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NCAA Basketball Picks: UCLA Bruins vs. California Golden Bears

Jeff GrantContributor IFebruary 14, 2013

NCAA Basketball Picks: UCLA Bruins vs. California Golden Bears

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    Shabazz Muhammad leads all freshmen nationally in averaging 18.5 points per game, which is important to consider when making your NCAA basketball picks on Thursday night, as the UCLA Bruins take on the California Golden Bears at Haas Pavilion.

    Sports bettors will find that the Bruins are three-point road underdogs in the college basketball odds (courtesy of SBR Forum), while the total stands at 142.5 in the market.

    Muhammad scored 16 points in his first-ever meeting versus California, with UCLA coming away with a 79-65 victory as seven-point home favorites on Jan. 3 at Pauley Pavilion.

    Let's take a closer look at this Pac-12 Conference matchup from a betting perspective, while offering up an against-the-spread pick along the way.  

UCLA Bruins

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    The UCLA Bruins have won back-to-back games, including a 76-62 victory over the Washington State Cougars as 9.5-point home favorites last Saturday.

    Sports bettors will find that the Bruins are 20-8 against the spread as road underdogs of three points or less in their last 28 opportunities.

California Golden Bears

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    The California Golden Bears have won three of their last four games, including a 77-69 victory over the Arizona Wildcats as 13-point road underdogs on Sunday.

    Sports bettors will find that the Golden Bears are 0-5 against the spread in five games with a betting total between 140 and 149.5 this season. 

Prediction

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    I'm going to recommend that readers back the UCLA Bruins as one of their NCAA basketball picks on Thursday night, as they've gone 14-6-1 against the spread in their last 21 Thursday games, while the Golden Bears have failed to cover the number in four of their last five tries in that situation.

    NCAA Basketball Pick: UCLA Bruins +3

     

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