Northwestern vs UCLA Prediction - Basketball Picks 3/18/23

UCLA Bruins (30-5) vs Northwestern Wildcats (22-11)

Game Info: Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 8:40 pm (Golden 1 Center)

Betting Odds: UCLA Bruins -7.5 -- Over/Under: 126.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Northwestern Wildcats will play the UCLA Bruins in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in the West Region on Saturday night at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.

Northwestern Preview

The Northwestern Wildcats are 22-11 (12-8) this season after they defeated Boise State by a score of 75-67 in the first round. Northwestern shot 49.1% from the field and was -8 in rebounding margin in the win. The Northwestern Wildcats are averaging 67.9 points per game, 62.6 points against per game, 34.5 rebounds per game, and 12.8 assists per game. Boo Buie has led the Wildcats this season with 17.3 points per game, 4.5 assists per game, and 3.4 rebounds per game. Northwestern is shooting 40.6% from the field, 75.1% on free throws, and 32.1% on three pointers this year. 

UCLA Preview

The UCLA Bruins are 30-5 (18-2) this season after they defeated UNC Asheville by a score of 86-53 in their last game. UCLA shot 54% from the field and was +15 in rebounding margin in the victory. The UCLA Bruins are averaging 74.3 points per game, 60.1 points against per game, 14.5 assists per game, and 35.9 rebounds per game. Jaime Jaquez Jr. has led the Bruins this season with 17.3 points per game, 8.1 rebounds per game, and 2.3 assists per game. UCLA is shooting 45.8% from the field, 72.2% on free throws, and 34.7% on three pointers this year. 

Trends

Northwestern is 10-2 ATS in their last 12 Saturday games and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games. The over is 3-1-1 in Northwestern’s last 5 games. UCLA is 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 NCAA Tournament games. The under is 11-5 in UCLA’s last 16 games following an ATS win. 

Pick

UCLA absolutely dominated UNC Asheville in their first game of the tournament, but will face a Northwestern team that has won two of their last three games. Northwestern is only shooting 40.8% from the field and will face one of the best defensive teams in the country. UCLA has won 13 of their last 14 games and although they are dealing with some injury issues, I like them here. Northwestern doesn’t have the offensive capability to hang with the Bruins in this game. 

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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