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UCLA Bruins at Arizona Wildcats Betting Preview

The top two teams in the Pac-12 will square off Thursday night as the No. 3 UCLA Bruins (16-2, 8-1 in Pac-12) take on the No. 7 Arizona Wildcats (17-2, 7-1 in Pac-12). The Wildcats will host this one at the McKale Memorial Center, with tipoff scheduled for 8:00 pm ET.

This will be the second time in less than two weeks that these two square off with one another. Back on January 25, the Bruins destroyed Arizona 75-59 at home.

Including that win, UCLA has won six straight games. In their last game, they took down unranked Stanford at home 66-43.

In the win, Jules Bernard led all scorers with 16 points while adding nine rebounds. Jake Kyman added 15 points.

Arizona bounced back from their loss at UCLA with a 67-56 home win over Arizona State last Saturday.

Oumar Ballo (14 points), Bennedict Mathurin (14 points), and Christian Koloko (12 points, 13 rebounds) led the way for the Wildcats.

Arizona is the favorite in this one playing at home. They are -295 to win while the Bruins’ moneyline sits at +235. The spread features UCLA +6.5 (-102), and the over/under for total points is 147.5.

More Odds

Despite being the lower-ranked team, Arizona has the better odds currently of winning the national championship. They are +1500 to win it all, while UCLA is +1600.

By The Numbers

Arizona has one of the best offenses in the nation this season. They rank second in scoring as they are averaging 86 points per game (89.6 at home). The Bruins rank 24th, averaging 78 points per game (67.4 on the road).

On the defensive side, it is UCLA with the edge. They rank 37th in scoring defense, allowing opponents 63.9 points per game. Arizona ranks 46th as they are allowing 64.5 points per game (60.1 at home).

Shorthanded UCLA Looks To Sweep Season Series

After taking care of business at home against the Wildcats, the Bruins would love nothing more than to sweep the season series on the road Thursday night. To do so, they may be a bit shorthanded.

Junior Jaime Jaquez Jr suffered an ankle injury in their last game and is questionable for Thursday’s contest. This season, he has averaged 12.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists.

Additionally, bench player Jaylen Clark has been ruled out with a concussion. In 17.9 minutes per game, he has added six points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists for UCLA.

The good news is their leading scorer, Johnny Juzang, is probable after being sidelined due to having to quarantine for the last week. This season, Juzang is averaging 18.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game.

Arizona Looks To Home Court To Give The Edge

Arizona knows it has a tall task ahead of them to take down UCLA, but they have the benefit of playing them at home this time. This season, the Wildcats are 11-0 when playing at McKale Memorial Center.

Arizona has four players averaging double digits, but they are led by sophomore guard Bennedict Mathurin. This season, he is averaging 17.2 points on 45.7% shooting. He is also chipping in 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.

Other major contributors include Azuolas Tubelis (14.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists), Christian Koloko (13 points, 7.5 rebounds), and Kerr Kriisa (10.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists).

Take UCLA And The Points

This one is a bit of a tough one to call at UCLA may not be firing on all cylinders. Even if Jaquez can play, he won’t be at full strength, and after missing the last week, Juzang may be a little rusty.

Furthermore, Arizona has been outright dominant at home this season and will be hungry for revenge after their road loss to UCLA.

The tough part comes in how well UCLA played against Arizona in the first matchup. They seemingly dominated that game from the tipoff and never let Arizona find their stride.

If UCLA’s defense can do that to them again on Thursday, the Wildcats may suffer their first home loss.

At the very least, there is a lot of value in UCLA, given they are being spotted 6.5 points in this one. For that reason, take the Bruins and the points.

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