College Basketball Betting: UCLA Bruins vs. Arizona Wildcats Pick

UCLA Bruins
(13-6, 8-10-1 ATS)

Arizona Wildcats
(16-4, 10-8 ATS)

A pair of teams deadlocked at 5-2 in the Pac-10 will break their second place tie on Thursday night in college basketball betting action, as the UCLA Bruins invade the desert to tangle with the Arizona Wildcats.

UCLA is clearly having a better season this year than it did a year ago when it finished under .500 and didn’t even play in a postseason tournament. This is a team that is probably going to find itself finishing with about a 19-12 record or so at the end of the regular season, and this is going to be the type of swing game that needs to be won in order to get back into the field of 68. The Bruins are riding a four game winning streak into this one, and they are really getting some great play out of their starting five. Reeves Nelson, Tyler Honeycutt, Malcolm Lee, and Lazeric Jones are all double digit point scorers on the average night, and they are going to be the four men that are expected to carry Head Coach Ben Howland and company back to the Promised Land. Nelson is the team’s leading scorer at 13.9 points per game, and he is also the top rebounder to boot at 7.9 per night. Honeycutt is also a guy that can post a double-double on a regular basis, as he is averaging 13.7 points and 7.7 boards per game.

Arizona will almost certainly be back in the NCAA Tournament this year as well, and they are a threat for sure to win the conference crown this year. If the Wildcats continue to split games on the road and win nearly all of them at home, they’re destined for a 24 win season, which could earn them as high as maybe a No. 4 seed in the dance. They split last week at the two Washington schools, and that 65-63 win at the Washington State Cougars might keep them in the Top 25 in the country this week. Even if it doesn’t, wins this week against UCLA and the USC Trojans should get them back into the fold. Derrick Williams might be the only double digit point scorer on this team on a regular basis, but my, is he a good one! He is averaging 19.7 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, and he is shooting 62.3 percent from the field. All of these numbers are tops on the team. He is clearly one of the most dynamic players in the Pac-10 and will have to prove it once again on Thursday night to beat the Bruins.

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UCLA is clearly on the upswing, but this game is going to be too difficult. Williams should have another one of these nights in which he scores 23 or so points, and he’ll probably have a double-double to boot. The Bruins have some great starters, but their depth just isn’t there quite yet. Arizona should take this college basketball betting battle comfortably.

NCAA Basketball Expert Pick: Arizona Wildcats

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