UCLA vs BYU March Madness Odds, Picks and Predictions March 20

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Updated: March 19, 2021

Jason Logan
Clock Icon Mar 19, 2021 – 9:21 AM ET

The No. 6 BYU Cougars battle the No. 11 UCLA Bruins for college basketball betting in the Round of 64 of the NCAA Tournament Saturday after the Bruins’ thrilling overtime win in the First Four play-in round.

UCLA overcame a 14-point hole versus Michigan State on Thursday, snapping a four-game losing streak going back to the Pac-12 regular season. Brigham Young has been dormant since losing to Gonzaga in the WCC Championship on March 9, which was just its second loss in the last nine games – both coming against the Zags.

Check out our free March Madness picks and predictions for UCLA vs. BYU on March 20.

UCLA vs BYU odds

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BYU opened as a 2-point favorite and jumped up to -4 with money coming in on the Cougars. The total hit the board at 140 points and has dipped to 139 at some sportsbooks. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

UCLA Bruins vs BYU Cougars betting preview

Injuries

UCLA: Johnny Juzang G (Questionable).
BYU: None.

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Bruins are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning record. Find more NCAA betting trends for UCLA vs. BYU.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

After blowing second-half leads in each of their last four losses, the Bruins flipped the script and rode a late push into overtime, then buckled down on defense in the added period to push past MSU and into March Madness’ Round of 64.

Thursday’s win may have come at a great cost, though. Leading scorer Johnny Juzang suffered a right ankle injury in the OT and left the game after scoring 23 points including some key buckets down the stretch. Juzang’s status is up in the air heading into the weekend.

The Bruins are going to need all the firepower they can muster against a solid Cougars squad. Brigham Young was the one program that consistently gave Gonzaga issues this season and nearly stunned the No. 1 overall seed in the conference tournament title game. 

The Cougars are extremely efficient on offense (ranked 27th in adjusted offensive efficiency) and have an inside-out-game that picks apart opposing defenses in the halfcourt set. Brigham Young is big and leans on that size on both ends of the floor (boasting an effective height rating of +2.5 – sixth-best in the land) and can make teams pay from beyond the arc, shooting nearly 40 percent from distance in its last three contests.

UCLA has struggled with bigger opponents during Pac-12 play, falling to USC twice, Oregon State, Stanford, and Washington State – all of which rank Top 23 in size. The Bruins have been terribly inconsistent on the year, going just 2-6 ATS in their last eight games coming off a victory, and if Juzang is out or even limited, they won’t be able to hang with the Cougars.

PREDICTION: BYU -4 (-110)

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Over/Under Pick

The Bruins’ depth is going to be tested in this Round of 64 matchup, not just coming off a physical overtime fight with the Spartans, but also possibly being down the team’s leading scorer. Head coach Mick Cronin doesn’t dip too far into the reserves, getting an average of only 29 minutes per game off the bench.

The Cougars’ size and depth wears down opponents over the course of 40 minutes, not by running foes into the ground but grinding in the halfcourt set – making every physical possession an investment. Brigham Young averages 16.2 assists per outing (16th), moving the ball and finding the open look with patience on the offensive end. 

The Cougars are no slouches defensively either, with BYU sitting 26th in adjusted defensive efficiency and not giving up easy looks inside. The Cougars allow opponents to attempt just under 25 percent of their total shots at the rim, instead pushing them outside the paint to take less efficient mid-range looks.     

PREDICTION: Under 140 (-110)

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Second half prop pick

The first half of this contest could be a little closer than the final 20 minutes, which is why we’re taking advantage of the lookahead second-half line for March Madness odds value. 

The Bruins allowed a season-high 44 points in the first half to Michigan State on Thursday, but Cronin’s crew is usually drum-tight in the first frame, giving up only 32.3 first-half points per contest on the season. UCLA had checked its previous two foes to scores of 24 and 25 points in the opening 20 minutes.

Brigham Young has been out of action for more than 10 days (outside of rescuing teammates from elevators) and between the rust and Big Dance jitters, could come out a little cold. However, the second half will shape up to be a good one for the Cougars, who average 40.4 second-half points per game.

As mentioned, UCLA has a bad habit of blowing it in the final 20 minutes of action and did so in four straight games before Thursday’s win over MSU. The Bruins were outscored by an average of 41.5-31 in the second half during that span and their heavy legs will set them up for another late swoon Saturday.

PREDICTION: BYU second-half -1.5 (-108)

UCLA vs BYU betting card

  • BYU -4 (-110)
  • Under 140 (-110)
  • BYU second-half -1.5 (-108)

March Madness parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s March Madness UCLA vs. BYU picks, you could win $60.19 on a $10 bet?

Use our March Madness parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Where can I bet on March Madness odds?

March Madness is one of the most popular times of the year for sports bettors, which of course makes it one of the busiest times of the year for online sportsbooks. Every betting site will offer March Madness odds but the top sites are safe and secure, offer a wide range of banking options, and give you a ton of markets for each game. Check out the best March Madness betting sites in your region.


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