UCLA vs Michigan March Madness Odds, Picks and Predictions March 30

Updated: March 29, 2021

Jason Logan
Clock Icon Mar 29, 2021 – 8:32 AM ET

The No. 11 UCLA Bruins continue their Pac-12 revenge tour of the NCAA Tournament, facing the No. 1 Michigan Wolverines in the Elite Eight Tuesday night.

UCLA, which battled its way up through the First Four play-in round, took down No. 2 Alabama in overtime on Sunday marking its fourth straight collebe basketball betting payday as an underdog. Michigan, on the other hand, dispatched Florida State in the regional semifinals and has won its three tourney games by a collective 40 points.

Here are our free March Madness picks and predictions for UCLA vs. Michigan on March 30.

UCLA vs Michigan odds

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Michigan opened as a 7-point favorite and jumped to -7.5 with early play on the No. 1 seed. The total opened 137.5 points and slimmed to 136 with sharp action coming in on the Under.  Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

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UCLA Bruins vs Michigan Wolverines betting preview


UCLA: Jalen Hill F (Out).
Michigan: Isaiah Livers F (Out).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Wolverines are 13-4-2 ATS in their last 19 NCAA Tournament games as favorites. Find more NCAA betting trends for UCLA vs. Michigan.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

Cinderella’s glass slipper seems ill-suited for a program as storied as UCLA, but there’s no doubting the fairy-tale run from the Bruins. UCLA did a great job slowing up the speedy Alabama attack on Sunday while also landing punches of its own on offense. But how much did that crazy overtime thriller with the Crimson Tide leave in the tank for a very physical Michigan squad?

The Wolverines absolutely outmuscled Florida State in the Sweet 16, getting easy looks at the rim and shooting over 49 percent from the field, with 19 assists on 29 made field goals. Michigan also threw its weight around on the glass, winning the rebound war 37-31 including 11 boards on the offensive end.

The Bruins do find themselves eclipsed by a bigger, stronger UM lineup which ranks 48th in size but more importantly ninth in KenPom’s effective height (+2.4). Michigan’s hi-low looks shredded the FSU defense, either hitting the open foul-line jumper or tossing the lead pass into the post for position inside.

The defining factor in the Bruins’ win over Alabama was the botched free throws from the Tide. Alabama forced 21 fouls on UCLA but went a gag-inducing 11 for 25 from the stripe—just 44 percent. If Bama had made its season average on those freebies (71%), we would be breaking down the Tide and Wolverines for this March Madness matchup.

UCLA won’t be so lucky when it comes to Michigan’s ability to get to the line and make those foul shots. The Wolverines are 35 for 48 from the charity stripe the past two games and fire at a season average of 76.5 percent on free throws. Those will add up against this 7.5-point spread.

PREDICTION: Michigan -7.5 (-110)

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Over/Under Pick

The Bruins’ best chance of keeping pace with Michigan is to lean on their versatile roster to hit mid-range jumpers and 3-point buckets, in order to stretch Michigan’s mighty defense. Trading triples for UM’s layups could keep UCLA hanging around—much like it did versus the Crimson Tide, which still shot 43.5 percent from the field.

UCLA knocked down 10 of its 29 looks from beyond the arc versus Alabama and is shooting a combined 34 for 85 for the tournament (40%) from 3-point range. Florida State made just 5 of 20 from distance against Michigan in the Sweet 16 but that was more on the Seminoles, who came out cold in the first half and don’t shoot particularly well away from home.

The Michigan offense is a well-oiled machine, ranked seventh in offensive efficiency and making nearly 70 percent of its shots at the rim. The Wolverines don’t miss much, especially when the opposing defense starts to wear down in the final 20 minutes. Michigan has enjoyed second-half surges of 44 and 43 points in the past two contests.

Tack on all those free throws coming with the clock stopped, and this Elite Eight total is going Over the number Tuesday.

PREDICTION: Over 136 (-110)

Covers March Madness betting analysis

First half prop pick

I may have been burned going with the March Madness odds and betting against UCLA on the spread during this tournament, but I’ve countered those bad decisions with the Bruins’ first-half team total prop. And I do it again in the Elite Eight.

Mick Cronin’s kids have come out swinging in recent games and once again went Over their 1H team total of 32.5 points versus Alabama, holding a 40-29 halftime lead.

UCLA has now posted scores of 40, 38, 33, and 31 points in the opening 20 minutes of its four NCAA Tournament tilts and scored 34 points in the first half versus fellow Elite Eight Pac-12 team Oregon State before being bounced in the conference tournament.

PREDICTION: UCLA first-half team total Over 29.5 (-108)

UCLA vs Michigan betting card

  • Michigan -7.5 (-110)
  • Over 136 (-110)
  • UCLA first-half team total Over 29.5 (-108)

March Madness parlays

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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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