UCLA vs Colorado Picks and Predictions: Bruins Fall Victim to Schedule

The Bruins trampled the Buffaloes in their last meeting, but are now caught on the road in a brutal schedule spot against a team capable of playing better in the rematch. Find out why we're siding with the underdogs for our UCLA vs. Colorado picks.

Last Updated: Jan 22, 2022 9:56 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Jabari Walker Colorado Buffaloes college basketball
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One of the top teams in the country, the No. 9-ranked UCLA Bruins head to Boulder to take on the Colorado Buffaloes in Pac-12 action.

The Bruins have been hot, winning seven of their last eight games, and are the superior team on paper. The Buffaloes have a notoriously strong home-court advantage in the altitude and bettors have steamed them down to +3.5 underdogs. 

UCLA will be in a tricky scheduling spot. Will that help Colorado to pull off the upset?

Check out our college basketball picks and predictions for the UCLA vs. Colorado on Saturday, January 22, to find out.

UCLA vs Colorado odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Colorado has taken significant money since the opener of +5.5, dropping the line to +3.5 as of the time of writing. The total has jumped one point, from 135 to 136. 

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

UCLA vs Colorado predictions

Predictions made on 1/22/2022 at 8:55 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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UCLA vs Colorado game info

Location: CU Events Center, Boulder, CO
Date: Saturday, January 22, 2022
Tip-off: 9:00 p.m. ET
TV: Pac 12 Network

UCLA at Colorado betting preview


UCLA: David Singleton G (Questionable), Jaylen Clark G (Questionable), Mac Etienne F (Out).
Colorado: Eli Parquet G (Questionable), Javon Ruffin G (Questionable).

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 23-5 in the Buffaloes' last 28 games as an underdog. Find more NCAA betting trends for UCLA vs. Colorado.

UCLA vs Colorado picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

By now, you should know that UCLA is the better team in this matchup. The Bruins have only lost twice all season, and one of those came at the hands of Gonzaga. The offense ranks inside KenPom’s Top 20 in adjusted efficiency and averages 79.4 points per game. 

The offense has balance, with four players averaging over 12 points per game — Johnny Juzang (17.9), Jules Bernard (13.3), Tyger Campbell (12.1), and Jaime Jaquez (12.8). The defense has also remained steady, holding opponents to 66.2 points per game despite playing at an above-average pace.

These two teams have already played once this season, with UCLA winning 73-61 at home in Pauley Pavillion.

That being said, this is a difficult scheduling spot. UCLA narrowly beat Utah in Salt Lake City on Thursday by a final score of 63-58, in which the offense was uncharacteristically sluggish. The Bruins now have to head to Boulder just two days later to complete their two-game stint in the Rockies. A huge matchup with Arizona looms next Tuesday, so this is a prime look-ahead spot as well.

We think the scheduling spot is so bad that we’re drawn toward Colorado as short home dogs. The Buffs are 2-1 at home in conference play thus far and at 4-3 overall in conference play, headed for the upper half of the Pac-12 standings yet again. They had a chance to knock off another Southern California team at home on Thursday, but eventually narrowly fell 61-58 to USC. The Buffs showed that they can hang tough with opponents of this caliber, and now they get a second bite at the apple.

Colorado possesses enough defensively to slow down the Bruins. Eli Parquet is a hound defensively at guard, while Jabari Walker and Tristan da Silva make things difficult with their length at 6’8”. UCLA crushed Colorado on the glass defensively in the first meeting, but the Buffaloes are a much better rebounding team statistically than they showed in that game. As long as the Buffs shore up the rebounding this time around, we think they’re live dogs at home.

Prediction: Colorado +3.5 (-110)

These two teams combined for 134 points in the first meeting, and we think this one goes Under the total again. 

UCLA scored only 63 points in Salt Lake City on Thursday and now will be in a sluggish scheduling spot. The offense has been hit or miss since returning from a three-week COVID pause, including scoring 60 points at Cal and 63 at Utah. We don’t think it’s a coincidence that both of those games occurred on the road. Now, they’re playing in altitude with Arizona to look ahead to next Tuesday.

Colorado is solid defensively, allowing only 65.8 points per game — a Top-100 mark. Look for the Buffs to slow the pace down and limit possession as they rely on the defense, which should be the strength of this team going forward. 

Prediction: Under 136 (-110)

We’re relying on UCLA to not look their best due to the truly disastrous scheduling spot. Playing in the second game of a two-game road stint through the Rockies is never ideal, but it gets even worse when No.3 Arizona is waiting in the wings.

We believe the best way to attack this angle is to take the Under. Colorado possesses the tools defensively to slow UCLA down, so long as they tighten up the defensive rebounding since the last matchup.

Pick: Under 136 (-110)

College basketball parlays

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