NCAA Tournament Elite Eight line movements: Spreads shrinking for USC and UCLA

UCLA Bruins celebrates after their win over Alabama Crimson Tide during the Sweet Sixteen round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Sunday, March 28, 2021, at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.
Photo of Ricky Dimon

Ricky Dimon

NCAAB

Show Bio

Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The NCAA Tournament Elite Eight tipped off on Monday and continues on Tuesday. It’s safe to say that the true essence of March Madness has been on display basically throughout the entire tournament, and one last double-digit seed—UCLA—is still in contention for a Final Four berth. Let’s take a look at where some of the money on the upcoming games has gone to sway certain lines one way or the other.

Line movements

Move for the underdog
UCLA +7.5 to +6.5 vs. Michigan
USC +9 to +8.5 vs. Gonzaga

Move for the under
Michigan-UCLA 137.5 to 136.5
Gonzaga-USC 155 to 153

Gonzaga vs. USC Game Totals

The total for Gonzaga vs. USC—a No. 1 vs. No. 6 showdown in the West Region—opened at 155 and has since plunged to 153.

It’s rare that a Gonzaga game moves for the under, but that is just how effective USC’s defense has been of late. Led by the post presences of brothers Evan and Isaiah Mobley, the Trojans are the first opponent in this NCAA Tournament that has a realistic chance of containing the Zags. In their three outings during the Big Dance, they have limited teams to 56, 51, and 68 points (Drake, Kansas, and Oregon).

Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. USC Trojans preview and picks

USC Trojans

Michigan vs. UCLA ATS

Both games on Tuesday night have moved toward the underdog, however slightly. Michigan opened as a -7.5 favorite over UCLA in this No. 1 vs. No. 11 battle in the East Region, but it is now giving only 6.5 points to the Bruins.

Obviously bettors have gotten on the Pac-12 bandwagon, and for good reason. An improbable three teams from that conference reached the Elite Eight, with two playing on Tuesday following Oregon State’s loss to Houston on Monday. UCLA has already won four games in March Madness, starting with a First Four overtime victory over Michigan State.

Michigan vs. UCLA Game Totals

Even though these Elite Eight games obviously haven’t had much time to be on the books following the conclusion of Sweet 16 action, the Michigan-UCLA total has also moved a fair amount. It opened at 137.5 but has since come down to 136.5.

It’s not hard to see why, as both teams generally inspire under bets; neither will be eager to push the pace in Tuesday’s contest. Heading into its Sweet 16 matchup Alabama, UCLA was averaging 66.2 possessions per game this season (305th in the nation). Michigan probably won’t bother to speed up the Bruins. The defensive-minded Wolverines just held Florida State to 58 points, including 21 in the first half. Only one of their last seven opponents (LSU) has surpassed the 70-point mark.

Michigan Wolverines vs. UCLA Bruins preview and picks

Pickswise is the home of March Madness Predictions. Check out all of our March Madness Picks, including daily March Madness Parlays throughout the NCAA Tournament.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
BetMGM
Get $1,000 Paid Back in Bonus Bets if you Don't Win + $25 Bonus Bet

Register for a new BetMGM account & deposit

Place your first bet and get refunded up to $1,000 in bonus bets if you don't win

Plus receive a $25 Bonus Bet after placing your qualifying wager

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER CO, OH, IL, IN, LA, MD, MS, NJ, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY 21+ to wager. Please Gamble Responsibly. Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (KS, NV), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-270-7117 for confidential help (MI). Visit BetMGM.com for Terms & Conditions. US promotional offers not available in DC, Nevada, New York or Ontario
FanDuel Sportsbook
No Sweat First Bet - Up To $2,500 Back in Bonus Bets if you Lose

Sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account

Make a first-time deposit of $10+, and then place your first wager on any sports market

Get up to $2,500 back in bonus bets if you lose!

Must be 21+. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at fanduel.com/sportsbook. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. 21+
DraftKings
Bet $5+ Get $200 in Bonus Bets instantly

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Make your first deposit and bet $5+ on any sports market

Get $200 in bonus bets instantly

Gambling Problem? Call 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (CO/IL/IN/LA/MD/MI/NJ/PA/TN/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (KS), 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA). 21+ (18+ WY). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/KS/LA(select parishes)/MD/MI/NJ/NY/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Void in OH/ONT. Eligibility restrictions apply. Valid 1 per new customer. Min. $5 deposit. Min. $5 bet. $200 issued as bonus bets that expire 7 days (168 hours) after being awarded. See terms at sportsbook.draftkings.com.
bet365
Bet $1 and Get $200 in Bonus Bets!

Register for a new bet365 account

Place qualifying bets of $1 or more

Get $200 in bonus bets - no matter if your bet wins or loses

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. 21+. Physically present in OH, CO, NJ, VA. Eligibility restrictions apply. Subject to regulatory licensing requirements. Opt-in req. Valid 1 per customer.
WynnBet
Bet $100 & Get $100 Bet Credit

Register for a WynnBET account today.

Deposit & Wager $100 on any sports market (odds -120 or greater).

Get a $100 Bet Credit.

Must be 21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
BetRivers
Get up to $500 Back in Bonus Bets if your First Bet Doesn't Win

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code SPORTS

Make your first deposit & and bet up to $500

If your first bet loses, get up to $500 back in bonus bets

Must be 21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF
Caesars Sportsbook
Your First Cash Bet Is On Caesars Up To $1,250

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account and Place your 1st wager of $10 or more

If you lose, you get 100% of your stake back as a Bet Credit - up to $1,250.

AND win or lose, you’ll also get 1,000 Reward Credits® and 1,000 Tier Credits.

21+. New users and first wager only. Must register with eligible promo code. Bet amount of qualifying wager returned only if wager is settled as a loss. Maximum bet credit $1,250; must be used within 14 days of receipt. See Caesars.com/promos for full terms. Void where prohibited. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Unibet
Get up to $100 Back in Bonus Bets if your First Bet Doesn't Win

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $100 free!

Get $100 back in bonus bets if your wager loses

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.
DraftKings
Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus

Create a new DraftKings Sportsbook account and make your first deposit (min $5)

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.
BetMGM
Get $1,000 Paid Back in Bonus Bets if you Don't Win Your First Bet

Register for a new BetMGM account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000!

Get refunded up to $1,000 in bonus bets if you don't win

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER CO, IL, IN, LA, MD, MS, NJ, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY, MA 21+ to wager. Please Gamble Responsibly. Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (KS, NV), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-270-7117 for confidential help (MI). Visit BetMGM.com for Terms & Conditions. US promotional offers not available in DC, Nevada, New York or Ontario
FanDuel Sportsbook
Get a $20 No Sweat First Bet for The Belmont Stakes with FanDuel Racebook

Sign up for a new FanDuel Racebook account

Place your first wager on the Belmont Stakes

Get up to $20 back in bonus bets if your first bet doesn't win

Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. Hope is here. GamblingHelpLineMA.org or call (800)-327-5050 for 24/7 support (MA). Call 1-877-8HOPE-NY or Text HOPENY (467369) (NY). 21+ and reside in CO, IL, IN, LA, MD, MA, MI, NY, OH, PA, VA, WV, WY. Offer valid on first Derby win wager. Verified FD Racing account required. Refund issued in non-withdrawable Racing site credit that expires on 6/12/23. Restrictions apply. See terms at racing.fanduel.com. Offer not available in AZ, CT, IA, KS, NJ, or TN. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER or visit FanDuel.com/RG (CO, IA, MI, OH, PA, IL, VA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), visit www.mdgamblinghelp.org (MD), 1-800-522-4700 (WY), or visit www.1800gambler.net (WV).
DraftKings
Get a +1000 Odds Boost on Any Golfer to Win any Tournament

Create a New DraftKings Account

Make Your First Deposit Of $5+ Into Your Sportsbook Account

Following Sign Up, You’ll Be Issued With One (1) Single-Use +1000 Odds Surge Token For Any Golfer To Win Any Tournament

Gambling Problem? Call 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (CO/IL/IN/LA/MD/MI/NJ/PA/TN/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (KS), 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA). 21+ (18+ WY). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/KS/LA(select parishes)/MD/MI/NJ/NY/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Void in OH/ONT. Eligibility restrictions apply. Valid 1 per new customer
Underdog Fantasy
First deposit is 100% matched up to $100 with Underdog Fantasy

Sign up for a new account with Underdog Fantasy

Make your first deposit

Every dollar (up to $100) will be matched! Deposit $25, get $50; deposit $100, get $200, etc

Must be 21+ to play. Terms & conditions apply
Owners Box
First Time Deposit Bonus Up To $500

Sign up for a new DFS account with OwnersBox

User's first deposit will be matched up to $500 in site-credit

Join one of their Daily NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL contests

You must be at least eighteen (18) years of age to receive deposit bonuses, participate in Contests, or win prizes offered through OwnersBox Contests. In jurisdictions, territories, and locations where the minimum age for permissible use of Contests is greater than eighteen (18) years old, you must meet the age requirement in your local jurisdiction or territory.
TwinSpires
Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus for The Belmont Stakes with Twinspires Racebook

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.
Pickswise
*
By signing up you agree to our terms and privacy policy