The No. 8 UCLA Bruins will take on the No. 19 Illinois Fighting Illini at 9:30 p.m. ET on Friday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas as part of the 2022 Continental Tire Main Event. Both teams are coming off NCAA Tournament bids last season and are off to 3-0 starts on the year. Now they'll be looking to bolster their resumes in Las Vegas with two guaranteed matchups against ranked opponents with No. 5 Baylor and No. 16 Virginia on the opposite side of the four-team bracket.
UCLA is a perfect 3-0 against the spread this season while Illinois is 2-1 against the number. The Bruins are favored by 4 points in the latest UCLA vs. Illinois odds from Caesars Sportsbook and the over/under is set at 145.5. Before you make any Illinois vs. UCLA picks, you'll want to see the college basketball predictions from the model at SportsLine.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past six-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated more than $1,200 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anybody who has followed it has seen profitable returns.
- UCLA vs. Illinois spread: UCLA -4
- UCLA vs. Illinois over/under: 145.5 points
- UCLA vs. Illinois money line: UCLA -170, Illinois +145
- UCLA vs. Illinois picks: See picks here
What you need to know about UCLA
The Bruins welcome back less than 50% of their scoring from last year's Sweet 16 team but they do have stars Tyger Campbell and Jaime Jaquez back in the fold and key rotation players Jaylen Clark and David Singleton have already stepped into larger roles. Mick Cronin also welcomed in three top-50 recruits in Amari Bailey, Adem Bona and Dylan Andrews.
Those seven players plus Kenneth Nwuba make up the Bruins' core rotation and they've been dominant thus far, winning each of their three games by at least 24 points. However, this is clearly the biggest test yet for both squads and the frontcourt will be particularly taxed with bruising Illinois forward Dain Dainja to contend with.
What you need to know about Illinois
Illinois has also been dominant in the early going, winning by an average margin of 35.3 points in victories over Eastern Illinois, UMKC and Monmouth. Transfers Terrence Shannon (Texas Tech) and Dainja (Baylor) have led the way for Brad Underwood's squad with Shannon averaging 22.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game while Dainja has averaged 17.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks.
Dainja is 6-foot-9 and 270 pounds and his frontcourt strength will be a lot to handle for Bona (a true freshman) and Nwuba. Both teams are shooting over 50% from the floor and limiting opponents to under 40% shooting while playing at similar tempos, so this could be a solid stylistic matchup.
How to make Illinois vs. UCLA picks
The model has simulated UCLA vs. Illinois 10,000 times and the results are in. The model is leaning Over and it's also generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in well over 50% of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins UCLA vs. Illinois? And which side of the spread hits well over 50% percent of the time? Visit SportsLine to see which side of the Illinois vs. UCLA spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $1,200 on its college basketball picks the last six years, and find out.