UCLA Bruins vs. San Diego Aztecs Betting Preview – CBB, November 25, 2020

By Admir Aljic in College Basketball
| November 24, 2020 12:07 pm PDT

The UCLA Bruins will start this campaign with a tricky road trip to face the San Diego State Aztecs, one of the best teams in college basketball last year. However, the No. 22 Bruins are slight favorites in this encounter, but even though the Aztecs’ best player left to the NBA, they found a worthy replacement and will be a tough nut to crack. Check out my Bruins vs. Aztecs betting prediction.

Bruins vs. Aztecs Odds

Bruins -3.5-110
Aztecs +3.5-110
Bruins to win-147
Aztecs to win+138
Over 134-110
Under 134-110

Bruins Are Searching for the First NCAA Championship Since 1995

The UCLA Bruins are the most decorated team in college basketball with 11 championships, but they didn’t win one since 1995, and although it’s going to be extremely hard, they will try to return to the throne this season. It’s not going to be easy because they have just one senior on the roster, as most of the team is made of juniors and sophomores. The Bruins finished the previous campaign with a 19-12 record (12-6 in conference play) and in 2nd place in the Pac-12 behind the Oregon Ducks.

Guard Chris Smith, who averaged 13.1 ppg along with 5.4 rpg last season, is that lone senior on the roster, and he will be the team’s top player this time around. Forward Jalen Hill (9.0 rpg and 6.9 rpg) and guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. (8.9 ppg and 4.8 rpg) will be his main support on offense.

Last year, the Bruins averaged 69.5 points per game (228th), 36.6 rebounds per game (114th), and 12.9 assists per game (193rd), while they allowed 67.1 points per contest (115th).

Aztecs Hoping to Replicate the Last Season

The San Diego State Aztecs were one of the hottest teams in college basketball last year, but even though they won the regular season with a 30-2 record (17-1 in conference play), they fell short to the Utah State Aggies in the Mountain West Championship game. The Aztecs were expected to get either a No. 1 or 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, which was canceled due to the pandemic.

They lost the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year, Malachi Flynn, who joined the Toronto Raptors, while seniors Yanni Wetzell and K.J. Feagin also left the team. Although they lost Flynn, the Aztecs got senior guard Terrell Gomez, who averaged 19.8 ppg for the CSU Northridge Matadors last season, and he will be the top weapon on offense. Forward Matt Mitchell, who was the team’s second top scorer last season with 12.2 ppg, will likely play second fiddle to Gomez.

Last season, the Aztecs averaged 74.8 points per game (76th), 35.0 rebounds per game (292nd), and 14.8 assists per game (46th), while they allowed 59.5 points per contest (4th).

Bruins vs. Aztecs Pick

Pick
  • San Diego State Aztecs +3.5
    -110

Although I am aware that the Bruins have one of the most talented rosters in basketball, and I predict them to make it to the NCAA tournament, I am not sure about their favorite role in this one. San Diego State did lose its star player and top scorer, but Terrell Gomez should be a decent replacement, and it seems that the Aztecs still have a better defense than UCLA.

I am not saying the Aztecs will beat the Bruins on Wednesday, but I am definitely backing them to cover the spread.

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