After knocking off Virginia Commonwealth on Friday, the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks have now won 29 straight games.
They take on the UCLA Bruins on Sunday, who have covered five of their last six overall but also come into this ambush having failed to cover in three of their last four against 12th-seeded teams in the Big Dance.
No. 12 seeds are 6-1 against the spread in seven recent games vs. No. 4 seeds, which would benefit SFA here.
Spread and total points scored betting line
The Bruins opened as 8.5-point favorites; the total was 144.5. (Compare lines and consensus on the Odds Shark matchup report.)
Odds Shark computer pick
Why pick Stephen F. Austin to cover the spread
The Southland Conference champs came in seeded 12th, but they looked more like a single-digit seed by remaining poised Friday against VCU and advancing with an overtime win.
The Lumberjacks are led by a talented starting five, which is spearheaded by an unselfish guard trifecta of Desmond Haymon, Thomas Walkup and Trey Pinkney.
Why pick UCLA to cover the spread
Coach Steve Alford did one of the smartest things he could have done before Pac-12 play began, reaching deep into his bench to make sure his younger soldiers got playing time during a holiday tournament in Las Vegas.
Giving the players experience provides the Pac-12 tourney champs with depth for times like this. Fourth-seeded UCLA has failed to cover five straight in the round of 32.
Smart betting pick
The Bruins are peaking at the right time, and they’ve stepped up when they’ve needed to the past two months. One need only look back to last weekend to see how well they can perform, like they did when dominating the league title game against Arizona.
UCLA has covered 10 of 13 against the betting line when laying eight points or more. This is cheap chalk for the Bruins.
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks: No. 88
UCLA Bruins: No. 44 (per Odds Shark power ranks)
March Madness betting trends
- SFA has won 29 straight games
- UCLA 5-1 ATS past six games overall
- UCLA is 10-3 ATS past 13 times as chalk of eight points or more
- UCLA 0-5 ATS past five second-round games
- UCLA is 1-3 ATS vs. 12 seeds since 1996
- No. 12 seeds are 6-1 ATS past seven vs. No. 4 seeds
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