Washington vs UCLA Odds, Prediction: Will Bruins Cover at Home?

Washington vs UCLA Odds, Prediction: Will Bruins Cover at Home? article feature image

Pictured: Jaime Jaquez Jr. #24 of the UCLA Bruins. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Washington vs UCLA Odds

Thursday, Feb. 2
9 p.m. ET
Washington Odds
-118o / -104u
-118o / -104u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Washington had won four of five, but then ran into a buzzsaw when it welcomed No. 5 Arizona to Seattle. Arizona cruised to a 95-72 victory and Washington dropped to 13-10 (5-7 in the Pac-12). The Huskies are tied for seventh place in the Pac-12 and will hit the road to battle the first place UCLA Bruins.

Washington may run into an angry UCLA team as the Bruins have lost their past two games to Arizona and USC. UCLA has had a week to stew over a double-digit loss to the rival Trojans. However, the Bruins are still 17-4 and 8-2 in the Pac-12.

UCLA won the first meeting against Washington 74-49 and has dominated this series of late, winning the past seven games and 10 of the past 11.

Washington Huskies

Washington scored a season-low 49 points against UCLA on New Year's Day. The Huskies shot 34% from the field, 2-for-25 from 3, and got just six combined points from forward Keion Brooks Jr. and guard Keyon Menifield. Though that was Washington's worst offensive performance of the season, its season long numbers aren't much better.

Washington is 155th in adjusted offensive efficiency. It ranks 275th in 3-point shooting and 272nd in turnover percentage. It also averages nearly 70 points per game and ranks 221st in scoring offense.

Brooks leads the team with 17.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He is the only double-digit scorer on the team, but Menifield has been coming on strong. The freshman is averaging 11.1 points over his past seven games and scored in double figures in five of them.

Junior center Braxton Meah is averaging 8.5 points, seven rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. He had 20 points and seven rebounds in the first meeting against UCLA.

Meah is the primary reason Washington ranks eighth nationally in blocks rate defensively. Washington is 28th in 3-point percentage defense and holds opponents to 30% shooting from beyond the arc. However, the team ranks just 96th in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Defensive rebounding is an issue as Washington ranks 333rd in defensive rebounding percentage. It could struggle in that area against UCLA.

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UCLA Bruins

UCLA is coming off a three-game road trip in which it went 1-2. It sputtered offensively, averaging just 63.3 points per game. It will be very comfortable being back on its home floor as the Bruins are 11-0 at Pauley Pavilion.

Despite the road slump, the Bruins are still 20th in adjusted offensive efficiency. The Bruins are led by senior guard Jaime Jaquez Jr., who is averaging 16 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. He was recently named to the Wooden Award Late Season Watch List.

In addition to Jaquez Jr., guards Tyger Campbell, Jaylen Clark and David Singleton are all averaging double figures in scoring. Campbell also leads the team with 4.7 assists against just 1.9 turnovers per game. The Bruins are 13th in turnover percentage offensively.

Singleton ranks third in the Pac-12 shooting 44.1% from three. Clark is one of the better rebounding guards in the country at 6.9 rebounds per game. The Bruins are 21st in offensive rebounding percentage and had nine against Washington in the first meeting.

Clark is also one of the peskiest perimeter defenders and ranks fourth nationally with 2.7 steals per game. UCLA averages nearly nine steals per game as a team and ranks eighth in turnover percentage defensively.

UCLA is fourth in adjusted defensive efficiency and 13th in scoring defense. It has held opponents to 70 or less in 18 of 21 games. In those games, the Bruins are 18-1.

Washington vs. UCLA Betting Pick

UCLA has been dominant on its home floor. In 11 games, it has outscored opponents by 17.4 points and won by double digits nine times. Its defense has been a big reason why and the Bruins already stymied Washington in their first meeting. I expect Washington to score more than 49 points, but considering its season average and UCLA's defense, the Huskies probably won't light up the scoreboard.

If Washington can't get going offensively, it will have a hard time keeping this close. Washington is allowing 77 points per game in its past six games and UCLA's highest point total in the past month was against Washington.

I don't love backing such a large spread, but in this matchup, I am more confident in UCLA covering at home than I am with Washington on the road.

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