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UCLA vs. Villanova: Wildcats look to bounce back from three-game losing streak

The Bruins and the Wildcats face off on Saturday.

NCAA Basketball: Battle 4 Atlantis Championship-Memphis at Villanova Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The UCLA Bruins take on the Villanova Wildcats at 7:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 9. The Bruins are fresh off a win over UC Riverside, while the Wildcats find themselves on a three-game losing streak after falling to Kansas State by one point.

UCLA (5-2) has not grabbed a meaningful win yet this season, but they kept No. 8 Marquette within two points and No. 7 Gonzaga within four. The Bruins rank 41st at KenPom and 22nd in adjusted defensive efficiency. They rank 11th in field goal percentage defense, allowing opponents to shoot just 37.1% from the field, and fourth in scoring defense, letting up just 57.9 points per game.

The Bruins barely eked by UC Riverside in their latest game in a 66-65 win. They are led by Sebastian Mack, who scores 15.7 points per game and records 1.9 steals per game. Adem Bona adds 6.1 rebounds per game.

Villanova (6-4) suffered a tough one-point overtime loss to Kansas State in their latest game to bring them to three losses in a row. They shot just 34.8% from the field, while K-State shot 49.2%. The Wildcats rank 32nd overall at KenPom, and have fallen from their early-season win over North Carolina.

The Wildcats’ starting roster is a transfer-heavy squad, with forward Tyler Burton leading the team in rebounds per game (7.4) after transferring from Richmond and guard TJ Bamba leading the team in assists per game (2.2) after transferring from Washington State. The team may still be figuring out some on-court chemistry with the newcomers.

UCLA vs. Villanova Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Villanova -4
Total: 126
Moneyline: Villanova -180, UCLA +150

Pick: UCLA +4

This Bruins defense can take advantage of a Villanova offense that is already struggling with its field goal percentage. UCLA can cover here.