A berth in the Final Four is at stake when the No. 1 seed Michigan Wolverines take on the 11th-seeded UCLA Bruins in the 2021 NCAA Tournament East Region final on Tuesday night in Indianapolis. While UCLA (21-9) has a storied tradition that no school can match with 11 national titles, the Wolverines (23-4) are making their fourth Elite Eight appearance since 2013 and own the most NCAA Tournament wins (21) of any team during that time. Michigan is coming off a surprisingly easy 76-58 victory over fourth-seeded Florida State while the Bruins needed overtime to dispatch No. 2 Alabama in the Sweet 16.
Tip-off is at 9:57 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium. The winner advances to play either Gonzaga or USC in the Final Four. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Wolverines as 6.5-point favorites, while the over-under for total points scored is 135.5 in the latest Michigan vs. UCLA odds. Before finalizing any UCLA vs. Michigan picks, check out the March Madness college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of $2,200 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Michigan vs. UCLA in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament 2021. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for UCLA vs. Michigan:
- Michigan vs. UCLA spread: Michigan -6.5
- Michigan vs. UCLA over-under: 135.5 points
- Michigan vs. UCLA money line: Michigan -320; UCLA +250
- MICH: The Wolverines have limited their last three opponents to 12-of-53 3-point shooting
- UCLA: The Bruins average 10.8 turnovers, the best mark in the Pac-12
Why Michigan can cover
The biggest concern for the Wolverines entering the NCAA Tournament 2021 was how they would overcome an injury to second-leading scorer Isaiah Livers, who suffered a stress fracture in his foot during the Big Ten Tournament. Freshmen center Hunter Dickinson and sophomore guard Franz Wagner continue to be rock steady, combining for 27 points and 18 rebounds in Sunday’s win. However, Michigan has relied on offensive balance to offset the absence of Livers.
Six players are scoring in double figures in the NCAAs, including guards Eli Brooks and Chaundee Brown Jr., who have each boosted their regular-season averages by more than three points. Brandon Johns Jr., who replaced Livers in the starting lineup, scored a season-high 14 points while grabbing six rebounds in the Sweet 16 win over Florida State. He scored 3.8 points per game in the regular season but is averaging 10.7 points during the NCAAs.
Why UCLA can cover
The four-game slide preceding the NCAA Tournament looks better in retrospect, given the fact that each defeat came against a Pac-12 rival who advanced to the Big Dance and the conference is 12-2 in the tournament, with three teams in the Elite Eight. Leading scorer Johnny Juzang fouled out in regulation but UCLA still pulled away from Alabama in overtime. Six players scored in double figures, led by Jules Bernard and Jaime Jaquez Jr. with 17 points each.
Not only did Jaquez score in double figures for the seventh consecutive game, but he knocked down a back-breaking 3-pointer in overtime against Alabama and added eight rebounds, three assists, three steals and a blocked shot. UCLA turned the ball over only eight times in Sunday’s win. Point guard Tyger Campbell scored 13 points to reach double figures for the first time in nine games and has 18 assists versus four turnovers in the tournament.
How to make UCLA vs. Michigan picks
The model is leaning over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 146 points. It also says one side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins UCLA vs. Michigan? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the computer model that has crushed its college basketball picks.
CBS Sports Staff
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