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March Madness Betting, Odds: No Big Bets for UCLA Title After Jaylen Clark Injury

The futures market is fun and can lead to some nice payouts, but there is also a golden rule: more people can go wrong than they can right.

For UCLA, a lot went wrong last weekend.

The Bruins got off to a great win over Arizona, which was huge in their push for the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Those +1000 odds for the title were reduced to +900 last week at betmgm on Monday. But that’s not the reason UCLA isn’t a good bet.

A major injury to UCLA changed their approach to the NCAA tournament. Jaylen Clark reportedly has a torn Achilles and is done for the season. If you had futures tickets at UCLA, it’s not looking so good.

jaylen clark is a big loss

Clark could be the biggest injury to consider going into the NCAA tournament as you fill out your brackets.

Clark, a 6-foot-5 senior guard, was UCLA’s best guard and one of the game’s best defensive players. He averaged 13 points and six rebounds. He was UCLA’s second leading scorer this season. This is a huge blow.

UCLA is still at +900 to win the NCAA Tournament at BetMGM, but this probably isn’t a bet you want to make.

UCLA isn’t completely dead. The Bruins still have All-America candidate Jaime Jacquez Jr. and point guard Tiger Campbell. The Bruins won the Pac-12 by four games, and it wasn’t all because of Clark. It’s still a good team. UCLA can win the Pac-12 tournament this week and it’s not crazy to think they can win it all in the NCAA tournament.

But the road was hit hard by the news that Clarke was out for the season. This probably isn’t a team you want back in your bracket or stakes.

UCLA guard Jaylen Clark (0) reportedly suffered a torn Achilles last weekend. (AP Photo/Ringo HW Chiu)

UCLA faces uphill battle

There’s a reason UCLA coach Mick Cronin didn’t want to tell the media that Clarke’s year was done. This news is likely to affect the foundation of UCLA. The Bruins could still get the No. 1 seed if they win the conference tournament and Purdue doesn’t win the Big Ten Tournament, but that seems less likely. That means it will be a slightly tougher road to a title at the top for UCLA playing without one of its most valuable players.

If not for Clark’s injury, UCLA looked to be a good bet to win it all in an open field. They dominated conference play, are an elite defensive team and had stars on the roster. He is a brand name in college basketball and will be a popular selection for those filling the brackets.

Everything depends on the matchup, but it’s hard to see UCLA making the Final Four. Loss is possible in the first week. There are many other similar teams that didn’t just lose an elite defender and second-leading scorer.

If UCLA manages to overcome Clark’s injury and win it all, it will be a fairytale. It’s not worth betting on anymore.



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