The UCLA Bruins take on the Alabama Crimson Tide on Sunday night in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, and it’s not a surprise that the No. 2 seed is a heavy favorite over the team that was one of the last four in.
The line is leaning toward ‘Bama by six points at the moment and the point total is holding at 145.5. For those betting the moneyline, you can grab the Bruins at +230 and the Tide at -286.
No. 11 UCLA: 20-9 (15-14 ATS)
November/December: 5-3 ATS
January: 4-4 ATS
February: 2-5 ATS
March: 4-2 ATS
Vs. Total: 16-13 Over
In conference: 8-12 ATS
In NCAA Tournament: 3-0 ATS
The Bruins had a dip in their ability to cover the spread in the middle of the season, but they’ve got back on track at the right time. They went on a streak for an entire month between January and February where they failed to cover the spread a single time. But in the 10 games since, they’ve covered the spread six times and have covered in three and a row heading into the Sweet 16. Though a word of caution, they’ve only found themselves as a five or more point underdog twice this season and failed to cover either time.
In terms of the over/under, they’ve only seen one point total higher than 145.5 this whole season, early in the year against Pepperdine. They hit the over, but it’s not something they’ve been doing on a consistent basis. UCLA has only had four lines all-season set above 140, though the under hit on just one of them. The Bruins play at the second-slowest pace of any team still in the running for a national title, so they’ll have very little room for error if they want to hit the point total.
UCLA finished the regular season slotting in at 46th in the NCAA NET rankings and had a record of 2-6 against Quad 1 opponents.
No. 2 Alabama: 26-6 (18-13-1 ATS)
November/December: 5-4 ATS
January: 6-2-1 ATS
February: 2-5 ATS
March: 5-2 ATS
Vs. Total: 15-17 Over
In conference: 13-8-1 ATS
In NCAA Tournament: 1-1 ATS
The Crimson Tide was one of the biggest surprises in college basketball this season in terms of overall wins and losses. But even with a slight dip in February, they've been able to dominate the point spread as well. The six-point spread is one of the smallest they’ve had in their favor this season, with only 13 games at or below that mark. When the margin is small, there’s no telling what ‘Bama will do. In those 13 games, they’ve gone 7-8 ATS. In their most recent four games with a small line, they’ve gone 2-2 ATS.
The point total tends to end up on the higher side for Alabama. They play at the second-fastest tempo of any team still in the Tournament, next to Gonzaga, so they get a lot of opportunities to score. Though it will be a contrast of styles with UCLA’s slow pace. ‘Bama averages about 80 points per game and in their first-round matchup, they nearly got to 100. They’ve only face six lines lower than 145 all season and they’ve split those games down the middle hitting the over and under three times apiece.
The Tide finished the regular season at seventh in the NCAA NET rankings and have an impressive record of 12-1 against Quad 1 opponents. Straight up, they’ve won eight games in a row and 12 of their last 15.