UCLA 1-10 ATS Last 11 Games
UCLA Basketball 1-10 Against the Spread in Last 11 Games!
By Wayne Root:
If you were focused intently on the NFL Playoff action Sunday, you may have missed the continuation of a major story in college basketball. The UCLA Bruins have collapsed! The latest humiliation...a 71-39 loss on the road at Utah.
Now, UCLA was +11.5 in that game...which was already a sign that things had gone haywire for coach Steve Alford. The Bruins aren't ever supposed to be double digit road dogs in Pac 12 play! Maybe in their worst years when they're visiting Arizona. But, in a January game in Utah?
You may remember that embarrassing game a couple of weeks ago when UCLA fell way behind Kentucky in the first half on the way to a monster loss. A Bruins team that was already floundering hasn't been able to recover from that debacle. Here's what UCLA has done against "good" teams this season:
November 26: UCLA (+2) lost to Oklahoma 75-65 (neutral court)
November 27: UCLA (+5) lost to North Carolina 78-56 (neutral court)
December 13: UCLA (+5.5) lost at home to Gonzaga 87-74
December 20: UCLA (+15.5) lost to Kentucky 83-44 (neutral court)
January 4: UCLA (+11.5) lost at Utah 71-39
Against ranked opponents, UCLA can't stay within double digits of anybody even when playing at home or on a neutral court. The market obviously noticed that something was wrong given the pointspreads against Kentucky and Utah...but those pointspreads still missed the mark by 23.5 and 21.5 points! And, they're part of a multi-week disaster that's seen UCLA go 1-10 ATS in its last 11 board games against all types of opponents.
What's gone wrong? I follow West Coast basketball very closely because the games are played in my backyard. That's particularly true for the Los Angeles teams because Vegas is a virtual suburb of LA for betting purposes. "The Handicapper to the Stars" has to know how to make money when LA teams are taking the field in any sport. Here's my take.
*The players resent the "star" role that coach's son Bryce Alford has been granted on this team. He's playing poorly of late, particularly when it comes to shooting consistently. Well, he's consistently missing! Alford is an astonishing 5 of 39 from the floor in his last three games. So much for telling a kid to shoot his way out of a slump!
Nothing ruins chemistry on a basketball team more than when everyone has to defer on offense to a guy who's missing his shots. They lose their enthusiasm...and they stop playing defense too. Coach Steve Alford's loyalty to his son has ruined the punch he wanted the rest of the team to drink. A player who gets hot once every 2-3 weeks can't be allowed to monopolize the shot charts all the time. (Particularly when it's a sophomore, because that means he's a player who isn't good enough to be "one-and-done," nor is a player who will be respected much by upperclassmen.)
*The team is running too much. They're one of the fastest paced teams in the country (almost top 20 out of more than 300 measured teams). But, they don't have the ballhandlers and shooters to justify that approach...plus it ultimately sets up too many easy baskets for opponents. Coach Alford is in a tough spot here...because slowing things down doesn't necessarily work great either for his offense! But, the only way to stay close when you're outmanned is to play hard on defense and focus intently on getting good shots on offense. UCLA let's quality opponents run away and hide from them.
How much longer will this continue? It depends on how stubborn both Alfords are...and how much more dramatically the market adjusts. Remember, this is UCLA. The whole conference is excited about the chance to embarrass them after sitting in their shadow for so many years. Nobody's going to show sympathy, at least the first time through the league schedule.
I'll be watching this developing story very closely. It's time for all of us to jump into college basketball with both feet because there's only one college football game left (next week's championship), and just seven NFL games remaining including the Super Bowl. If you want to keep piling up the profits through MARCH MADNESS, you have to hit the hardwood!
You can purchase my nightly BEST BETS in college and pro basketball right here at the website with your credit card. Those of you with questions about extended service should talk to my representative in the office at 1-877-ROOT-WINS. Be sure you check out combination packages that include both basketball and football. Don't wait until the Super Bowl is over before you start thinking about the baskets. You'll miss a month of winners from THE KING OF LAS VEGAS!
I'll be back with you at the end of the week to talk about possible upsets in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. We only had one clean upset this past weekend, with Baltimore over Pittsburgh. Detroit Lions fans sure feel they were robbed of an upset given how the game in Dallas played out. Will there be any Cinderella stories Saturday and Sunday when last week's favorites turn into this week's underdogs?
I love handicapping in January because the excitement that comes with the start of conference play in college hoops blends beautifully with championship football. Link up today with the only man in the sports betting industry who has a star on the "Walk of Fame" in Las Vegas. It's time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
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