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College Basketball Picks: California Golden Bears vs. UCLA Bruins

Jeff GrantContributor IJanuary 3, 2013

College Basketball Picks: California Golden Bears vs. UCLA Bruins

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    Shabazz Muhammad has led the UCLA Bruins (10-3) to five consecutive wins, but the program hasn't had much success against the spread (ATS) versus the California Golden Bears (8-4) over the last three years, as the two Pac-12 Conference rivals meet Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion.

    Sports bettors will find that the Bruins are 7.5-point home favorites in the college basketball betting odds (courtesy of SBR Forum), while the total stands at 152 in the market.

    The Golden Bears are dangerous road underdogs in this affair, considering they've gone 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings in this series between Golden State rivals.

    Let's take a closer look at this contest from a betting perspective, while offering a prediction along the way.

California Golden Bears

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    The California Golden Bears have one of the best backcourts in the Pac-12 Conference, with Justin Cobbs and Allen Crabbe averaging a combined 37.3 points per game, which accounts for 52 percent of the team's scoring.

    Sports bettors will find that the Golden Bears are 2-2 ATS as road underdogs of 6.5 to 9 points the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 4-0 in that situation.

UCLA Bruins

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    The UCLA Bruins earned a 97-94 overtime win over the Missouri Tigers as 3.5-point home favorites last time out, which could lead to a letdown in this spot.

    Sports bettors will find that the Bruins have won all seven of their games in straight-up fashion as home favorites of 6.5 to 9 points since 2010, but none of those games have come during the current campaign.

Prediction

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    I'm going to recommend that readers back the California Golden Bears as one of their college basketball picks Thursday night, as the road team is 14-6 ATS in the last 20 meetings in this series.  UCLA should be listed as a five-point favorite in this game—not 7.5.

    College Basketball Pick: California Golden Bears +7.5

     

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