Thursday College Basketball Best Bets: Will Oregon Sweep UCLA?

Written By Eli Hershkovich on February 25, 2022
College Basketball Best Bets

Although Oregon is on the outside looking in of the NCAA tournament picture, they’ll have an opportunity to climb their way back into the bubble conversation if it has its way with 12th-ranked UCLA. Let’s break down my college basketball best bets for this Pac-12 rematch.

Click on the odds below to place a bet.

Continue the discussion in our Discord betting community, as we dissect where the betting value lies. Plus, stay up-to-date on the top-68 programs with my college basketball power rankings.

  • All of Eli’s College Basketball Bets

UCLA Bruins at Oregon Ducks

In their first meeting on Jan. 20, the Ducks racked up an overtime win as 10-point road underdogs. Despite facing a five-point halftime deficit, Oregon’s shooting woke up in the second half and beyond, going 5-of-10 from behind the arc.

Although the Bruins’ defense presents a bit of a different look since that loss, increasing point guard Jaylen Clark’s role, they’re still susceptible against isolation-driven attacks. That’s a key for the Ducks, as many of their shots from behind the arc come off-the-dribble (via ShotQuality).

UCLA’s 3-point defense (29.8%) is a bit deceiving too and should undergo some negative regression down the stretch.

Why Oregon’s Defense Is Disruptive

On the flip side, Dana Altman utilizes his matchup zone to disrupt opposing offenses and generate takeaways. Well, the Bruins own the conference’s second-lowest perimeter scoring rate while shooting just 32.5% from distance.

If the Ducks have success maintaining an uptempo pace, expect UCLA’s offense to struggle against Altman’s zone, along with his mixed in full-court press. Keep in mind, they turned over the Bruins 13 times despite UCLA’s low miscue rate.

Moreover, Oregon has improved its rebounding percentage as N’Faly Dante’s minutes have increased in Pac-12 play. The 6-foot-11 junior will need to stay out of foul trouble for the Ducks to remain competitive on the glass. In turn, they’d likely dictate the pace if he’s a factor.

Oregon-UCLA Betting Pick

Similar to Gonzaga-San Francisco, the market could drive this spread up a little once Tyger Campbell’s status (shoulder) is announced. But with his role uncertain now that Clark has emerged, it shouldn’t impact the line much — if it all.

Following three losses in the last four games, let’s back the home underdog in a desperation spot.

Eli’s College Basketball Best Bets: Oregon +3 (-110)
Best Available Line: Oregon

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Written by
Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

View all posts by Eli Hershkovich