UCLA vs. Washington State Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide
Via G Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyger Campbell #10 of the UCLA Bruins handles the ball against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center on December 14, 2022 in College Park, Maryland.
- The Bruins hit the road to take on the Washington State Cougars in a Pac-12 affair on Friday.
- The Bruins are fourth in KenPom's rankings after a rather shaky start to the season.
- Can they continue their success on the road? D.J. James breaks it all down.
UCLA vs. Washington State Odds
-110o / -110u
|Washington State Odds|
-110o / -110u
Outside of two early losses to Baylor and Illinois, UCLA has kicked into gear and now sits fourth in the nation, per KenPom. They have top-10 Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Efficiency, so the veteran play of the Bruins has guided them to some recent success. They are 2-0 in PAC-12 play so far with wins over Oregon and Stanford and will continue conference play on the road against the Washington State Cougars on Friday night.
The Cougars have not looked to sharp, and they come into this game at 5-8. However, this team has a tendency to control the pace on the floor. They are 9-4 on unders this season. According to KenPom, they are 317th in pace nationally, so look for them to dictate at least how this game is played in their home gym.
The Bruins only play inside the arc. Just 23% of their points have come from beyond the arc, and only 12.6% have come from the free throw line. Nearly 65% of this team’s offense is from two-pointers, and they do their best by working the ball inside to Jaime Jaquez.
This should help UCLA against Washington State, who is not the best defensive team on the interior. Opponents are shooting over 52% on twos against the Cougars this season, but they have the 28th-highest 3-point attempt percentage on defense in the NCAA.
They do hold the opposition to 31.9% from deep, so since UCLA does not score much outside, the Washington State defense may only provide open looks on the perimeter. This is David Singleton’s music, who is shooting over 50% on 3s.
The crucial issue here is UCLA rebounds around a 33% clip offensively. Washington State can crash the glass on both sides of the ball, but in particular, they are holding opponents to 23.5% on defense. This means the Bruins will not have many second chances to score.
Jaquez, Adem Bona, and Jaylen Clark are the most efficient Bruins on the interior, shooting over 60% on twos, so they should score at will, but if they miss their first shot, they will not get another.
Photo by CBB Analytics
The Cougars have a completely different offensive approach. 35.6% of their points have come from 3-point land, and they rank 85th in the NCAA in 3-point attempt percentage. UCLA is holding opponents to under 31% from outside the arc, so the most productive component of the Washington State’s offense could be taken away for much of the game.
The Cougars can sometimes get to the line with Mouhamed Gueye and TJ Bamba. Each has at least 45 free throw attempts, but UCLA ranks 43rd in defensive fouling, so trips to the free throw line will be few and far between.
One area of concern for a quicker-paced game will be how often the Cougars turn the ball over. UCLA forces turnovers at a 25.3% rate, which is a huge driver for their top-10 defense. Washington State turns it over 21.2% of the time, so UCLA can get the ball out in transition.
Photo by CBB Analytics
UCLA vs. Washington State Betting Pick
That said, turnovers for Washington State may be the only time when the game is faster than usual. The Cougars occupy 19 seconds per possession offensively and 17.8 seconds per possession on defense.
Look for this game to be played at a slow pace. Washington State will prevent second chances for the Bruins offense, and UCLA can do the same defensively. The Bruins should get some open looks on offense, but the Cougars will not have many opportunities for open looks. Take the under at 134 (-110) and play to 132.5 (-110).