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Wednesday December 1st Colorado at UCLA Basketball Betting Preview

The Bruins are Good, But are the Buffaloes Being Overlooked?

On paper the December 1st Colorado at UCLA basketball betting matchup looks like a laugher, with the Bruins -13.5 favorites as they get their Pac-12 season underway. Mick Cronin’s team has gotten back on track after an 83-63 loss to Gonzaga in the Good Sam Empire Classic knocked them from #2 to #5 in the country.

UCLA upended UNLV 73-51 on Saturday but shouldn’t overlook Colorado on Wednesday night. The Buffaloes were a 23-win team last year, although they will struggle to replace McKinley Wright IV (15.2 ppg) who graduated and is in the NBA G-League. CU has still started off 6-1, and already has a conference win picking up an 80-76 victory over Stanford on Sunday to push the -4 point spread.

Buffs a Beneficiary of Their Competition?

It’s been a nice 6-1 start to the season for CU, but some could argue that is actually a disappointment considering the Buffaloes have been favored in each of their games this season. Their lone loss came 67-63 to the Southern Illinois Salukis as Colorado looked a bit jet lagged from making the trip to the Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam Tournament.

The good news for Tad Boyle’s squad is that they regrouped in that tournament and picked up wins over Duquesne and Brown, then returned home and got conference play off on the right foot with an 80-76 win over Stanford. Colorado shot 49% from the field (27-55) and were led by 22 points from Evan Battey.

5th year Sr. Battey leads the team with 14.9 ppg as Colorado tries to make up for the departed Sr. McKinley Wright IV. Battey gets plenty of help (which he’ll need vs. UCLA) as Keeshawn Barthelemy (14.6) and Jabari Walker (13.9) have big game potential. That duo has gone for double digits in all but one game this season, and Battey has scored a dozen or more in six of seven.

Big Number for UCLA to Cover

One thing that people sometimes forget about UCLA’s remarkable Final 4 run last season was that they had to beat Michigan just to get into the tournament as the two #11 seeds squared off in the play-in game. The Bruins went on to topple foes such as Alabama and Michigan while obviously playing great with a chip on their shoulder.

The Bruins don’t get the benefit of being overlooked this season, as even with their loss to then #1 Gonzaga last week they still stayed in the top 5. UCLA is almost certainly better this year than they were last but they are still up against a Colorado team that they only beat 65-62 at Pauley Pavilion last season while also losing 70-61 in Boulder. The Buffaloes will miss the 26 points that Wright gave them in last years home win though.

Maybe the fact that the Bruins played tight with the Buffaloes last season helps them focus in the Colorado at UCLA basketball betting matchup? Colorado has some pretty solid scorers, but UCLA is confident they can match up with Johnny Juzang (17.4 ppg) and Jaime Jacquez, Jr. (15.6).

Colorado at UCLA Basketball Betting Pick

The Bruins came out angry last week in racing out to a 37-22 lead over UNLV by the half following their loss to Gonzaga the game before. That being said, this doesn’t feel like a 13.5 point game because Colorado can score.
Colorado 71 – UCLA 76

Free Pick: Colorado +13.5

Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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