We’ve got a battle of top five teams for the February 3rd UCLA at Arizona betting preview. The #3 Bruins look for their second win over the #7 Wildcats in a little over a week after taking the 75-59 victory last Tuesday as +3 point home underdogs.
UCLA has now won six straight in the head to head series, but are +6.5 underdogs on Thursday night mostly due to the status of two of the Bruins’ top three scorers being up in the air for this matchup. Arizona’s offense has been in a rut the last two games, but UCLA potentially missing 30.4 ppg would be a huge blow.
Juzang Should Be Ready
The Bruins seem to be getting some good news at the 11th hour with Johnny Juzang clearing COVID protocols and reportedly to be ready for the February 3rd UCLA at Arizona betting contest. That’s huge positive news for Mick Cronin’s squad as Juzang has missed the last two games in protocols, and is the 2nd leading scorer in the Pac-12 with 18.1 ppg.
The status of Jaime Jaquez, Jr. is not so certain though as he reaggravated an ankle injury on Saturday in a 23-point win over Stanford and is listed as questionable. Jaquez, Jr. is the 3rd leading scorer for the Bruins (12.3 ppg) but they also have four players total putting up over 11+ ppg including Jules Bernard (13.2) and Tyger Campbell (11.1).
UCLA is 39th in the country in ppg (78.0) but are up against an Arizona squad that is 3rd in the nation at 86.0 ppg. The Bruins’ 75-59 win over the Wildcats last Tuesday went well under the 150 point betting total and Thursday’s number is set at 148.5.
Are the Wildcats in a Slump?
The 59 points scored by Arizona in the first matchup with UCLA was a season low, and UCLA has clamped down even more since then in holding Cal to 57 points and Stanford to 43 the last two games. Arizona has played only one game since last Tuesday’s loss, beating Arizona State (2-6 in conference) 67-56 but as -21.5 favorites.
Most people would presume that the Wildcats even the season series 1-1 back at home where they are 11-0 on the season. To do that Arizona would take a bigger game from leading scorer Bennedict Mathurin (17.2 ppg) who was just 5-22 from the field in the first meeting with UCLA. Mathurin was also 0-8 from three point range in Saturday’s win over Arizona State.
Arizona struggling in the head to head series is also something that needs to be taken into consideration as UCLA has won the last six. That includes a 5-point win in Tuscon in January of 2021 and winning 65-52 on the road in February of 2020. This is a new era with coach Tommy Lloyd though, and Arizona has been dominant at home this season.
Free February 3rd UCLA at Arizona Betting Pick
The -6.5 line doesn’t seem to be updating even though Juzang should be ready to go for Thursday night’s matchup. 74% of the public are taking the Bruins as it does look like too easy of a play getting the points. Past lessons have taught that this should be a fade game, and the Wildcats do indeed get a revenge game win. Juzang could be rusty after missing two games and Jaquez, Jr. may sit this one.
Arizona 77 – UCLA 70
Free Pick: Arizona -6.5