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Odds and Ends

CBB Key Numbers: No. 2 UCLA vs. No.1 Gonzaga

by NBC Sports EDGE Staff
Updated On: November 23, 2021, 2:51 pm ET

We have an early Thanksgiving treat in the sports community Tuesday night when No. 2 UCLA visits No. 1 Gonzaga. With the 2021-22 college basketball season well underway, and while we're still a ways away from determining the 68 teams that'll be in the tourney next March, there are actionable plays to be looked at in the betting market.

Tuesday night features a marquee matchup between a pair of undefeated teams: UCLA and Gonzaga. Both teams enters tonight's clash at 5-0 and as the top-two ranked teams in the country. Looking at how strong both the Bulldogs and Bruins have looked early on, where could we start and find actionable betting value? If we look deeper at the Key Numbers, we can determine which wager is the sharpest play.

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Key numbers represent the most common score difference (Margin of Victory) or score total (Total Points Scored) between two teams at the end of a game. When considering the spread or Total, bettors should avoid key numbers because they provide no edge on either side. Instead, it is often beneficial to bet a value that is half-a-point above or below a key number. Then, in the likely event that the final margin or Total is a key number, there cannot be a push. The Key Numbers tool allows users to discover the most common margins and totals for a variety of tailored game scenarios by selecting the desired filters. In addition to identifying the key numbers, the tool demonstrates the edge provided by shopping and/or buying points to avoid the key numbers.

Today, we're customizing the Key Numbers tool to dig into whether the UCLA-Gonzaga margin of victory (spread) or combined game score (Total) is worth mining for betting value. The totals for tonight's contest currently sits at Gonzaga 155, but as the Key Numbers tool reflects, the spread (-7) could offer more optimal betting value.

Check how data from the past five seasons display whether the Over or Under (Total) is a smarter play:


NBA Key Numbers | UCLA vs. Gonzaga

UCLA-Gonzaga Filters Key Numbers


UCLA-Gonzaga Spread Key Numbers Chart


UCLA-Gonzaga Spread Key Numbers
UCLA-Gonzaga Total Key Numbers

When assessing the Key Numbers data for UCLA's and Gonzaga's respective combined game scores over the past five seasons, one can determine whether or not tonight's spread (-7) is worth a bet. The Bulldogs have covered 75% percent of the time when the spread was at -7 dating back to the 2017-18 season. That's also based on eight games when the spread was at -7.

Gonzaga looks poised to return to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament final next March. It won't be easy going up against a strong UCLA squad, but their respective history of game performances would suggest that laying the points on the Bulldogs would be the wiser play.

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