savvy point guard is ranked nationally in both assist rate and turnover rate, and the Bruins are fifth nationally in team offensive turnover rate.

Meanwhile, Johnny Juzang, Jaime Jaquez and Jules Bernard are elite blueprint designers and builders. The Bruins are 11th nationally in average frequency and 19th in average efficiency.

And the defense was excellent. UCLA is not only second in the Pac-12 in offensive efficiency, but also second in the conference in defensive efficiency.

The Bruins are tough in every position. The wings are all between 6ft 5in and 6ft 7in, and 6ft 10in Myles Johnson is versatile to play in the center. Johnson’s 8.9% block rate also ranks in the top 45 among all Division-I players.

UCLA currently leads the Pac-12 in 3-point defense, but its 29.8 3P% allowed looks unsustainable. Some regression has occurred in losses to Arizona and Arizona State, but I’d be cautious betting UCLA over time.

The question is whether UCLA has enough firepower to win the Pac-12 tournament. They are a very talented team, but they have game problems with Arizona and are one bad shooting night away from being upset by USC or Oregon – or one of the other Pac-12 teams. talented but underperforming.

Oregon Duck Odds

Oregon is a deeply flawed team.

The offense continues. Will Richardson and Jacob Young are some of the most talented offensive backs in the conference. The Ducks posted the second-highest effective field goal percentage in the conference alone and the second-lowest offensive turnover rate. The Ducks score and score with efficiency.

The Ducks can’t stop a nosebleed.

Oregon is now seventh in the Pac-12 in defensive efficiency and eighth in field goal percentage allowed. The Ducks are also ninth in defensive rebound rate. The perimeter defense is decent, but it’s burned in the middle zone (which doesn’t bode well for this game).

Oregon is probably due to a slight positive regression, but the team is so inconsistent. The Ducks have already beaten UCLA and USC, but both wins weren’t pretty. Oregon is also a pathetic 10-17 ATS on the season.

There is time for Dana Altman and co. to fix this mess, but the Ducks lost all momentum down the Pac-12 stretch. He will need to sweep his last four games and make a run in the conference tournament to be considered for a general offer.

If he doesn’t, Altman will have to win the conference tournament to do the big dance. Altman and Oregon haven’t missed the tournament since 2018.

Prediction and choice UCLA vs Oregon

My pick: Oregon +3 (-110 at DraftKings)

Oregon has two more days of rest against a UCLA team that begins a three-game road trip.

Plus, the Ducks are hungry for a win over a UCLA team they’ve beaten in three straight games.

Coach Altman just might have Coach Mick Cronin’s number, and I’m willing to bet Eugene did on Thursday night.

I can’t quite explain why, as the game should favor UCLA on paper. However, the Bruins are exploitable if you force their hand.

UCLA likes to shoot the midrange. Thus, the Ducks allowed UCLA to shoot 18 shots from mid-range in the last meeting, and Oregon stifled the Bruins on those attempts. UCLA made just six of those 18 attempts and reached the rim only 13 times.

Image credit: CBB Analytics

I expect Altman and the Ducks to come out with similar defensive intensity in this area. Otherwise, the Bruins don’t tax low enough to top Oregon, and the Bruins don’t have enough snipers to outplay them.

I’m going to hold my nose and bet on the Ducks to call in an unavoidable scenario.

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