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January 29, 2015 (Posted at 5:00 PM ET)

Sports Profit System is 20-8-1 in January thanks to its quality over quantity philosophy! Today's best value lies in college basketball. We'll be back on the NBA court tomorrow.

Take UCLA at +6 spread against Utah risking 3%

The #11 ranked Utes travel to Pauley Pavilion to take on the Bruins tonight. The Utah Utes have been one of the sports betting darlings of the college basketball world this season. They are ranked 11th in the country, they have an extremely efficient offense and a hard-nosed defense. They have not only been winning games, but have been doing so in dominant fashion. These teams met just a couple of weeks ago and it was simply no contest as the Utes rolled to an embarrassing 73-39 victory in Salt Lake City. At 14-4 ATS this season and having already not only beaten but embarrassed this UCLA team, it's no wonder the public has been eager to jump on the Utes bandwagon in this matchup. There has been a long standing saying that when things look too good to be true, they usually are. We believe that is the case here. 

It’s no secret that the UCLA Bruins have struggled this season, but looking deeper into this team, the public perception has certainly been skewed recently. The Bruins are one of the most day and night teams when it comes to playing at home vs. playing on the road and that has weighed in on how people have perceived this team. On the season, UCLA has posted respectable offensive numbers. They are averaging 71 points per contest on 41.9% shooting from the floor while connecting on 34% from 3 point range. Bryce Alford leads the team with 15.8 points with a team high 5.6 assists per game. Norman Powell averages 15.5 points per game, Kevon Looney puts up 13 points while collecting a team high 10.2 rebounds, Tony Parker adds 10.8 points with 7.4 rebounds and Isaac Hamilton chips in with 10.2 points per game. Alford has drained a team high 50 threes while Hamilton adds 33 and Powell has contributed 28. Each has shown an ability to hit from outside so far.

While those statistics have been respectable, at home they have gotten even better! This team has averaged over 81 points per game on 47% shooting while connecting on 43.5% from 3 point range at Pauley Pavilion this season. That's a 10 point swing in offensive production at home vs on the road! They are 9-1 at home this season with their lone loss coming at the hands of #3 ranked Gonzaga. Over the last 2 seasons they have an impressive 25-3 record at Pauley Pavilion. This is a team that simply plays their best basketball at home. The Bruins have played 7 of their last 9 games on the highway so it's easy for people to forget just how good this team can be at home and we are expecting them to remind everyone of that tonight. 

The Bruins see a rise in offensive production at home, the Utah Utes are a team whose production seriously tails off when on the road. The Utes are 16-3 this season, are scoring an average of 75.1 points on nearly 50% shooting from the field and connecting on 41.7% from long range. However, in their 6 road games this season they are averaging a very mediocre 60 points per game on 41% shooting from the field and 32% from deep. That's nearly a 15 point scoring difference from their season average and a 10% drop in offensive effenciency! The Utes have been fortunate to have owned the rebounding advantage over their opponents this season however they will likely be at a loss tonight as the Bruins are the better rebounding team down low and hold a +10 rebounding advantage over their opponents this season. 

The lopsided loss that the Bruins suffered at the hands of Utah should motivate them in this contest and finally being back on their home court will likely give them their confidence back in their offensive game. This is one of those games where people will assume that what happened in the last meeting will likely repeat itself tonight and we don't believe that will be the case. Utah has been putting in quality performance after quality performance and gaining the attention of the betting public. Now that everyone appears to be backing the Utes, this is the ideal spot for them to falter. Utah has shown their ability to struggle on the road and that could be the case again here. Pauley Pavilion is an extremely tough place to play and we believe this will be closer than most expect. While the points will likely come into play, we wouldn't be surprised if UCLA pulled off the upset. 

Other notable facts to consider:

  • UCLA is 15-1 in their last 16 home games!
  • Utah has won only 6 its last 20 games on the road.
  • UCLA is 7-2 when revenging a road loss over the last 3 seasons. 
  • UCLA is 23-9 ATS in a home game where the total is 130 to 134.5 since 1997!

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