Stanford Cardinal (8-7 SU, 5-9 ATS, 6-8 O/U) at No. 5 UCLA Bruins (15-1 SU, 10-6 ATS, 8-7-1 O/U)
When and Where: Sunday, Jan. 8, Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, Calif., 8pmET
Line: UCLA -18.5
UCLA learned their lesson after losing at Oregon on a last-second shot on Dec. 28. That’s to not celebrate too early before the game is over. They went on to beat Oregon State on the road on Dec. 30 by 13 and on Thursday night, took it to California (81-71). Stanford is having is a tough year, falling in three straight games to open the Pac-12 at 0-3. In their latest game, they fell at USC on Thursday, 72-56. Last season, they beat UCLA at home by nine and fell on the road by just two points.
Stanford is in a transition mode
Stanford decided to fire Johnny Dawkins last season after eight years. Former UAB coach Jerod Haase took over and he’s struggled, winning eight of his first 15 games. Offense has been an issue for the Cardinal, who shoot just 42.2 percent from the field and 30.6 percent from beyond the arc, while averaging 67.4 points per game. Defensively, they aren’t bad, allowing 70.4 points per game but have struggled in defending the three-point shot (38.1% 3pt). It also doesn’t help that their best player, Reid Travis (6-8, 245), is out indefinitely due to a right shoulder injury. They weren’t playing great with him, but losing 17.5 points and 9.6 rebounds is devastating.
In their loss at USC on Thursday, they shot just 36.4 percent from the field and 4-of-15 from beyond the arc. Dorian Pickens and Marcus Allen pitched in with 13 points apiece to lead the Cardinal. Unfortunately for Stanford, they were the only two players who scored in double figures.
Alford leads UCLA over Cal
Senior guard Bryce Alford scored 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting and 5-of-7 from beyond the arc to lead the Bruins over Cal by 10. Alford, who averages 16.8 points per game, is joined by two of the top freshmen in the nation in T.J. Leaf (18 points, 11 rebounds, 7-11 FG) and point guard Lonzo Ball (14pts, 7 assists). The Bruins shot 43.5 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from beyond the arc (7-19), while making 20 of 23 from the line.
UCLA ranks third in the nation in points per game (93.1ppg), second in field goal percentage (53.6%) and fifth in three-point shooting percentage (42.2%). They allow 74.1 points per game (237), 40.7 percent from the field and 36.3 percent from beyond the arc (262). The three-point defense appears to be their main issue along with youth.
College Basketball Trends:
- 1-5 ATS last 6 Sunday games.
- 7-19 ATS last 26 road games.
- 8-2 ATS last 10 home games.
- 6-0 ATS last 6 at home in series.
- 10-2 ATS last 12 in series.
There are few trends to support Stanford and that’s fine. They are a lower-tiered Pac-12 team this season that struggles to score. ,especially if Travis is out a long period of time. Ball is coming off a 1-7 game from 3-point range. Expect him to turn it up a notch, while Alford, Leaf and Isaac Hamilton (2-of-24 his last two games) continue to prosper.