The UCLA Bruins will look to make it fifteen consecutive victories on Saturday when they take on the Arizona Wildcats in Tuscon. The game features two national championship contenders and the best two clubs in the Pac-12 and carries March seeding implications. The contest is scheduled for a 2:00 PM EST tip-off from McKale Memorial Center and will be broadcast on ABC. The Bruins enter the game as a (-2.5) road favorite, with the total set to 153 points. Let’s take a look at the following analysis for your bets College Basketball.
Arizona Wildcats Overview
The Arizona Wildcats have fallen on a bit of hard times lately, having lost two of their last four games. While the loss to the Oregon Ducks is not so concerning, a double-digit loss to Washington State at home is certainly something that makes your raise your eyebrows. Tommy Lloyd’s club seemed to get back on the right track Thursday when they defeated Southern California by 15, but Arizona needs to go on a bit of a run before the betting public trusts them again.
The Wildcats are led by a fantastic frontcourt in Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo. Both of these behemoths are nearly seven feet tall and combine to score over 36 points per game and snag over 18 rebounds per contest. In the backcourt, Kerr Kriisa remains one of the best-kept secrets in the nation. The 6’3 junior point guard is one of only eleven players in the nation that is averaging better than ten points and six assists per ballgame.
Despite their impressive statistics and overall record, the Wildcats are dead last in the Pac-12 against the spread at just 7-11-1. They are underperforming the number by an average of -2.7 points per contest. Thursday’s victory over the Trojans marked the first time the Wildcats covered a number since New Year’s Eve, a string of four games.
UCLA Bruins Overview
The UCLA Bruins have been one of the hottest teams in the nation despite playing without star freshman Amari Bailey. The blue-chip prospect has missed the last five games with a foot injury and is not expected to be back for this game either. However, despite his absence, the Bruins have been able to maintain their excellence due to their quality of depth as well as their experience.
Jaime Jaquez is possibly the best-kept secret in the nation this season. Playing the small ball four position, Jaquez is the best mid-range scorer in college basketball this season and is averaging over 15 points and eight rebounds over his last ten contests while shooting 35% from deep and nearly 46% from the field.
The Bruins are the best team in the Pac-12 this season against the spread at 12-7 overall. They are outperforming the number by +4.6 points per game overall and an amazing +10.0 points per contest in true road games. The Bruins are 4-1 ATS in hostile environments this season while being 5-0 straight up.
Given Arizona’s recent struggles against mediocre competition and UCLA’s phenomenal performance on the road this season, it’s safe to stick with the Bruins straight up and to cover.