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UCLA vs Arizona Odds, Predictions, Picks

A matchup between the UCLA Bruins and Arizona Wildcats is always a big deal in the Pac-12, and the first matchup is no different. For the fourth straight meeting both clubs are ranked among the top-15 nationally. The Bruins enter their trip to the state of Arizona riding a 13-game winning streak and are the lone unbeaten in conference action.

The Cats are trending in the opposite direction with the setback at Oregon on Saturday their second in the last three outings after opening the campaign with 14 wins in their first 15 outings. The teams last met in the Pac-12 title game last March with the Wildcats posting a comeback win, their second straight victory and payout in the series.

This NCAA men’s basketball game will air live on ABC at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 21, 2023 from McKale Center in Tucson, AZ.

UCLA vs Arizona Odds

UCLA Bruins (Check Back Later)

Arizona Wildcats (Check Back Later)

Over/Under (Check Back Later)

Season Story

The Bruins returned a number of players from last year’s squad that made a run to the Sweet 16. And through 18 games the current version has the exact same record as last year’s at 16-2. The Bruins extended their winning streak to 13 with a 68-54 win over Colorado last weekend in a game that was closer than the final score. A late surge allowed UCLA to cover the 12-point line moving them to 8-5 ATS during the streak. Overall the Bruins have payouts in 61.1 percent of their games. They are 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in true road games. UCLA hasn’t lost since November when they dropped consecutive games to No. 19 Illinois and No. 5 Baylor going 0-2 ATS.

Arizona got as high as No. 4 in the AP poll and sat fifth just over a week ago by going 14-1 SU in their first 15 outings with wins over four top-20 opponents. The Cats mauled San Diego State, Creighton, Indiana and Tennessee going 3-1 ATS as the favorite in each outing. It’s the unranked clubs that the Cats have had problems with, all of them residing in the Pac-12. All three defeats were by at least 13 points with the Cats struggling offensively. They had their three lowest scoring outputs of the season in those games scoring fewer than 70 points while averaging nearly 20 points below their season average. The UNDER is 6-3 in their last nine games.

UCLA Bruins

“Teams that defend win national championships,” Mick Cronin said. And if the Bruins continue at this pace another banner will be lifted to the rafters at Pauley Pavilion. They held six of their last seven opponents to less than 60 points cashing the UNDER in each game. For the season they concede just 59.8 points per game, 12th best, with opponents shooting just 29 percent from three point territory. And they’ve been better during the winning streak allowing 57.1 points and 28.6 percent from behind the arc.

Points are still needed to win games and the Bruins have an efficient attack led by Jaime Jacquez Jr. One of three seniors in the starting lineup, Jacquez averages team-bests of 16.7 points 7.1 rebounds while shooting 51 percent from the floor. Tyger Campbell (13.3 ppg) and David Singleton (10.2 ppg) are the other starting seniors and among four players averaging more than 10 points. I doubt the veteran group will be rattled in yet another matchup of league powers.

Arizona Wildcats

I’m sensing a pattern with Arizona playing to its competition, which could be bad news for UCLA. The Cats played as a favorite in all 18 games this season with seven of them having a spread of more than 20 points. In games with a single-digit spread they are 5-2 SU and 4-3 ATS with a perfect 4-0 record against ranked teams at the time of the playing. The performance of the programs drives the national narrative of the conference. The Pac-12 must be viewed as pretty damn good then.

The Cats are one of the highest scoring teams in the country averaging nearly 85 points, but they will face pressure from an aggressive UCLA squad. And when the offense falters the Cats lose. They failed to score more than 68 points in their three defeats and starting guards Kerr Kriisa, Courtney Ramey and Pelle Larsson struggled. Between them they average over 31 points but combined for just 25 on 7 of 24 shooting in the 19-point loss to Oregon.

UCLA at Arizona Prediction

Three games off the pace already this is a big game for Arizona to get back in the race. The Bruins can shut down any offense leaving the Cats looking for options. Having one of their guards step up to take pressure of leading scorers Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo would be helpful. And the Cats have risen to the occasion against ranked foes this season.

Our Prediction: Arizona Wildcats and UNDER

View college basketball betting odds.

Jake Flynn
Jake Flynn
Senior writer for Writes NBA, NCAA basketball, MLB, UFC and daily fantasy sports articles.

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