Free College Basketball Picks: Arizona at UCLA Odds
by George Monroy - 1/9/2014
The Arizona Wildcats are about to navigate the toughest portion of their schedule over the next couple of weeks when they face their Pac-12 brethren. Arizona is probably due for its first loss of the season over the next few matchups. However, if the team can stay undefeated during its upcoming two-game road trip against UCLA and USC it will only strengthen its case as the No. 1 squad in the nation. The Wildcats are a talented group but still not the favorite to win this year’s national title in the eyes of the oddsmakers—that honor belongs to Michigan State. However, winning 17 straight games might begin to change all of that.
UCLA cracked the Top 25 in the USA Today’s Coaches Poll, and if the squad can pull off an upset when it faces Arizona on Thursday night it is almost certain to do the same in the AP rankings as well. The Bruins opened up conference play with a dominating win over USC on Sunday. Let’s take a closer look at the Wildcats versus Bruins matchup with predictions and analysis.
Arizona at UCLA Betting Story Lines
Arizona opened the season with 15 straight wins over list of tough opponents. The Wildcats have already beaten San Diego State, Duke, Michigan, New Mexico State and now look to add UCLA to its list of defeated teams. The No. 1 squad in the nation has 11 double-digit victories and even held Washington State to 25 points last week in one of the team’s most overwhelming performances to date.
Arizona is being led by Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon, who score 16 and 12.4 points per game, respectively. Gordon also grabs eight rebounds per game and is the team’s offensive anchor and star player. The squad shoots a high percentage from nearly every area of the floor and is ranked 35th in field goal shooting to go along with its rebounding and assists, which is ranked in the Top 50 of the nation.
The Bruins have won three straight games and are coming off a 34-point victory over the USC Trojans on Sunday. The team held its cross-town rival Trojans to only 26 percent shooting from three-point range and 53 percent shooting from the free-throw line. UCLA was led by two huge performances from its guards Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson. Adams produced a 21-point, six-steal, four-rebound night, while Anderson had a monster 23 points 12 rebounds and five assists game.
UCLA is ranked eighth in the nation in points with 87.1 per game and fifth in assists per game with 18.6. The team has four double-digit scorers on its roster and is being led by the 18.7 points and five rebound of Adams as well as the 15.1 points and 8.9 rebounds of Anderson. The squad also shoots an excellent percentage from the field and is ranked second in the nation.
Arizona at UCLA NCAA Betting Odds and Key Trends
Arizona opened as a one-point favorite over the underdog Bruins at BetOnline. Arizona is 5-0 ATS over its last five Thursday games and 5-0 ATS following an ATS loss. The team has won 10 of its last 12 games against squads with winning records above .600 and is 13-3 over its last 16 games versus teams with winning SU records. The Wildcats are also 4-1 ATS over their last five overall games.
UCLA has covered four of its last five games against the Pac-12 dating back to last season and six of its last eight home games. The team is, however, 2-8 ATS after scoring 100 or more points in its previous game and 1-5 ATS over its last six matchups versus teams with winning records above .600. Head-to-head, the Wildcats are 1-6 ATS over the last seven matchups, while the underdog is a perfect 5-0 in the last five games.
Free College Basketball Picks: Arizona at UCLA Predictions
The line for Thursday’s Pac-12 showdown is awfully small, especially for the No. 1 team in the nation. A bet on UCLA would be much more attractive if the team was getting four to five points as an underdog. The Bruins are a talented group that scores a lot of points, but Arizona is still the superior talent at the moment. This matchup will probably come down to who can control the tempo of the game. If Arizona gets into an up-and-down-the-court scoring match then it might have trouble getting the victory. However, if the Wildcats can play a slowed down game were the ball touches a man in the low post every possession then they will end up winning the game and covering the spread. Arizona may be due for a loss, but expect the team to be ready to take UCLA’s best shot. Take the Wildcats minus the point.
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