The NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament's Sweet 16 round is here, and the Madness is really starting to heat up. We'll be treated to a very special matchup on Saturday when the defending-champion LSU Tigers, the No. 3 seed in the Albany Regional, take on one of the Pac-12's top teams in UCLA, which is seeded No. 2. This game has all the ingredients needed for an instant classic, but who will come out on top? Let's dive in and break down this crucial Sweet 16 matchup.

LSU vs. UCLA Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under – Women's March Madness Betting Lines March 30 

Moneyline: LSU Tigers -150, UCLA Bruins +125 
Spread: LSU -2.5 (-115), UCLA +2.5 (-105)
Total: Over/Under 144.5 points 

LSU vs. UCLA Injury Report

There are no injuries for LSU. UCLA is only missing Emily Bessoir, who has been out for the season with a knee injury.

LSU vs. UCLA Prediction and Picks 

Although they went 30-5 and finished second in the SEC this season, the Louisiana State Tigers had a relatively shaky 2023-24 campaign, and as a result, the defending champions are only a No. 3 seed for this year’s NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile, UCLA might actually be seeded a bit high at No. 2. The Bruins did manage to beat Connecticut 78-67 back on Nov. 24, but they were fortunate to shoot 48 percent from 3-point range in that game.

In addition to that big win over UConn, UCLA beat USC on Dec. 30, but that victory should be taken with a grain of salt, because the current Trojans are a far superior team to what they were back in December. Indeed, USC got revenge for that game by going on to beat the Bruins on Jan. 14 at home as well as in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament just three weeks ago.

LSU seems to be getting stronger with each NCAA Tournament game, and the Tigers’ chemistry continues to improve with newcomers Aneesah Morrow and Hailey Van Lith making a bigger impact. UCLA, on the other hand, struggled to beat a Creighton team that lost to a terrible Georgetown team in the Big East Tournament just a few weeks ago.

LSU is superior to UCLA at every position, and the Tigers are above and beyond the more talented team here. UCLA lives or dies by the 3-pointer, but the Bruins have shot just 27.7 percent from behind the arc in this year’s NCAA Tournament. If UCLA has even one poor quarter of shooting on Saturday, then this game might get out of hand quickly.

Give me LSU and this light line of 2.5 points. If you don’t want to take LSU and the spread, you can get them at a reasonable price on the three-way line.

The Pick: LSU -2.5 (-115) and LSU Moneyline 3-way (Excluding OT) (-135)  

I’m not a big fan of the over/under total for this game because I can envision a few different outcomes. Each outcome has LSU winning, of course, but the way the Tigers will win has a lot to do with how well UCLA shoots. The Bruins’ 27.7 percent efficiency from 3-point range in this tournament isn’t too encouraging, especially since they were just  5-for-19 from downtown against Creighton in the Round of 32. I don’t see LSU having any problem scoring in this game, since all five Tigers starters average double-digit point totals, and Sa’Myah Smith adds 11.7 points per game coming off the bench. A team with six players scoring at least 10 points per game is very hard to beat, because even if one of those players is having a bad night -- which is rare -- the others still have enough talent to come away with a victory.

LSU is averaging 76.5 points per game so far in this year’s NCAA Tournament, and I think they still have more to show us. Angel Reese, Aneesah Morrow, Mikaylah Williams, Flau’jae Johnson, and Hailey Van Lith are all matchup nightmares for UCLA, which is not good news for the Bruins’ defense. If UCLA wants to stay remotely competitive in this game, it will need to consistently convert its 3-points attempts. Do I see that happening? No, I don’t, but I do see the Bruins falling behind early and -- with their backs against the wall -- taking an increased volume of 3-pointers. That should be enough to tip over the total in this one.

The Pick: Over 144.5 (-110)

Odds are subject to change*

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