The top matchup of the opening week of college basketball will take place on Friday night when No. 2 UCLA (1-0) hosts No. 4 Villanova (1-0). UCLA is coming off a run to the Final Four and had all five starters scoring in double figures against Cal State Bakersfield to open the season. Villanova, fresh off a run to the Sweet 16 last season, returns star point guard Collin Gillespie and is viewed as a title contender this season.
Tipoff is set for 11:30 p.m. ET. The Bruins are 3.5-point favorites in the latest UCLA vs. Villanova odds at Caesars Sportsbook, while the total is 138.5. Before entering any Villanova vs. UCLA picks, you'll want to see the college basketball predictions from the proven computer model at SportsLine.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past five 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.
- UCLA vs. Villanova spread: UCLA -3.5
- UCLA vs. Villanova over-under: 138.5 points
What you need to know about UCLA
UCLA enters the season with higher expectations than just about any team in the country, as it returns multiple stars from a squad that made a run to the Final Four last year. The Bruins also added one of the top recruits in the country in freshman Peyton Watson. Their experience from last year's team gives them an edge early in the season.
Oddsmakers opened UCLA as a three-point favorite, but the early betting action has been on the Bruins. They have now covered the spread in seven consecutive games dating back to last season. Villanova has only covered in one of its last five road games and is going to be playing in front of a raucous crowd on Friday night.
What you need to know about Villanova
Meanwhile, Villanova got off to a great start against Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers on Tuesday as the team secured a 91-51 victory. Villanova can attribute much of its success to Justin Moore, who shot 6-for-8 from beyond the arc and finished with 27 points and seven assists. Moore finished last season averaging 12.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.
The Wildcats also got strong offensive performances from Brandon Slater and Jermaine Samuels in Tuesday's win, as the two combined for 34 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Gillespie also chipped in 13 points and five assists. Gillespie has averaged at least 14 points per game in each of his last two seasons with the Wildcats.
How to make UCLA vs. Villanova picks
The model is leaning over on the total, and it's also generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in over 70 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Villanova vs. UCLA? And which side of the spread hits over 70 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread you need to be all over, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks.