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UCLA vs Northwestern Prediction and NCAA Tournament March Madness Expert Picks

In a Second Round NCAA Tournament game, the 2-seed UCLA Bruins will face off with the 7-seed Northwestern Wildcats in the West Region. Let’s take a look at the top college basketball betting odds, March Madness expert picks, betting trends and KenPom Rankings, then share our official UCLA vs Northwestern prediction for the Second Round matchup. 

UCLA vs Northwestern Prediction and March Madness Expert Picks

2023 NCAA Tournament Second Round
No. 2 UCLA Bruins (30-5) vs. No. 7 Northwestern Wildcats (22-11)
Date: Saturday, March 18, 2023
Time: 8:40 PM EST
Venue: Golden 1 Center — Sacramento, CA
Coverage: TNT

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UCLA vs Northwestern March Madness Betting Odds

All college basketball betting odds for UCLA vs Northwestern can be found at BetUS Sportsbook.

Moneyline: UCLA: (-355) | NW: (+282)
Point Spread: UCLA: -7.5 (-110) | NW: +7.5 (-110)
Total: 126.5 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)

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KenPom Rankings | Bracketology

KenPom Rankings are from

TeamOverall AdjEM (Rk)AdjO (Rk)AdjD (Rk)AdjT (Rk)
UCLA+28.07 (2)115.3 (21)87.2 (1)66.2 (235)
Northwestern+15.69 (37)109.6 (100)93.9 (18)64.7 (309)
  • Bruins are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six games overall.
  • Five of the Bruins’ last six games against teams with a winning percentage above .600 have gone OVER the total.
  • The UNDER is 11-5 in the Bruins’ last 16 games following an ATS win.
  • Wildcats are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
  • The UNDER is 5-1 in the Wildcats’ last six games following a straight up win.
  • Wildcats are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a straight up win.

UCLA vs Northwestern Prediction | March Madness Expert Picks and Bracketology

Despite being without both Jaylen Clark and Adem Bona, UCLA had no trouble overwhelming UNC Asheville in the First Round on Thursday night. The more adversity the Bruins get dealt, the better Mick Cronin’s team seems to play. While Clark has officially been ruled out for the rest of the season there is optimism that UCLA will have Bona back in the fold for Saturday’s showdown against Northwestern.

In some ways, these two schools are remarkably similar. Both are among the best defensive teams in all of college basketball with UCLA actually ranking No. 1 in adjusted defensive efficiency according to KenPom. As far as standard scoring defensive statistics are concerned, the Bruins rank fifth nationally (60.1 points per game) and the Wildcats aren’t far behind at No. 15 (62.6 ppg).

Add in the fact that both teams play at remarkably slow tempos and on the surface, the Under would seem to be an attractive bet to make. That said, betting the Under would certainly defy the offensive outputs we saw from both teams in the opening round.

One also has to consider just how good a team Northwestern truly is. Sure, the Wildcats were able to dispatch Boise State, but they will be stepping up a weight class or two against UCLA. If anything, the Bruins may look to push the pace in this game, with Tyger Campbell and Jaime Jacquez Jr. leading the attack. If successful in doing so, Northwestern will be hard-pressed to keep pace on the scoreboard.

Our official college basketball betting UCLA vs Northwestern prediction will be UCLA COVERS at BetUS

For what it’s worth, the ESPN Matchup Predictor gives UCLA an 84.8% chance to win.

Bet: UCLA -7.5 (-110 at BetUS Sportsbook)

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