Saint Mary’s started their return to the NCAA tournament with a bang, dismantling Indiana by 29 points. This was a game projected to come down to the wire, as Saint Mary’s were only three-point favorites. Needless to say, it was an impressive performance by the Gaels.
UCLA had their hands full in a first-round scare against Akron. The Bruins came into the game as 13.5-point favorites over the 13th-seeded Zips but narrowly squeaked out a four-point win. UCLA will need to turn in a better performance if they want to get by the Gaels.
This should be a great matchup between two dark horses for the Final Four. Kentucky is now eliminated from the East Region, so the path got easier for both teams.
UCLA vs Saint Mary’s Odds
UCLA vs Saint Mary’s CBB gameday odds are provided by Caesars and current as of Friday, March 18 at 4 p.m. ET.
- Moneyline: Saint Mary’s (+130) vs UCLA (-150)
- Spread: Saint Mary’s +3 (-110) vs UCLA -3 (-110)
- Over/Under: Over 126 (-110) / Under 126 (-110)
- Implied Score: UCLA 64.5, Saint Mary’s 61.5
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UCLA vs. Saint Mary’s Prediction
These are two teams who had decidedly different outcomes in their opening games. While Saint Mary’s looked fantastic, UCLA struggled with a low seed. The Gaels will look to keep it rolling behind their sixth-ranked defense, while the Bruins will look for a better performance this time around.
Let’s remember that UCLA ranks in the top 15 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, so this is definitely a balanced squad. We’re likely to see a close game in this one, and there’s a good chance it comes down to the final possession.
UCLA vs Saint Mary’s Score Pick
Saint Mary’s 67, UCLA 63
I was extremely impressed with Saint Mary’s in their win over Indiana. However, I felt the opposite while watching UCLA squeak it out against Akron.
While we should not draw conclusions from one game, it’s still noteworthy in a tournament with such a close turnaround between Rounds 1 and 2. Saint Mary’s is likely to cause problems for UCLA with their defense.
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UCLA vs. Saint Mary’s Best Bets
Saint Mary’s +3 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
I would much rather be on the underdog’s side in a projected close game. The Gaels have a legitimate chance at winning this game outright, so I’ll roll with Saint Mary’s here.
While there’s value on the Moneyline, I feel more comfortable taking the three points. It would not surprise me to see the line move in Saint Mary’s direction by tip-off, given what we saw in Round 1.
Over 126 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
While both defenses are among the best in the country, their offenses are strong as well. Saint Mary’s ranked 50th, and UCLA finished 15th in adjusted efficiency.
We saw Saint Mary’s fire on all cylinders, putting up 82 points against Indiana. I think that this is a low bar to clear in a close game, so we’ll ride with the Over.