- The UCLA Bruins are a strong favorite (-2500 odds) versus the UNC-Asheville Bulldogs for Round 1.
- Looking at three-pointer props for Drew Pember and Jaime Jaquez Jr helps find alternate bets on the game.
SACRAMENTO – With over 100 bets on UCLA and UNC Asheville alone on Bovada, getting action on more than the game line allows bettor to find the best bet Thursday.
With -2500 odds, UCLA is a heavy favorite, sporting a 17.5-point spread as well. A projected total of 136 points, puts this matchup somewhere around 77-59 in favor of UCLA.
Now a large spread isn’t uncommon for UCLA – in fact, they’ve been favorites of 10 or more 18 times this season alone. They do have an 11-6-1 ATS record in those games but it’s important to note that only two of these games were played outside of Pauley Pavilion.
Still, UCLA’s consistency is noted in their scoring and defensive affairs. Since the start of the year, they’ve had 10 games being a favorite of 10 or more at legal sportsbooks and have scored 68+ in eight of them.
Total Points Projection For UCLA
- Over 77.5 -110
- Under 77.5 -120
With a projection of 77.5 points against UNC-Asheville, the under is seeing shading. But, UCLA has hit this mark in three of their last five similar games. For more assurance, UNC-Asheville has been a double-digit twice this season and allowed both opponents to score 79 or more.
Keeping on the trend of 10-point spreads, the under looks to be the play based on more college basketball betting trends. In the two games for UNC-Asheville, the under went 2-0. Likewise, the UCLA is 7-3 on the under in those 10 games during 2023.
Total Points Projection For Game
- Over 136 -110
- Under 136 -110
Those wary of a high scoring UCLA team breaking this barrier should consider taking the under on UNC-Asheville’s point total, 59.5.
UCLA Player Props
Though 10 players are on the court at once, many are locked into player props for Jaime Jaquez Jr. Averaging 17-8-2 for the season, Jaquez Jr has been all over the boards lately.
Sitting at 9.5 boards projected, the shading on the under provides an excellent even odds betting opportunity. With +100 odds at over 9.5, adding this to a parlay could be a great boost, aside from the ability of taking it straight up.
For 3-point action, Jaquez has +160 odds to hit over 1.5 3s. Only shooting 2.8 three-pointers per game on the season, this is a riskier play with the odds that follow. Still, he has done it in five of his last 12 games, where his attempted threes per game has increased to 3.8 per game.
UNC-Asheville Player Props
For UNC-Asheville, it all comes down to seniors Drew Pember and Tajion Jones.
Averaging a near double double on the season, Pember has started 64 games in his career at UNC-Asheville after seeing about 150 minutes at Tennessee for two years. Still, expect him to chuck up some threes.
Total Made 3s For Drew Pember
- Over 1.5 -125
- Under 1.5 -115
With a slight shading on the over, Pember’s trends might show some nervousness. In his last 19 games starting in 2023, he has only done this seven times. But, as UCLA is expected to hold an early and constant lead, the game plan should have him more aggressive from behind the arc. Shooting about 37% from 3, his 5.1 attempts per game, pale in comparison to his last four games.
Pember Attempted 3s
- 2/25 vs Longwood: 6
- 3/3 vs Charleston Southern: 6
- 3/4 vs USC Upstate: 9
- 3/5 vs Campbell 6
The UCLA UNC-Asheville March Madness matchup begins at 10:05 p.m. ET on Thursday.
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News tags: College Basketball | Drew Pember | Jaime Jaquez Jr. | March Madness | Tajion Jones | UCLA Bruins | UNC-Asheville Bulldogs
Michael began writing as an NBA content writer and has spent time scouting college basketball for Florida State University under Leonard Hamilton and the University of Alabama under Anthony Grant. A graduate of both schools, he covers topics focused on legal sports betting bills, sports betting revenue data, tennis betting odds, and sportsbook reviews. Michael likes to play basketball, hike, and kayak when not glued to the TV watching midlevel tennis matches.