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How and what to watch for No. 24 UCLA vs. Cal

In an all-Golden State battle, can the Bears get back on track against their sub-species, the Bruins?

Jaime Jaquez Jr. of the UCLA Bruins goes up for a dunk in the second half of the game against the Washington Huskies at Pauley Pavilion on January 16, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The No. 24 UCLA Bruins are undefeated in Pac-12 play, and look to keep the train rolling as favorites against the Cal Golden Bears on Thursday night.

UCLA (11-2, 7-0 Pac-12) have a gaudy record, but a very soft schedule. They’ve played just one Top 25 team, a 77-70 loss on the road to Ohio State. Jaime Jaquez is a deadeye shooter at 45.2% from three-point range, and 6.4 assists per game from Tyger Campbell keeps the offense moving.

As an offense the denizens of Pauley Pavilion are 17th in the country at 113.6 points per 100 possessions, but are one of the slowest-paced teams in college basketball at just 66 trips per game.

Cal (7-8. 2-6 Pac-12) is going to need a miracle or a Pac-12 Tournament run to even be considered for postseason. Leading scorer Matt Bradley (17.8 ppg) remains injured, though the Bears have won two of their last three in his absence. The problem is on the glass, as the Berkeley Boys recover only 21.7% of their shots after a miss, which is 309th in the country.

Look for swingman Ryan Betley (10.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg) per game to have a big night if Cal is to stay in the game.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch UCLA vs. Cal on Thursday, January 21st at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPNU, or you can watch via the ESPN app with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: UCLA -9
Point Total: 136
Money line: UCLA -480, Cal +360

Betting Splits Against Spread

UCLA: (XX% of action, XX% of bets)
Cal: (XX% of action, XX% of bets)

  • UCLA are 4-1 ATS in their last five games, and the over is 6-1 in the last seven.
  • The total has gone over in all of Cal’s last nine games.

The Best Bet

The pace of UCLA is... just... so... slow, and they should struggle to score even further on the road. A rested Cal team can defend just well enough, but also not score too efficiently, to keep this number a bit too high.

Pick: Under 136

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