UCLA hosts Washington State in a solid matchup between two elite squads! It’s time to continue our college basketball odds series with a Washington State-UCLA prediction and pick.

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Washington State enters this game after defeating California Berkeley in the first round 66-59. The Cougars are (19-13) on the year after having a successful 2021-22 season. They haven’t beaten a ranked opponent all season long, however, but held their own against the unranked teams in the conference. This will be a tough test for them as they lost to UCLA by 20 the only time they played this season.

No. 13 UCLA had a bye in the first round of the tournament as they should have. They finished as the 2-seed in the Pac-12 behind No. 2 Arizona. No. 21 USC finished third and will face the Washington Huskies later tonight as well. The Bruins finished what was a remarkable season after going all the way to the Final Four in 2021. Johnny Juzang led the team with 16.7 points per game this season. This should be an exciting game to watch tonight!

Here are the Washington State-UCLA Pac-12 Tournament odds, courtesy of FanDuel

Pac-12 Tournament Odds: Washington State-UCLA Odds

Washington State: +9 (-110)

UCLA: -9 (-110)

Over: 132.5 (-110)

Under: 132.5 (-110)

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Why Washington State Could Cover The Spread

Even though the Cougars have won four-straight games, this is a tough spread to cover. I think they can get it done but winning this game will take their best game of the season. Considering they haven’t beaten a ranked opponent all year, their chances of turning that around now are slim. The Cougars do have the offense to do so, though. They exploded for 94 points in the 20-point win over 5th-seeded Oregon back on March 5. It will take another night like that and it will once again take a group effort. In the win over Oregon, five players scored in double-digits as Noah Williams scored 19 to lead them over the Ducks. The hometown product averaged 10.2 points on the season but finished with the third-highest average behind Michael Flowers (14.2) and Tyrell Roberts (10.9).

They will need to shut down an elite offensive tonight. Juzang as well as Jaime Jaquez Jr., Jules Bernard, and Tyger Campbell form one of the best starting lineups in the entire country. UCLA spreads the wealth better than most teams and will likely use that gameplan once again tonight. If the Cougars want to cover this spread, they will need to keep up offensively.

Why UCLA Could Cover The Spread

The Bruins are coming off a huge win over No. 16 USC back on March 5. Jaquez scored 27 points off 10-18 shooting and was the main reason for their success that night. Besides Bernard scoring 19, the rest of the team didn’t play that great. They will need to see Juzang play better as he scored only eight off the bench. UCLA can’t take this team lightly. The Cougars averaged just four points fewer than UCLA for the season total and allow just one extra point. These teams are similar statistically so this could turn out to be a close game. If the Bruins want to cover this spread, they must defend well because the Cougars could keep up offensively.

UCLA is favored by nine currently. It will take a comfortable win for them to cover and with the way these tournament games go, they might have more to lose. UCLA finished the season (23-6) but only (15-13-1) against the spread. Washington State didn’t cover well at only (13-19).

Final Washington State-UCLA Prediction & Pick

I want to believe that the trend stays true and this game will turn out closer than we all think. I expect UCLA to win this game and move on, but the Cougars’ solid season can’t end in a blowout. Washington State has the firepower to keep this game within reach at the end and so I’m going with them to cover this 9-point spread.

Final Washington State-UCLA Pick: Washington State +9 (-110)