The No. 7 Kentucky Wildcats (9-1) and the UCLA Bruins (8-3) go head-to-head at Smoothie King Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 23, 2017.
UCLA Bruins vs. Kentucky Wildcats ATS Preview
In the Bruins last game, they barely escaped the South Dakota Coyotes, 85-82. Thomas Welsh led UCLA in scoring with 19 points on 7-for-14 shooting. UCLA dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a free throw rate of 0.258 (matching their season average) and a turnover percentage of 14.4 (better than their season average of 15.5). South Dakota was 0.200 and 16.0, respectively, for those same stats.
The Wildcats will look to maintain momentum after topping the Virginia Tech Hokies in their last contest, 93-86. Kentucky rallied around Kevin Knox, who was the top scorer from either team with 21 points on 7-for-15 shooting. Kentucky played a nearly perfect game. They had a turnover percentage of 12.3 (better than their season average of 18.4) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 36.8 (below their season average of 37.4). For those same stats, Virginia Tech recorded marks of 23.3 and 24.0, respectively.
Expect this one to be a clinic on boxing out as two of the NCAA’s top rebounding teams face off. The Wildcats currently rank 16th in offensive rebounding percentage (37.3 percent), while UCLA ranks 24th in defensive rebounding percentage (76.0 percent).
This is the first time these teams will clash this year, after splitting two games last season. In the most recent contest, the Wildcats won 86-75. The Wildcats dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had an extraordinarily low turnover percentage of 7.8 and a free throw rate of 0.222. For those same stats, the Bruins were 17.6 and 0.145, respectively.
UCLA Bruins vs. Kentucky Wildcats Betting Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Kentucky, ATS Winner – Kentucky, O/U – Under
- The Bruins rank ninth in blocks allowed per game (1.9) while the Wildcats rank 66th (3.0).
- Kentucky averages 6.6 steals per game, which ranks 106th in the nation. UCLA ranks 113th in steals allowed per game (6.6).
- Kentucky ranks 35th in rebounds per game (40.1) while UCLA ranks 169th in rebounds allowed per game (36.1).
- The Bruins rank 176th in three pointers attempted per game (21.1) while the Wildcats rank 283rd (14.0).
- UCLA ranks 66th in assists per game (15.7) while Kentucky ranks 140th in assists allowed per game (13.7).
- The Wildcats average margin of victory in their last five games has been 17.2, up from 12.1 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Bruins have scored an average of 79.6 points per game (3.2 below their season average) and allowed an average of 75.2 points per game (1.0 below their season average).