The Tulsa Golden Hurricane arrive at the NCAA tournament having covered 17 of their last 20 games against the point spread.
But as a reward for getting here, they get to play the UCLA Bruins, who rolled through the Pac-12 tournament in Vegas last week, picking up a win over No. 1 seed Arizona in the process.
The Bruins step into the opening round of the South Region having covered 10 of 13 as a double-digit favorite and this line is expected to reach 10 before tip-off.
Spread and total points scored betting line
The Bruins opened as nine-point favorites; the total was 146.5. (Compare lines and consensus on the Odds Shark matchup report)
Odds Shark computer pick
Why pick Tulsa to cover the spread?
The No. 13 Golden Hurricane won the Conference USA Tournament and are in the Big Dance for the first time since 2003.
They’re coached by former Madness hero Danny Manning, who won a national championship with Kansas as a player in 1988. Tulsa has become used to winning, as it’s not only covered 17 of 20 against the betting line and straight up, but have also won 11 in a row and ride a hot 7-1 ATS streak in March Madness action.
Why pick UCLA to cover the spread?
It would be hard to argue with anyone who likes No. 4 UCLA to get to the final weekend of the Dance, as first-year coach Steve Alford has a dynamic group. The Bruins boast forward Kyle Anderson, who can do it all and ignites the Pac-12’s No. 1 scoring offense.
At the other end, there’s Jordan Adams, who actually leads the team in scoring and is also third in steals per game.
Smart betting pick
This number is tempting when it comes to both sides. UCLA was superb in the Pac-12 Tournament and Tulsa is a viable underdog choice catching this many points.
But the smart betting pick is the under in this game. The Hurricane have stayed low in nine of their last 12, and make note, the under is on a 7-1 run the last two years in the 4 vs. 13 matchup.
Tulsa Golden Hurricane: No. 8
UCLA Bruins: No. 44 (per Odds Shark power ranks)
March Madness betting trends
- Tulsa is 17-3 ATS last 20 games
- Under is 9-3 last 12 Tulsa games
- Tulsa 7-1 ATS last eight tournament games
- Tulsa is 6-0 ATS in first-round games since 1996
- UCLA is 10-3 ATS last 13 games as double-digit favorites