Thursday College Basketball Betting: Arizona Looks To Avenge Loss To UCLA

Arizona Wildcats guard Justin Kier (left) rises to take a shot while UCLA Bruins center Myles Johnson (right) defends during a Pac-12 Conference basketball game at UCLA
Image Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to Thursday college basketball betting, nothing beats an in-season revenge opportunity. Especially when the wounds of the first encounter have yet to fully heal.

Just eight days after the Bruins walloped the Wildcats in Westwood, No. 3 UCLA and No. 7 Arizona will meet again Thursday in Tucson in another nationally televised event.

It’s a critical game between the top two teams in the Pac-12. It’s also an opportunity for Arizona to erase the memory of shooting just 30.7 percent from the field in last week’s blowout defeat in Los Angeles.

Props.com breaks down college basketball betting odds for UCLA-Arizona, Thursday’s only top-25 clash.

Odds via DraftKings and updated as of 11:30 a.m. ET on Feb. 3.

No. 3 UCLA Vs No. 7 Arizona

UCLA Bruins guard Tyger Campbell (right) controls the ball against Arizona Wildcats guard Pelle Larsson (left) during a Pac-12 Conference basketball game at UCLA
Image Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Tipoff/TV: 8 p.m. ET/ESPN
UCLA: 16-2 SU (8-1 Pac-12)/9-8-1 ATS
Arizona: 17-2 SU (7-1 Pac-12)/11-7-1 ATS
Spread/Total: Arizona -6.5 (-115)/149
Last meeting: UCLA won and covered for the sixth consecutive time against Arizona, cruising 75-59 as a 3-point home underdog (Jan. 25)

About UCLA: The Bruins have caught fire since falling to top-ranked Gonzaga on Nov. 23, winning 11 of their last 12 games, including Saturday’s 66-43 home rout of Stanford as a 12-point favorite. UCLA has crushed its last three opponents by an average of 21 points. Dating back to February 2017, UCLA is 4-1 on the road against nationally-ranked foes. This year’s Bruins rank in the top 50 nationally for both scoring offense (39th, 78.0 ppg) and scoring defense (47th, 63.9 ppg). Within the Pac-12, UCLA ranks second in steals (7.2 per game), third in 3-point proficiency (35.4%), and third in assists (14.3 per game).

About Arizona: The Wildcats, who’ve scored 90-plus points eight times this season, have won five of their last six games, including Saturday’s 67-56 triumph over Arizona State. However, they never threatened to cover as a 21.5-point chalk. From a national perspective, Arizona ranks second in scoring differential (21.5 points per contest) and third in scoring offense (86.0 ppg). In Pac-12 circles, the Wildcats rate first in four key categories: field-goal shooting (48.0%), assists (20.5 per game), rebounds (43.7 rpg), and blocks (6.42 bpg).

What’s At Stake: A victory in Tucson would put UCLA (8-1) in control of the Pac-12 standings, boosting its conference lead to 1 1/2 games and clinching a season sweep of the Wildcats. Conversely, an Arizona win would vault the ‘Cats into sole possession of first place. Based on the NCAA’s NET rankings, Arizona (3rd) and UCLA (11th) are in prime position to secure a 1- or 2-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Editor’s Note: New to college basketball betting? Check out our full College Basketball Betting Guide with tips on how to get started! 

Players To Watch

UCLA guard Jules Bernard had 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals in the Bruins’ Jan. 25 rout of Arizona. The 6-foot-7 senior, who has scored in double figures in six of his last seven games, ranks second on the team in scoring (13.2 ppg), tied for second in assists (2.1), and third in rebounding (5.1), steals (0.9) and free-throw shooting (80.8%).

Arizona center Christian Koloko has recorded six double-doubles this season, including a 12-point, 13-rebound effort in Saturday’s win over Arizona State. The 7-foot-1 junior leads the team in rebounding (7.5) and blocked shots (3.2), ranks third in scoring (13.0 ppg), and is shooting 63 percent from the field. Koloko had 11 points and seven boards at UCLA last week.

Notable Trends

  • UCLA has followed a 2-7-1 ATS slump by going 4-0 ATS in its last four
  • UCLA is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 road games
  • Arizona is 3-6 ATS in its last nine overall, including 1-4 ATS at home
  • Under is 4-1 UCLA’s last five overall and 5-1 in Arizona’s last six overall
  • Under is 6-0 in UCLA’s last six road games and 4-1 in Arizona’s last five at home
  • UCLA is 8-2 SU/ATS in the last 10 series meetings (6-0 SU/ATS in the last six)
  • Underdog is on an 18-4 ATS roll in this rivalry
  • Under is 6-2 in the last eight series meetings overall and 3-1 in the last four at Arizona

UCLA Vs Arizona Odds and Action

UPDATE 5:45 P.M. ET: Late Wednesday night, Arizona opened -6.5 (-115) on DraftKings’ Thursday college basketball betting board. This morning, the Wildcats nudged to -7 for about 30 minutes before returning to 6.5, and early this afternoon, they dipped to -6. Arizona is now at -6.5 (-105), while UCLA is drawing 68% of spread bets and 58% of spread dollars.

The total has been around a bit, opening at 147.5, bottoming out at 147 this morning and peaking at 149.5 (Over +100). It’s now 148.5, with 54% of bets on the Under/81% of cash on the Over.