The No. 7 UCLA Bruins will take the floor for the first time in a week when they host the Utah Utes on Thursday night from Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. The game will get started at 11:00 p.m. ET, and it will air on Pac-12 Network.
Utah vs. UCLA odds
Spread: UCLA -12
Moneyline: UCLA -740, Utah +540
Utah (12-5, 5-1 Pac-12) is coming off its first conference loss on Saturday when the Utes lost to the Oregon Ducks 70-60 despite 15 points and 10 rebounds from Marco Anthony. The Utes are led by a defense that rates 19th in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency, but they are 98th on the offensive end of the floor. Seven-footer Branden Carlson is the team leader in points (15.7), rebounds (7.4) and blocks (2.2) per game his season.
UCLA (14-2, 5-0 Pac-12) will bring an 11-game winning streak into Thursday night’s contest, and it knocked off the USC Trojans 60-58 last Thursday with Jaylen Clark leading the way with 15 points. Freshman starter Amari Bailey has been out with a foot injury for nearly a month, and he’s not expected to play in this spot. The Bruins have a very balanced roster that rates fourth overall in KenPom and top 12 on both ends of the floor in adjusted efficiency.
The Pick: UCLA -12
The Bruins are in a fantastic spot to play one of their top games of the season. Utah is barely inside the top 50 nationally in KenPom, but that 5-1 conference record should motivate the Bruins to stay ahead in the Pac-12 standings. When you combine this with the fact UCLA doesn’t have to travel with a full week off in between games, the Bruins are set up for a big-time performance on Thursday night.