UCLA is in the basement of the Pac-12 after losing three straight conference games and seven of its last eight overall. The Bruins were once a 4-2 squad with close losses to Marquette and Gonzaga, now they’re in free fall. Can UCLA start saving its season in Salt Lake City on Thursday night?
Utah is amidst a conference road bump itself after single-digit road losses at Arizona State and Arizona. Before those defeats, the Utes won eight straight games heading into the new year.
Here’s the betting preview for Thursday’s game at the Huntsman Center.
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UCLA vs. Utah odds, spread and total
UCLA vs. Utah betting trends
- UCLA is 5-9 ATS this season
- Utah is 8-7 ATS this season
- UCLA is 3-2 ATS as an underdog this season
- Utah is 6-5 ATS as a favorite this season
- The OVER is 4-11 in UCLA games this season
- The OVER is 8-6-1 in Utah games this season
UCLA vs. Utah how to watch:
- Date: Thursday, Jan. 11
- Game time: 9 p.m. EST
- Venue: Huntsman Center
- How to watch (TV): ESPN2
- UCLA record: 6-9 (1-3 Pac-12)
- Utah record: 11-4 (2-2 Pac-12)
UCLA vs. Utah key players to watch
Sebastian Mack: The talented freshman guard has been a bright spot on the UCLA offense, which has not eclipsed 60 points in three consecutive games. The Chicago native is averaging 14.3 points per game but is shooting less than 40% from the field. That turned around for Mack in UCLA’s loss to California on Saturday, going 7-of-13 from the field for 20 points to go with 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and three steals.
Aday Mara: The 7-foot-3 center only plays an average of 13.4 minutes per game but could have a bigger role against Utah’s pair of seven-footers in the frontcourt. Mara is averaging 3.2 points and 4.2 rebounds a night. UCLA 6-foot-10 center Adem Bona is averaging 12.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game.
Branden Carlson: Utah’s leading big man, the 7-foot senior center has been a force this season averaging 17.6 points and 6.4 rebounds. He poured in a season-high 34 points in a win over Washington on New Year’s Eve, but is trying to bounce back from a 3-for-10 performance in Saturday’s loss at Arizona.
UCLA vs. Utah prediction and pick
UCLA has won seven straight games over Utah, but it's hard to see that streak continuing with the way the Bruins have played as of late. As bad as the win-loss column is for UCLA, the young Bruins (8 freshmen, and 4 sophomores) have excelled on defense, giving up a Pac-12 best 62.2 points per game.
UCLA’s defense ranks No. 36 in the country in efficiency, according to KenPom. Utah’s offense is ranked No. 26 in KenPom, but the Bruins have the size to challenge the Utes' physicality. Mick Cronin-coached teams are always strong defensively, and UCLA is poised to rebound on defense after Cronin called out his team’s effort in a loss to California.
UCLA has not lost a game by more than nine points all season and they should keep it close tonight, as well. Back the Bruins on the road.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.