Against The Spread Pick
The Utah Utes will be looking for revenge against the UCLA Bruins on Thursday night after they lost 73-57 the last time these two teams met earlier this month. In that game the Bruins outshot the Utes 49% to 39.9% from the field, suggesting the Utes will have to be better on both offense and defense if they wish to see the scoreline flipped this time around. The Utes have won their last four games at home behind the play of Timmy Allen who is averaging 17.6 ppg and 7.2 rpg on the season. If the Bruins are to cover the spread here then they will need to keep up their work on the offensive glass. UCLA is leading all Pac-12 teams in offensive rebounding, crashing the boards and picking up 12.2 offensive boards per game. While this will help them keep it close most of the way, we think Utah will have enough juice late to prevent the cover. Take Utah minus the points here.
Over Under Pick
Utah has been a defensive menace at home over its last four games. In those contests, the Utes have scored an average of 66.8 ppg while allowing their opponents to score just 57.8 ppg. Some of this can be put down to the anemic scoring rates of the Pac-12 teams, but the Utes are clearly doing enough right defensively to make stops and to win games. These are not great shooting teams which is why we like the under here. Utah is 5-10 in the over/under play at home, while the Bruins sit at 3-6 playing the over/under when they are on the road. All signs point to this being a low scoring, grind it out style basketball game.