UCLA surprised everyone by going from the First Four to Final Four last season. They return most of their team from last year, making them poised for another run in this year’s tournament. The Bruins have talented players like Johnny Juzang and Jaime Jaquez.
Akron comes into March Madness on a high after winning the MAC tournament. This is a team that likes to slow down the game. They do a good job getting to the free throw line and recently caught fire from beyond the arc in their MAC title run.
It will be tough for the Zips to knock off a formidable opponent like UCLA, but their recent play bodes well for their chances at pulling off the upset. Remember, Akron is a team coached by John Groce, an experienced coach who helped Cinderella story Ohio get to the Sweet 16 back in 2012.
UCLA vs. Akron Odds
UCLA vs. Akron odds are provided by BetRivers and current as of Tuesday, March 15 at 11:00 AM.
- Moneyline: UCLA (-1250) @ Akron (+750)
- ATS: UCLA -13.5 (-110) @ Akron +13.5 (-110)
- Over/Under: Over 128.5 (-108) / Under 128.5 (-112)
- Implied Score: UCLA 71, Akron 57.5
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UCLA vs. Akron Prediction
UCLA is the eighth-ranked team per KenPom due to their proficiency on both ends of the floor. They placed 15th on offensive efficiency and 12th on defense.
The Bruins improved on rim protection this season with the addition of Rutgers transfer Myles Johnson. They have the pieces in place to win this region, so it will be tough for Akron to pull off the upset.
Akron will need to carry that red-hot three-point shooting that we saw throughout the MAC tournament. This team knocked down shots from beyond the arc at a 45.8 percent clip throughout that run. They’re going to need to keep that up if they want to surprisingly knock off the Bruins.
The Zips are 13.5-point underdogs for a good reason, as you could make the argument for the Bruins as the best four-seed in the entire tournament. While it’s unlikely that Akron can win outright, they could put a scare into this Bruins team.
UCLA vs. Akron Score Pick
UCLA 66, Akron 58
While UCLA should be able to take care of business in this matchup, there’s a good chance that Akron puts up a fight in this one.
- Print your 2022 March Madness bracket.
Head coach John Groce has been successful in this tournament in the past, and we saw the Zips win their conference tournament. Good coaching and recent success is an excellent combination for a tough opponent.
UCLA vs. Akron Best Bets
Akron +13.5 (-110) at BetRivers
Wager: 1 Unit
Since Akron plays at a slow pace, that could make it difficult for UCLA to cover such a large spread since there will likely be fewer possessions in this game.
Junior guard Xavier Castaneda averaged 13.5 points while shooting 37.9 percent from beyond the arc. He could help the Zips keep it close in this matchup.
Under 128.5 Total Points (-110) at BetRivers
Wager: 1 Unit
This pick goes back to Akron’s slow tempo. Just like it’ll be tough for UCLA to cover 13.5 points due to a decline in possessions in this spot, it’s also going to be difficult for this total to go Over the number.
You also have another out for the Under to hit – if UCLA wins in a blowout as the point spread implies, that also correlates with the total staying below the number.