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UCLA vs UNC Asheville Prediction and NCAA Tournament March Madness Expert Picks

In a First Round NCAA Tournament game, the 2-seed UCLA Bruins will face off with the 15-seed UNC Asheville Bulldogs 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 UNC Asheville prediction for the First Round matchup. 

UCLA vs UNC Asheville Prediction and March Madness Expert Picks

2023 NCAA Tournament First Round
No. 2 UCLA Bruins (29-5) vs. No. 15 UNC Asheville Bulldogs (27-7)
Date: Thursday, March 16, 2023
Time: 10:05 PM EST
Venue: Golden 1 Center – Sacramento, CA
Coverage: truTV

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UCLA vs UNC Asheville March Madness Betting Odds

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

Moneyline: UCLA: (-2215) | UNCA: (+1115)
Point Spread: UCLA: -17.5 (-110) | UNCA: +17.5 (-110)
Total: 135 — 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+27.63 (2)114.9 (25)87.2 (1)66.3 (230)
UNC Asheville+1.51 (146)104.1 (195)102.6 (115)68.5 (121)
  • Bruins are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
  • Eight of the Bruins’ last ten games following a straight up loss have gone OVER the total.
  • Bruins are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games as a betting favorite.
  • Bulldogs are 5-1 ATS in their last six games against teams with a winning record.
  • The OVER is 9-4 in the Bulldogs’ last 13 games overall.
  • Bulldogs are 6-0 ATS in their last six games as a betting underdog.

UCLA vs UNC Asheville Prediction | March Madness Expert Picks and Bracketology

Statistically speaking, few teams in this year’s NCAA Tournament can claim anything close to the season UCLA has had. The Bruins enter the bracket with only five losses on the year. However, after running away with the Pac-12 regular season title, Mick Cronin’s team was bit hard by the injury bug during the conference tournament.

With Jaylen Clark out for possibly the remainder of the season and Adem Bona also having to miss the Pac-12 Championship, UCLA was extremely thin in the frontcourt in its loss to Arizona. One has to believe that Bona will be back for Thursday’s matchup against UNC Asheville, but whether or not he will be at 100% is hardly guaranteed. Luckily, the Bruins still have an uber-talented backcourt in addition to Pac-12 Player of the Year, Jaime Jacquez.

Even with the injuries, the Bruins are an overwhelming favorite against the Big South Conference champs. UNC Asheville was the best team in its conference all year but struggled to pull away from lower-seeded teams in the tournament.

Forward Drew Pember is the Bulldogs’ leading scorer and is a master at drawing fouls. If the Bruins are in fact short-handed in the frontcourt, foul trouble is the last thing they will want to deal with. Couple this with UCLA’s strength which is playing solid team defense and we could be looking at a lower-point total on Thursday. This sort of game script figures to bode well for UNC Asheville’s chances of covering the lofty spread.

Our official college basketball betting UCLA vs UNC Asheville prediction will be UNC ASHEVILLE COVERS at BetUS

For what it’s worth, the ESPN Matchup Predictor gives UCLA a 96.9% chance to win.

Bet: UNC Asheville +17.5 (-110 at BetUS Sportsbook)

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