UCLA Will Beat Baylor In Continental Tire Consolation Game

The four-team Continental Tire Main Event featuring the No. 8 UCLA Bruins (3-1), No. 5 Baylor Bears (3-1), No. 19 Illinois Fighting Illini (4-0), and No. 16 Virginia Cavaliers (3-0) wraps up Sunday.

Illinois-Virginia play in the championship game whereas their victims, Baylor-UCLA, play in the consolation game of the Main Event. Tip-off for Baylor-UCLA is set for 5:30 p.m. ET at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Baylor lost to Virginia 86-79 as 4.5-point favorites Friday and UCLA got beat by Illinois 79-70 as 3.5-point favorites that same night. The Bears are 2-2 against the spread (ATS) this season and the Bruins are 3-1 ATS.

These teams have been national title contenders in recent seasons but haven’t crossed paths since 1975. For what it’s worth, UCLA is 3-1 all-time vs. Baylor.

Betting Details (DraftKings)

  • Moneyline (ML): Baylor (-140), UCLA (+120)
  • Against the spread (ATS): Baylor -2.5 (-110), UCLA +2.5 (-110)
  • Total (O/U) — 147 — O: -110, U: -110

This is a case of “wrong team favored”. The only reason Baylor is the favorite in this one is that the Bears won the national title two seasons ago. Otherwise, UCLA has significantly more talent.

Per Sports Reference, Baylor has three RSCI top-110 players and UCLA has seven. The Bruins ranked 12th in recruiting in 2022, according to 247sports.com, and the Bears ranked 42nd. Also, UCLA HAS slightly more experience than Baylor, per Ken Pom.

The biggest edge either team has in this matchup is UCLA over Baylor in 3-point shooting. The Bruins are 17th in 3-point shooting percentage (42.7%) and the Bears are 346th in defensive 3-point shooting percentage (50.0%).

UCLA Bruins wing Jaime Jaquez Jr. controls the ball during a game against the Sacramento State Hornets at UCLA Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles.
UCLA Bruins wing Jaime Jaquez Jr. controls the ball during a game against the Sacramento State Hornets at UCLA Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. (Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)

Since 2021, UCLA is 4-2-1 ATS following a loss with a +15.3 margin of victory and +4.0 ATS margin. Whereas Baylor is just 3-3 ATS with a -0.3 ATS margin. The Bears are 1-5 ATS in their last six games vs. teams with a winning record as well.

Furthermore, there’s some sketchy reverse line movement in the betting market for this game that indicates UCLA is the sharp side. Per VSIN, roughly 75% of the action at the time of publishing is on Baylor.

But, the Bears went from a 3.5-point opener down to the current number, according to Pregame.com. It appears as though oddsmakers are trying to entice more pro-Baylor money. It’s a red flag whenever the sportsbooks make the more popular side cheaper.

BET: UCLA +2.5 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook and ‘sprinkle’ on UCLA’s ML (+120)

The UCLA Bruins' odds vs. the Baylor Bears from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Sunday, November 20th at 12:15 p.m. ET.
The UCLA Bruins’ odds vs. the Baylor Bears from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Sunday, November 20th at 12:15 p.m. ET.

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Written by Geoff Clark

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