No. 2 UCLA is coming off a convincing win in the opening round, knocking off No. 15 UNC Asheville in a 86-53 blowout victory. The vaunted Bruins defense held the Bulldogs to 37% shooting from the field while forcing 16 turnovers.
No. 7 Northwestern was led by its pair of senior guards in Boo Buie (22 points) and Chase Audige (20 points) in their 75-67 win over No. 10 Boise State. The Wildcats will need this type of guard play to continue if they’re going to upset UCLA.
With that in mind, let’s dive into my UCLA vs Northwestern prediction and best bets.
Frank Ammirante’s March Madness Betting Record: 6-7 (-1.52 units)
UCLA vs Northwestern Odds
Note: CBB odds mentioned in this article for UCLA vs Northwestern were used from DraftKings Sportsbook, unless otherwise noted, and are current as of Friday, March 17, at 10 a.m. ET.
- Moneyline: UCLA (-380) • Northwestern (+310)
- Spread: UCLA -8 (-110) • Northwestern +8 (-110)
- Total: Over 127.5 (-110) • Under 127.5 (-110)
UCLA vs Northwestern Pick of the Day
Keep reading for more UCLA vs Northwestern betting tips.
UCLA vs Northwestern Prediction
UCLA 70, Northwestern 55
Both of these teams rank high on Pomeroy’s rankings in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, with UCLA coming in first and Northwestern at 18th. The difference here is that the Bruins are 21st on offense, while the Wildcats are 100th.
Look for UCLA to cruise to the Sweet 16.
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UCLA vs Northwestern Best Bets
UCLA -8 (-110) • DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
It’s going to be difficult for Northwestern to keep pace on offense, especially with the way UCLA can force turnovers on defense. The Bruins have now won five consecutive games by more than eight points, two of which were by 19 or more.
Look for UCLA guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. to continue to play strong defense (five steals in Round 1) to help slow down Northwestern.
UCLA/Northwestern 1st Half Under 59.5 (-120) • DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 unit
Each of these teams’ strengths are on defense, with them both ranking in the top 18 in the country. The first half tends to be the lower scoring of the two, so we’ll wager on a slow start in this matchup.
We may see Northwestern come out with a more conservative approach as it looks to limit turnovers against such a tough team like UCLA.
UCLA vs Northwestern Same Game Parlay
UCLA vs Northwestern SGP (+141) • DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
- UCLA Moneyline (-380)
- UCLA/Northwestern Under 127.5 (-110)
I’ll take UCLA on the moneyline to cover myself in case it wins but faisl to cover the 8-point spread. The Under 127.5 also looks good because we have a clash of two strong defensive teams here.
It also helps that each team ranks outside the top 230 in pace.
UCLA vs Northwestern Props
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