The third-ranked Arizona Wildcats (16-1 SU, 11-5-1 ATS) will try to stay unbeaten in conference play Tuesday when they visit the seventh-ranked UCLA Bruins (13-2, 6-8-1) as small road favorites in a key Pac-12 matchup. Arizona suffered its lone loss away from home, falling to the Tennessee Volunteers 77-73 as a 1-point road underdog on December 22, and the team has won five in a row since that defeat. Will this Wildcats vs Bruins prediction have the visitors remaining on top of the league?
Wildcats vs Bruins Odds & Analysis
Early betting has seen small line moves on the favorite and the OVER up to -2 for Arizona and 152 for the total. The Wildcats will be playing their third straight road game, and they have won the last two both SU and ATS by double digits. Meanwhile, UCLA has struggled to a 1-4-1 ATS mark in its past six, including an 84-81 overtime loss to the Oregon Ducks as 9.5-point home favorites on January 13.
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Wildcats Have Dominated Pac-12 Both SU And ATS This Season
Arizona’s dominance within the conference can be directly tied to what oddsmakers think in setting the school’s lines.
Not only are the Wildcats 6-0 SU in league games, but they have also gone 5-1 ATS, with all of them decided by double figures. In fact, 14 of their 17 games overall have been decided by over 15 points, with two of the exceptions won by four points against the Wichita State Shockers and Illinois Fighting Illini away from home.
There is no denying Arizona’s strong play under first-year head coach Tommy Lloyd, the former Gonzaga assistant who has his new team playing like the Bulldogs in the WCC. To back up this Wildcats vs Bruins prediction, though, they must end a five-game series skid.
Bruins Have Fallen Short Of Expectations Despite Residing In Top 10
It is not often that a team ranked in the top 10 with two losses more than halfway through the regular season is criticized for not being as good as expected. But UCLA – not its opponent – was supposed to be leading the conference right now, although winning two meetings in the next four games could still make that expectation a reality.
The Bruins are as good as any team in the country from a talent perspective. They just need to keep playing better defense like they have during their current three-game winning streak. During that stretch, UCLA has not given up more than 65 points while going 1-1-1 ATS, so the team could prove the Wildcats vs Bruins prediction wrong by keeping that up.
Wildcats vs Bruins Pick & Insights
Wildcats: Keys To Cover
Arizona has gotten off to fast starts to bury opponents early on, but the team has also proven it can run away with a game after halftime. The Wildcats have yet to be outplayed in both halves of a game – that is why Arizona has one of the best spread marks in the country too and continues to be unbeaten in the Pac-12. Playing hard for 40 minutes will help make the Wildcats vs Bruins prediction come true.
Bruins: Keys To Cover
UCLA has only really lost one game badly, an 83-63 defeat to the second-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs on November 23 in Las Vegas. Three of the team’s last four games have been decided by six points or less, with the Bruins winning two of those contests. Succeeding in such competitive games should only benefit them here, plus UCLA has owned Arizona lately. That makes the home team an intriguing Wildcats vs Bruins pick.
Odds Shark’s Computer Wildcats vs Bruins Prediction: Wildcats -2.5
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