Bovada releases early national championship odds for 2017 football season

2017-playoffs-odds

Bovada’s odds for the 2017 college football season national champion

One day after Clemson’s epic national championship victory over Alabama, Las Vegas started looking toward the 2017 college football season.

Bovada released its odds for the 2018 College Football Playoff national championship and UCLA has the third-best odds for a Pac-12 team at 50/1. USC leads the Pac-12 at 9/1, followed by Washington at 40/1. This year’s runner up Alabama has the best odds to win the whole thing.

A few UCLA/college football links:

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How I voted in the college basketball AP poll: UCLA shorted

UCLA basketball remained at No. 4 in the AP poll this week despite Villanova's loss.

UCLA basketball remained at No. 4 in the AP poll this week despite Villanova’s loss.

Villanova’s first loss of the season should have positively affected UCLA’s ranking, in my opinion. But the Bruins were not part of the shift at the top of the AP poll today that dropped former No. 1 Villanova to No. 3, bumped Baylor to No. 1, Kansas to No. 2 and left UCLA at No. 4 for a second straight week.

To its credit, Villanova has the top RPI in the country, but neither of its big wins – at Purdue and at Creighton – are as impressive as UCLA’s biggest win, at Kentucky. It can be argued that Villanova’s schedule is deeper than UCLA’s, but the Bruins are gaining ground in that respect now that they’re into Pac-12 play.

I dropped USC out of my poll after Sunday’s loss to Cal. I still believe the Trojans are a NCAA tournament team that will finish in the top tier of the Pac-12, but the shine is starting to come off USC after its undefeated run through a weak non-conference schedule.

How I voted in the Week 10 men’s college basketball AP poll:
1.Baylor
2. UCLA

The Bruins are still maturing, which is scary considering how good they already are, but have been dominant when focused. Thursday’s first half against Cal is a prime example when UCLA built a 20-point first-half lead on a team that will easily make the NCAA tournament and finish in the top tier of a good conference.
3. Kansas
4. Kentucky
5. Villanova Continue reading

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UCLA weekend recap: Gymnastics wins opener

The UCLA gymnastics team started its season with a 195.70-195.35 victory over Arkansas on Saturday. Headlined by Olympic medalists Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross, the Bruins needed a Hallie Mossett‘s 9.8 on floor to clinch the win on the final routine of the night.

Kocian and Ross, who won gold medals for Team USA in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, respectively, won or tied for four individual titles. Kocian won the all-around with a score of 39.425 while tying for first on floor, beam and bars. Kocian, Ross and fellow Bruin Christine Lee finished in a three-way tie for the bars title. UCLA’s Mikaela Gerber shared first place on beam with Kocian while Madison Preston shared the floor title with the 2016 Olympian. Preston and Arkansas’ Amanda Wellick tied for first on vault.

Elsewhere around Westwood:

  • Women’s basketball got swept by the Washington schools on the road, losing to Washington State 82-73 on Friday and No. 12 Washington on Sunday 82-70. UCLA’s loss to the Cougars was its first to a non-ranked team this year. The ninth-ranked Bruins (11-4, 2-2 Pac-12) then lost their 15th straight road game to a ranked team on Sunday to the Huskies.
  • Men’s volleyball split its matches this weekend at the Big Ten-Pac-12 Challenge, sweeping Penn State in three sets on Friday then losing in four sets to No. 1 Ohio State on Saturday. The No. 2 Bruins are 2-1 overall this season.
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UCLA basketball dispatches Stanford, leaves behind bad memories

No. 4 UCLA led Stanford wire-to-wire in Sunday's 89-75 victory at Pauley Pavilion

No. 4 UCLA led Stanford wire-to-wire in Sunday’s 89-75 victory at Pauley Pavilion

Stanford seems an appropriate measuring stick for the UCLA basketball team, considering the two programs finished next to each other in the Pac-12 standings last season.

The Cardinal were one of UCLA’s five consecutive losses to end last season, placing Stanford ninth in the conference and UCLA 10th with its worst ever Pac-12 record. Things haven’t much changed for Stanford (8-8, 0-4 Pac-12), but they’re night-and-day different for UCLA (16-1, 3-1).

With an 89-75 win over the Cardinal Sunday night, the Bruins have surpassed their win total from last season – with at least 16 games to play this season.

“We’ve come a long way since last year,” said Bryce Alford. “It’s been a blast. I’ve been saying it all year.”

Links from last night’s coverage:

  • The game story, UCLA corrects Cal mistakes vs Stanford
  • A notebook about the ripple effect of UCLA’s rebounding problem
  • Video: Lonzo Ball and Steve Alford’s postgame press conference
  • Video: TJ Leaf and Bryce Alford on taking Stanford’s “best punches”
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  • Stanford less equipped to exploit UCLA’s rebounding weakness

    There is enough evidence at this point. Rebounding is a major weakness for a UCLA basketball team that doesn’t have many.

    To that point, the Bruins are undoubtedly not disappointed that Stanford’s leading rebounder, Reid Travis, is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury and will miss tonight’s game at Pauley Pavilion,

    UCLA has lost the rebounding battle in three of its last six games and is particularly struggling on the offensive boards, where it has bested its opponent in just two of the last seven games. To put it in perspective, the Bruins are tied for 272nd in the nation in offensive rebounding.

    The rebounding deficiencies are a reflection of UCLA’s defensive weaknesses that require help defenders to spend more time rotating when a teammate is beaten off the dribble than boxing out their own man. Cal outrebounded UCLA by 11 in the second half of Thursday’s game, during which it closed to within five points after trailing by as many as 22. Cal sophomore Ivan Rabb collected 20 rebounds by himself.

    It’s one thing when UCLA is outrebounded by Oregon or Cal, but UC Santa Barbara grabbed 24 offensive rebounds to UCLA’s eight in the Bruins’ victory on Dec. 14. It will be interesting to see if UCLA can make some adjustments to combat this growing deficiency tonight against a Stanford team struggling in every facet of the game.

    Read the preview for tonight’s game versus Stanford here.

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