UCLA vs. Arizona: NCAA betting odds, preview, and pick
Pac-12 rivals UCLA (16-2) and Arizona (17-2) will square off tonight when the No. 3 Bruins visit the No. 7 Wildcats at McKale Memorial Center.
Let's dig into this top 10 matchup, beginning with the latest betting odds available.
Fri, February 4 2022, 1:00 AM
The Bruins are riding a six-game win streak
Last week, UCLA handed Arizona its first conference defeat of the season, with an easy 75-59 victory. UCLA used a 12-0 run to take a first-half lead it would never relinquish, and led by double-digits much of the game. Despite attempting just five free throws, the Bruins made half their field goal attempts and shot 47% from beyond the arc, with Johnny Juzang and Jules Bernard each posting 15 points.
Defensive clinic from Jaime Jaquez in UCLA's blowout win over Arizona. Showed great timing and energy fighting over screens, getting in passing lanes and rotating to protect the rim all game. Head on a swivel off the ball at all times. Some huge baskets in the 2nd half as well. pic.twitter.com/Uzp9uGG6WD— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) January 27, 2022
UCLA followed up the win over Arizona with a 23-point beating of Stanford, despite missing Juzang due to COVID-19 protocols. The Bruins have not allowed a single team to top 65 points in their last six games, and have held their last three opponents to less than 60. This is despite their best defensive guard, Jaylen Clark, being out due for all but 11 minutes in their last five games. He is out again Thursday, while Jaime Jaquez Jr. is questionable with an ankle injury. Juzang is back and will play.
The Bruins are playing their best basketball of the season right now, winning six straight games following a COVID-19 pause that saw five games either cancelled or postponed. That includes this matchup, which was supposed to take place on Dec. 30. Another win over Arizona would give them an impressive resume booster, to go along with victories over Marquette and Villanova.
The Wildcats are trying to find their shooting touch
A big reason for the Wildcats’ poor performance against UCLA last week was the fact it was their third game in six days, all away from home. Arizona shot just 31% from the field, its worst mark in two years, and missed 11 consecutive three-point attempts. The leading free throw shooting team in the Pac-12, Arizona also got to the charity stripe just 11 times.
Arizona is bringing in reinforcements for tonight's game against UCLA. Luke Walton and Ricky Anderson will be at McKale. Wonder if they have any eligibility left?— Greg Hansen (@ghansen711) February 3, 2022
However, those shooting woes continued this weekend in a 67-56 win over rival Arizona State. The Wildcats shot just 32% from the floor and even worse from beyond the arc. Their 32 free throw attempts and 46 rebounds, including 17 at the offensive end, were key in winning the game.
Azuolas Tubelis started against Arizona State but was still bothered by the sprained ankle that limited him to just 15 minutes against UCLA last week. He was averaging 16 points and six rebounds per game before getting hurt, and has made just six of his 15 shot attempts since returning. With Arizona’s shooting being as bad as it has been, he might need to find a way to get some easy baskets inside if the Wildcats are to beat UCLA for the first time in seven tries.
Bruins and Wildcats Betting Trends
- UCLA is 4-1 ATS in its last five games
- The Under is 3-1-1 in UCLA’s last five games
- Arizona has covered in just three of its last nine games
- The Under is 5-1 in Arizona’s last six games
- UCLA has covered in its last six games against Arizona
- The Underdog is 18-4 ATS in the last 22 matchups between UCLA and Arizona
Arizona is favored by too much
Arizona has now made just 10 of its 51 attempts from downtown in the last two games, but head coach Tommy Lloyd says he believes it is just a bad week and is not concerned. However, bettors should be. Two straight games with atrocious shooting cannot be discounted, especially against a team as good as UCLA coming to town.
Arizona was favored by more than 21 against Arizona State, and by three against the Bruins, and failed to cover either by double digits. Laying seven points in this contest is far too much for a team that is struggling at the offensive end and isn’t likely to get the free throw attempts they need. Arizona is 10-0 this year when getting 20 or more attempts at the line, but UCLA has allowed teams to achieve that mark just four times this season.
Arizona has built its resume on the back of a no-longer impressive win over Michigan, and has yet to win a big game this season. I believe this game could go either way tonight, but if Arizona wins it will be by fewer than seven points.
UCLA has covered the spread in eight straight games when playing at Arizona, and I like them to continue that streak tonight. Pair that with the Under, given the Wildcat shooting woes and Juzang potentially being a bit rusty, for a nice game parlay.
Score prediction: UCLA 73, Arizona 67