In one of the final matchups of the evening on championship Saturday, the UCLA Bruins will take on the Arizona Wildcats in the heart of Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena in the Pac-12 Championship. Feed your excitement of this prime-time matchup by checking out our college basketball odds series, which includes our UCLA-Arizona prediction and pick.
The Wildcats are eager to take home a conference title after being absent in the annual tournament in Vegas due to sanctions. Arizona has consistently been one of the top teams in the nation under former Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd, who spent 22 years with the Zags. The ‘Cats just recorded their 30th win of the season and can have a chance at the number one overall seed in the NCAA Tournament with a win in the Pac-12 Title Game.
UCLA will technically be enemy territory with how well Arizona fans travel and will be looking to overcome their last matchup versus the Wildcats that saw them go down in defeat 76-66 on the road in Tucson. However, a week prior, the Bruins got the best of Arizona in Pasadena in a 17-point beatdown, only one of three losses that U of A has endured in their 33 games played thus far.
Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the UCLA-Arizona Pac-12 Championship odds:
Pac-12 Championship Odds: UCLA-Arizona Odds
UCLA: +1.5 (-110)
Arizona: -1.5 (-110)
Over: 143 (-110)
Under: 143 (-110)
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Why UCLA Could Cover the Spread
Experience is triumphant. UCLA entered this season fresh off an improbable Final Four run, thus only exceeding expectations to a sky-high limit entering the new season. Even more, a reason to be optimistic if you are a Bruins fan was the fact that UCLA was returning all five of their starters for 2021-2022, something that is almost unheard of in today’s college sports world of the transfer portal and easy accessibility to play where you want. Outside of Arizona, it is clear that UCLA is right up there among the Pac-12’s elites, as both squads took care of their business to get to this point. Shockingly, upsets were far and few between in the Pac 12, a conference that usually beats each other up a majority of the time went exactly as planned.
The top four seeds all made the semifinals, with U of A and UCLA representing the first and second place teams in the title game. The Bruins are no doubt the only team in the conference capable of putting the scare in the ‘Cats, as their veteran savvy lineup knows how to win. Arizona is 2-8 ATS as favorites while playing on a neutral court, a stat that the Bruins have to feel good about heading into tonight. UCLA has a record of 5-1 ATS at the same time in neutral sites as underdogs. The Bruins currently average 76.4 PPG and are led by the dangerously lethal backcourt tandem of Johnny Juzang and Tyger Campbell.
Why Arizona Could Cover the Spread
The buzz is real in and around Tucson, as the Arizona faithful throughout the country sense that the Wildcats are a special team. U of A reached the 30-win mark once again in their rich, lustrous program history after defeating Colorado 82-72 on Friday night. When watching Arizona play, it becomes clear within minutes that there are multiple NBA caliber players on the roster. These standout ballers include future first-round pick and team-leading scorer Bennedict Mathurin, whose ability to spot up shoot and use his explosiveness to get to the rack has NBA scouts drooling excessively.
Big man Christian Koloko has also been rumored to be a possible second-rounder and is a paint beast down low, averaging 7.0 rebounds per game and shooting an extremely effective 62% field goal percentage. The Wildcats are dominate on offense as they average 84.6 PPG (4th nationally) and create opportunities galore with their 19.9 APG (3rd nationally). Bottom line: Arizona could cover the spread simply because they are one of the best two-way teams in America. No to mention, with what seems like their entire fan base traveling to the city of sin, UCLA will have to account for many factors in is “supposedly” a neutral site game.
Final UCLA-Arizona Prediction & Pick
This is as hard of a pick as there’s been so far during conference championship week, as both teams have the talent and prestige to be crowned Pac-12 champs. However, due to poor against the spread statistics for Arizona as favorites and UCLA’s impeccable experienced roster, the slight edge points to the Bruins and the +1.5.
Final UCLA-Arizona Prediction & Pick: UCLA +1.5 (-110)