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Pick on the moneyline for Gonzaga-UCLA on March 23

VSiN’s Greg Peterson goes over the best betting options for Thursday’s college basketball matchup between the Gonzaga Bulldogs and UCLA Bruins.

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NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament Second Round-Texas Christian vs Gonzaga Michael Ciaglo-USA TODAY Sports

For the third straight season, the UCLA Bruins and Gonzaga Bulldogs will battle it out on the court. This time around, what happens in Las Vegas will result in one team going to the Elite Eight and the other going home.

Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. UCLA Bruins (-1.5, 145.5)

Gonzaga’s biggest struggle has been defense, ranking 175th in the nation in points allowed per possession but has improved recently, allowing 73 points or fewer in six of its last seven games. During this span, opponents are now shooting 45.6% on 2-point shots after shooting 52.3% prior all with veteran Drew Timme being in the middle of it.

Timme leads Gonzaga with 21.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and a block per game, including 21.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in the previous two matchups against UCLA.

The Bruins rank third in the nation in points allowed per possession but in the previous two meetings against the Bulldogs, they’ve allowed 93 and 83 points, respectively, with largely the same core of guards.

UCLA guard Jaylen Clark, who averaged 13.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game, is done for the season while David Singleton, who was elevated from a sixth-man role to the starting lineup, went down with an ankle injury recently.

While Singleton will be active and playing on Thursday, it’s unclear how close to 100 percent he will be but he is UCLA’s top 3-point shooter with 9.1 points per game on 42.5% 3-point shooting.

The Bulldogs enter the Sweet 16 as the nation’s top offense in points scored per possession and with the Bruins’ injuries and recent defensive struggles, they should have no problem picking up their third straight win in the last 24 months over the Bruins.

The Play: Gonzaga Moneyline +105

Get Peterson’s spread and total lines for every game on the college basketball board.

Check out the DraftKings college basketball betting splits with public money and betting percentages.