Two teams with 6-1 records on the season will meet when UCLA and Colorado meet in Los Angeles. For the fifth-ranked Bruins, this will be their first conference game of the season, as they open their Pac-12 campaign against a Colorado team that has already picked up a win in Pac-12 play. UCLA comes in as a convincing favorite to win this game, but there is no such thing as a guaranteed win in conference play.
These early season conference matchups have become much more popular in recent seasons, as big and small conferences have offered a sneak preview of conference competition of sorts. While these types of games allow teams to test how well they have developed during the non-conference schedule at the beginning of the year, they can lead to upsets as well. With teams having to shift from playing weaker schools to those at least somewhat on their level, teams like UCLA have to be vigilant.
Colorado Buffaloes – Biggest Test Of 2021
The Colorado Buffaloes are off to a 6-1 start to this season, and picked up a win to kick off their Pac-12 season just a few days ago. They beat the Stanford Cardinal in their opener in conference play, securing a four point victory at home against a Cardinal team that was 4-2 prior to that matchup. Here, the Buffaloes are set to face their toughest test of the season so far, which could be problematic based on their schedule so far.
So far this season, the Buffaloes haven’t played a true road game, as is the case for most power conference teams during the non-conference part of their schedule. That won’t help them heading into this contest, where they are going to play against UCLA on the road, in one of the most storied venues in the game of basketball. Combine that with the fact that Colorado has yet to play a ranked team, and they could be in for a world of hurt here.
Expected Line-Up: Elijah Parquet, Keeshawn Barthelemy, Evan Battey, Jabari Walker, Tristan da Silva
with best odds
UCLA Bruins – Battle Tested And Ready
UCLA is also off to a 6-1 start, but they have faced some quality competition already this season. The Bruins have split a pair of home games against top-five teams already this year, beating Villanova in overtime before getting blown out by Gonzaga. But those tests early in the season should have UCLA well prepared for this game, where the Bruins will once again be asked to defend their home floor against a quality team.
What has made UCLA so dangerous is the same thing that helped them get to the Final Four last year: balance. The Bruins are led in scoring by Johnny Juzang, but he is averaging under 18 points per game, as UCLA has four guards averaging double figures through their first seven games of the season. As long as they can remain balanced on offense, the Bruins should be able to get through this game without taking a second loss.
Expected Line-Up: Jules Bernard, Tyger Campbell, Johnny Juzang, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Myles Johnson
Expert Pick #1 – UCLA -13.5 @ -115
The first bet to put on this game is UCLA -13.5 at -115 odds. The Bruins are better from top to bottom coming into this matchup and are at home, where they have been excellent with the exception of a game against the best team in the country. Here, they will use their balanced attack to keep Colorado off-balance for 40 minutes. They will cover the spread with ease.
Expert Pick #2 – Under 141.5 @ -110
Next, it is worth placing a bet on the under 141.5 at -110 odds for this Colorado Buffaloes vs. UCLA Bruins matchup. UCLA is dangerous offensively, but they are good enough on defense to make this tip worth putting some money on. Colorado should have a hard time scoring in enough possessions to threaten the total here, even if UCLA gets theirs when they have the ball.
Expert Pick #3 – Colorado Under 63.5 Points @ -110
The final play to make in this game is the Colorado team total under 63.5 points at -110 odds. Colorado is averaging about 79 points per game, which is certainly not bad, but that number isn’t sustainable against a team like UCLA. Here, the Buffaloes will experience a steep dropoff in offensive production and will fail to break 60 in all likelihood.
This game represents too big a step up in competition for the Colorado Buffaloes to overcome early in the season. On the road against the best team in their conference, the Buffaloes will not be able to take the early onslaught from UCLA, and will not be able to cover the spread as a result. Instead, the best play to make in this contest is the Bruins -13.5.