Utah @ UCLA 2/18/24 Free Pick, NCAAB Odds, NCAAB Predictions

Utah (15-10) at UCLA (14-11)

Game Info: Sunday, February 18th, 2024 at 7 p.m. EST (John Wooden Arena)

Betting Odds: UCLA -2.5 (-110) - Over/Under (134.5)

Pick: UCLA -2.5 (-110)

Two teams on the bubble in the NCAA tournament and in the middle of the Pac-12 standings will face off here on Sunday night in some college basketball action. As the Utah Utes will take the floor against the UCLA Bruins here on Sunday night with both teams looking to pick up a marquee victory to wrap up the weekend. Both of these teams are having similar seasons, and this feels like a must win game for both parties as well. This will be the second and final meeting between these two teams in the regular season. So far Utah holds a win over UCLA coming into the second meeting of the year.

Utah comes into this game, sitting in ninth place of their conference, and they will look to move farther up the standings with a quality performance on the road in Los Angeles here on Sunday night. Despite having a losing record in conference play, and being one of the worst teams in the league once again, they do have an edge on the UCLA Bruins  this season. As they have picked up a blowout victory in their previous game against UCLA, and they will look to make it two out of two to wrap up their regular season series. Although they aren’t completely out of the tournament picture at the moment, they will need to finish the regular season strong if they want to even sniff the opportunity at making the tournament this year. 

They have certainly improved from years past and they will look to continue improving throughout the rest of the regular season, and that starts with grabbing a second victory of the year against UCLA here on Sunday night. The Utes are only two games below .500 in conference at the moment, and they will look to grab their 16th victory of the regular season here on Sunday night on the road in Los Angeles. Despite the fact that it seems unlikely they will make the postseason this year, they can hang their hat on their rebuild if they can manage to win their second game against a solid UCLA team. 

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The UCLA Bruins are putting together a quality campaign as they look to get back to the NCAA tournament and win a Pac-12 conference title for the first time in several years. They come into this game sitting in fourth place of their conference, and they will look to further gain ground on the three teams ahead of them with a quality performance here on Sunday night against Utah. Despite putting themselves in a position to make a deep conference tournament run this season, they have struggled against Utah this year losing in blowout fashion the last time these two teams shared the court together.

UCLA will look to secure themselves a split of the series with a solid performance here at home on Sunday night. UCLA comes into this game with 14 wins through their first 25 games of the season and they will look for win number 16 in what feels like a must win game here on Sunday night at home against Utah. Sebastian Mack will look to add to his team leading 13.5 points per game average. As UCLA looks to cross the double digit win mark in conference play and get themselves a few days off in the conference tournament.

Betting trends to consider in this matchup:

- UCLA is 8-4 at home 

- Utah is 1-6 on the road 

- UCLA has won their last six games 

I expect this to be a back-and-forth game until the end of the contest, when UCLA pulls away and picks up a much-needed victory here on Sunday night at home against Utah. As I look for the UCLA Bruins to pick up a competitive victory and cover the line in the process with a respectable bounce back victory here at home to wrap up the weekend and head into the second half of February on a positive note. 

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