Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-2) vs UCLA Bruins (6-2)Date : 12/08/2018
Time : 10:30 PM
Location : Pauley Pavilion
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs UCLA Bruins
The UCLA Bruins return home to Pauley Pavilion for their 3rd consecutive home game as they will welcome in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the opening tipoff is slated for 10:30 PM. Both teams have started the season off 6-2 but neither program has yet to record their signature win of the season.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish's Latest Performance :
Notre Dame lost some of its important pieces from 2017 as two leaders moved on to the professional level and it has become apparent this season that their presence was huge as they have been in some tight games early on. The Fighting Irish were unable to win their recent matchup against the Oklahoma Sooners at a neutral site as they were outscored 85-80. Junior guard Temple Gibbs has taken full reigns of the team this season and he proved he can be a scorer against Oklahoma as he dropped 18 points which is slightly above his team-high 14.3 PPG. Junior forward John Mooney is the new centerpiece for the Fighting Irish and he didn’t disappoint against Oklahoma as he dropped a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. This has been the moral of the story all season long for Mooney as he is averaging just shy of a double-double with 11.5 PPG and 9.5 RPG. Senior guard Rex Pflueger was held to only 2 points in this game but the Fighting Irish received a great game out of backup forward Juwan Durham as the junior dropped 15 points.
UCLA Bruins's Latest Performance :
The UCLA Bruins record looks good on paper but their 2 losses were blowouts against UNC and Michigan State as they lost both games by a combined 36 points. The Bruins took a hit when they lost freshmen big man Shareef O’Neil to injury as Shaq’s son was ranked as one of the best in the country. The Bruins were able to take their anger out in a recent home matchup against Loyola Marymount as they won 82-58. The two-star guards for the Bruins were able to assert their dominance in this game as Jaylen Hands and Kris Wilkes contributed 17 points apiece, Hands also dished out 10 assists. Wilkes has had the more impressive year by far as the sophomore is averaging 17.5 PPG and 4.1 RPG while Hands is averaging 12.6 PPG and 6.3 APG. Although O’Neil is out freshmen center Moses Brown has been solid as he is averaging just shy of a double-double with 13 PPG and 9.9 RPG. Brown was able to record a double-double against Loyola Marymount as he scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. The Bruins have an abundance of threats on the offensive end but they will need to amp up their defense moving forward.
How Notre Dame Fighting Irish & UCLA Bruins Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Notre Dame is 3-5 ATS, 0-0 ATS on the road.
UCLA is 4-4 ATS, 4-2 ATS at home.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
UCLA ranks 39th in the nation in team scoring as they score an average of 83.6 PPG while Notre Dame ranks 112th as they score an average of 78 PPG.
Notre Dame ranks 93rd in the nation in team defense as they hold opponents to an average of 67.6 PPG while UCLA ranks 118th as they hold opponents to an average of 71.8 PPG.
Against The Spread Selection: UCLA Bruins
My reason for the pick :
This game should be a fun game to tune into as we have two traditionally sound programs going up against each other but I am siding with the home team in this matchup as UCLA has shown me more early on in the season. Notre Dame is a two-man show ran by Gibbs and Mooney but UCLA has more weapons than that as Moses Brown is slightly better than Mooney and the UCLA guards should overpower Gibbs. UCLA has been shooting the ball fairly well this season as they rank towards the top in PPG and given that Notre Dame has a below average defense I don’t see them stopping the Bruins at home.
Betting trends for Notre Dame Fighting Irish:
- Notre Dame is 0-1 ATS after a loss this season.
Betting trends for UCLA Bruins:
- UCLA is 4-2 ATS as a favorite this season.