Our Top Sportsbooks

Michigan Faces UCLA As Solid Fave in Elite Eight Matchup

Hunter Dickinson for Michigan Wolverines are favored over the UCLA Bruins.

The top-seeded Michigan Wolverines (23-4) will get a chance to get back to the Final Four for the second time in three seasons when they take on the 11th-seeded UCLA Bruins (21-9) as solid betting favorites Tuesday in the East Region final at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Wolverines made it to the NCAA championship game in 2018 before falling to the Villanova Wildcats, while the Bruins have not made it to the Final Four since 2008.

UCLA Bruins vs Michigan Wolverines
  • Date/Time: March 30, 9:57 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Lucas Oil Stadium
  • TV Coverage: TBS
  • Opening Odds: Michigan -7.5 | O/U 137 (Line History)
  • UCLA vs Michigan Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

There has been very little line movement here so far, as three of the four Elite Eight games have similar point spreads, with two featuring double-digit seeds from the Pac-12. This is one of them, as UCLA tries to become the first school since the 11th-seeded VCU Rams (2011) to get to the Final Four after playing in the First Four.

At some point, you would think playing an extra game would catch up to the Bruins, but their performance against the second-seeded Alabama Crimson Tide showed a lot. So did Michigan’s relatively easy rout of the fourth-seeded Florida State Seminoles, making this matchup intriguing. Both teams can score too, with the total dropping slightly to 136.5 at some sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark, although they combined for 164 points in the last round.

UCLA News & Notes

What more can you say about UCLA’s awesome run to the Elite Eight after surviving two overtime sessions in its first four games? The Bruins started the tournament by overcoming a double-digit halftime deficit vs the Michigan State Spartans to prevail in an extra session, then blew a double-digit halftime lead against the Crimson Tide in the Sweet 16 before finding another gear in OT.

The latest victory came with leading scorer Johnny Juzang on the bench after he fouled out toward the end of regulation and following a dramatic game-tying three-pointer to beat the buzzer by Alabama’s Alex Reese. But scoring 23 points in the extra session was phenomenal to watch no matter which side you were on, with UCLA prevailing in an 88-78 upset win as a 7-point underdog.

Michigan News & Notes

The Wolverines have been as resilient as any team in the big dance this year, continuing to roll even without second-leading scorer Isaiah Livers, who is out with a foot injury. Their frontcourt has been fantastic in this tournament, led by seven-foot freshman center Hunter Dickinson, who totaled 14 points and eight rebounds in a 76-58 win over the Seminoles on Sunday.

Michigan covered easily as a 1.5-point favorite even though the money came in on Florida State leading up to tipoff. The Wolverines should have another decided advantage inside against the Bruins, and that could be the difference again. Chaundee Brown also continues to give them a boost off the bench to make up for some of Livers’ lost production, and he has been an unsung hero as a key reserve for them.

Betting Pick: OVER 136.5

UCLA has battled hard throughout this tournament but might be hard pressed to keep up its defensive intensity in this one. Michigan would be wise to push the pace as it did against Florida State, looking to wear out another opponent rather than slowing things down. The Wolverines are averaging more than 81 points in the first three games while the Bruins are at 78.5 per game, including the two that went to OT. Look for a high-scoring affair between these teams, with the tired legs of the UCLA players catching up to them.

Want more Expert Betting Picks?

Check out the best sports handicapping services on the market today!

Buy Sports Picks Now

Shark Bites
  • UCLA is 4-0 SU and ATS in its last 4 games.
  • Michigan is 7-5 ATS in its last 12 NCAA tourney games.
  • The UNDER is 7-3 in Michigan’s last 10 games.