Washington State vs UCLA Odds & Picks: 2 Bets for Pac-12 Clash
Pictured: Washington State Cougars forward Mouhamed Gueye. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Washington State vs UCLA Odds
|Washington State Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Washington State’s 5-8 conference record might not suggest the Cougars are particularly good, but most of the Pac-12 knows how talented and difficult they are to beat. No one knows this better than the Cougars next opponent as Washington State visits UCLA on Saturday night.
Last time these teams met, Washington State gave UCLA everything it could handle in Pullman and really should have won the game. The Bruins needed a late comeback to pull off a one-point victory in the final seconds. The Cougars have played up really well in the conference this year and are excellent in these spots because their physicality enables them to stay in games against superior talent.
I don’t expect Saturday to be any different and think this line is a couple points too high.
Washington State center Mouhamed Gueye had one of the best games of his young career when these teams met the first time. The Bruins had no answer for him on the interior and he posted 18 points and 18 rebounds. This is a good matchup for Gueye, who took advantage of UCLA’s weak defensive rebounding.
UCLA can be beat at the rim and on the offensive glass. Gueye has been up and down this year, but he’s shown real development in the past month or two. Just Thursday night, Gueye posted 31 points and 12 rebounds against the No. 1 2-point defense in the country.
The Cougars will certainly have turnover problems in this matchup, but running the offense through Gueye is the path to success. If UCLA has to overcommit to stop him, the Cougars are an underrated and very good perimeter shooting team. Sometimes they settle for bad shots, but they also attempt a ton of 3s and rank first in the conference in floor spacing, per ShotQuality.
UCLA doesn’t have the size or post-up defense to match up well here and Mick Cronin’s adjustments may open more paths to offensive success for Kyle Smith’s Cougars.
UCLA had a very uncharacteristic 18 turnovers and Cronin voiced his displeasure about it after Thursday’s win against Washington. The Bruins have to like this offensive matchup though. You’d expect a bounce back showing after the poor execution on Thursday from a well-coached team.
Washington State wants to chase opponents off the 3-point line, but doesn’t have a great rim defense. The Cougars are a physical and athletic defense, but can be undisciplined as a unit. They’re going to see a ton of pick-and-roll and a ton of mid-range shots against UCLA. The Washington State defense is below average against ball screens and really bad against mid-range shots.
That’s where UCLA should be able to feast in this matchup. Washington State showed real prowess in transition defense against Arizona, but the Bruins are more comfortable in the half court anyway.
Washington State vs UCLA Betting Pick
It’s unclear if Washington State will have DJ Rodman back in the lineup after he missed Thursday’s game with an illness.
The Cougars match up pretty well inside and could take advantage of UCLA’s questionable interior defense. On the other end, Washington State should have issues getting consistent stops. UCLA will get its rim and mid-range looks and make enough of them for a high scoring and competitive contest.
The Cougars offense, in my view, is underrated in the market. If TJ Bamba can find his shooting form again, Washington State will score on Saturday.
Pick: Washington State +11.5 | Over 128.5
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