Home | News | UCLA vs. Utah NCAAB Odds and Preview – February 23rd, 2023

UCLA vs. Utah NCAAB Odds and Preview – February 23rd, 2023

By Hank Blaine

Utah is not an NCAA Tournament team as things stand, but the Utes could at least climb on the at-large bubble if they can upset No. 4 UCLA on Thursday in Pac-12 action. The Bruins are solid favorites to complete the season sweep.

UCLA (23-4, 14-2 Pac-12) goes for the season sweep as it beat visiting Utah 68-49 on Jan. 12. Senior guard Tyger Campbell registered 17 points and seven assists to lead the Bruins to their sixth consecutive win in the series. Freshman Adem Bona scored 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting, and finished with eight rebounds. Senior guard/forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. matched a career-high with six assists and pulled in 12 rebounds. Junior guard Jaylen Clark added 11 points, five rebounds and three steals.

UCLA won the battle on the glass by a wide margin, out-rebounding the visitors 40-26 and scoring 21 second-chance points compared to just four for Utah. The Utes were led by junior guard Rollie Worster, who had a team-high 12 points. Sophomore guard Lazar Stefanovic added nine points and two steals.

Before all else, Nitrobetting takes a peek at important game details that help you lock in on the best picks. Below, you can find event information, team and player stats, and the latest College Basketball odds. We also have timely betting trends and predictions at your disposal.

UCLA vs. Utah Game Information

  • When: Thursday, February 23 at 11:00 pm ET
  • Where: Jon M. Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City, UT
  • TV: FS1
  • Radio: AM 570 LA Sports (UCLA) // KALL 700 AM (Utah)
  • Live Stream: WatchESPN
  • NCAAB Betting Odds: UCLA (-7) // Utah (+7)

READ MORE: Baylor vs. Kansas State NCAAB Odds and Preview – February 21st, 2023

Why Bet on the UCLA Bruins?

UCLA won its sixth in a row Saturday, 78-43 over Cal, to extend its home winning streak to 23 in a row. California made just 11 of 50 shots (22 percent). That marked the fewest made field goals in one game by any of UCLA’s opponents since the 1970-71 season. With the win, UCLA clinched a first-round bye in next month’s Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas. UCLA has won at least 20 games for the third consecutive season and for the eighth time in the last 12 seasons.

The Bruins have gone 14-2 in Pac-12 play and are 1.5 games ahead of Arizona (13-4) in the conference standings. UCLA’s 14-2 start through 16 Pac-12 games marks the program’s best conference start since the 2007-08 season. Jaime Jaquez Jr. has averaged 20.4 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in UCLA’s last five games. The Bruins have averaged 71.8 points and limited the opposition to 53.8 points in the team’s last five games.

UCLA has limited the opposition to fewer than 70 points in 24 of 27 total contests this season. UCLA ranks No. 7, nationally, and No. 1 in the Pac-12 in fewest points allowed per game (59.4). The Bruins have committed fewer turnovers than their opponent in 26 of 27 games this season.

UCLA has recorded an all-time record of 16-10 against Utah. The Bruins have won their last three games at Utah, including a 63-58 win at the Huntsman Center last season.

Why Bet on the Utah Utes?

Already without injured guard Gabe Madsen, Utah (17-11, 10-7 Pac-12) saw Worster suffer an ankle injury in Saturday’s loss at Arizona State. While coach Craig Smith said there was no “structural damage,” the team is not expecting him back on the court this week. Utah has attempted to play without Madsen for nearly a month and has struggled to find a consistent scoring threat in his absence. But losing Worster, Smith said, is a big blow to the team, who views the veteran guard as the team’s “rock.”

“He’s had an outstanding year overall,” Smith said of the Utah State transfer, who is averaging 8.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 5.1 assists through 28 games. “Obviously, he’s our primary ball handler, he’s one of our best defensive players, he’s just one of our few veteran guys with real experience coming into the season. He’s got a great voice and he’s just a steadying force for our team. He’s just a rock.”

With Worster out most of the second half against Arizona State, sophomore guard Stefanovic, who has been starting in place of Madsen, took over most of the ball-handling duties, while intriguing freshman Wil Exacte played a season-high 22 minutes. Turnovers plagued Utah on Saturday in its 67-59 loss at ASU. The Utes saw the Sun Devils turn 17 Utah turnovers into a 20-2 edge in points off turnovers.

The 6-foot-7 Stefanovic is second on the team in scoring the last five games, averaging 14.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists. His 70 points during that five-game stretch trails only Branden Carlson – who just edged him out with 77 points.

Utah is 8th nationally in defensive FG% (.389), 8th in defensive 3FG% (.286), 11th in defensive rebounds per game (28.29), 15th in rebounds per game (39.36), 25th in scoring defense (62.9) and 43rd in blocks per game (4.6). The Utes’ 10 league victories compared to last season’s four is the largest margin of increase year-over-year in conference play since Utah went from eight wins in 1993-94 to 15 wins in 1994-95.

UCLA vs. Utah Betting Trends

  • UCLA are 6-0 SU in the last 6 games.
  • UCLA are 4-2 ATS in the last 6 games against Utah.
  • The total went under in 12 of UCLA’s last 16 games.
  • Utah are 2-4 SU in the last 6 games.
  • Utah are 1-5 ATS in the last 6 games.
  • The total went under in 5 of Utah’s last 7 games.

UCLA vs. Utah Expert Prediction

  • UCLA 69, Utah 63.
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    *All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.