UCLA vs. Arizona Betting Line February 12

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:

Carrie Stroup here with your UCLA vs. Arizona betting line for Friday night’s game.  Arizona -11, Total: 153.5


No. 17 Arizona looks for revenge from a three-point loss at the hands of the reeling Bruins earlier this season in a matchup of Pac-12 rivals.

The heroics from G Bryce Alford (16.7 PPG) with NBA star and UCLA alum Russell Westbrook in the stands were supposed to catapult UCLA towards the postseason; Alford’s game-winning three and strut down the sidelines taking down mighty Arizona. Unfortunately, this would be the high point for the Bruins, as UCLA has now lost four of their last six games, including getting swept by cross-town rival, USC, for the first time since 2010.

Arizona takes their 12-1 SU (8-5 ATS) home record into this contest with no mercy, and most likely a vivid memory of coach Steve Alford’s son sending their team back home in despair on Jan. 8th. Arizona boasts the return of freshman G Allonzo Trier (14.3 PPG) who missed seven games with a broken hand before returning Saturday for seven points in 16 minutes in the win over Washington. In addition to that Saturday win, Arizona defeated Washington State last Wednesday 79-64 (Arizona -10), as the Wildcats have covered and won their last three contests dating back to a home loss to Pac-12 leading Oregon on Jan. 28th.

Historically, Arizona hasn’t covered while hosting UCLA in the past four contests (March, ’12) and is 7-3 SU (4-6 ATS) over the past 10 games at McKale Center dating back to 2009. In total, UCLA is 8-2 ATS the past 10 times these two teams have met.

UCLA still owns a very dangerous offense at 79.3 PPG (38th NCAA), but they came to a screeching halt on Thursday in the Galen Center, only putting up 61 points in the loss to USC. The Bruins shot 34.8% FG (26.9% 3PT) and the backcourt duo of Alford and Isaac Hamilton (16.3 PPG) combined to go 6-25 from the field. Alford will have had 8 days to prepare his squad for this upcoming game, but will it be enough for the struggling Bruins? UCLA is 2-3 SU (2-3 ATS) with 4+ days off this season.

The elder Alford has tried to jumpstart his team by making lineup changes to his short rotation, bringing burly F Tony Parker (13.3 PPG, 9.3 RPG) off the bench in favor of lanky sophomore F Jonah Bolden (4 PPG). Bolden is a long-armed defender and shows signs of a promising offensive game in the future, but he’s very raw. Meanwhile, Parker hasn’t truly responded to coming off the bench in order to avoid early foul trouble. While Parker’s scoring has gotten more consistent, his stellar work on the boards has taken a hit (5.8 RPG over his last four games).

UCLA’s defense will need to tighten up against Arizona’s many solid offensive options, as the Bruins’ 77 PPG allowed is 278th in the country. UCLA plays at a fast pace (74.8 poss/game, 48th NCAA) but this almost benefits their opponents more than it does themselves, as UCLA’s opponents get more shots off per game than the Bruins themselves do (64.1 Opp FGA/Game, 337th NCAA).

How Parker, Bolden, and 7-foot C Thomas Welsh (12 PPG, 8.8 RPG) handle Ryan Anderson, Arizona’s standout senior forward who’s on fire right now, will be a big key to the Bruins keeping it close in Tuscon.

The aforementioned Anderson (16.2 PPG, 10.4 RPG) is playing as well as any frontcourt player in the nation right now for coach Sean Miller’s Wildcats. After a triple-overtime loss to USC on Jan 9th, where Anderson inexplicably only scored 5 points and grabbed 8 rebounds, Anderson is averaging 19.5 PPG, 10.6 RPG, on 70% FG in his last eight games. Furthermore, Anderson has averages of 22 PPG and 12.3 RPG in his past four games, bolstered by 53 points and 27 rebounds last week over Washington State and Washington.

Beside Anderson, G Gabe York (14.7 PPG, 43% 3PT) has also stepped up in the absence of Trier, averaging 18 PPG and burying 3 threes per game over his last six contests.

Overall, Arizona’s 81.8 PPG (22nd NCAA), 49.1% FG (9th NCAA), and 1.17 points per possession (13th NCAA) are all elite, while their +11.4 rebounding margin (4th NCAA) stabilizes a defense that otherwise isn’t as dominant as Miller’s Arizona teams of the past. Arizona has only allowed two Pac-12 opponents to shoot below 40% FG in conference play and, even in a win, allowed Washington to shoot 46% 3PT on Saturday.

It will be interesting to see if Trier, who played 16 minutes against the Huskies on Saturday, gets a starting nod after a week’s worth of rest. York, who took 21 shots in the win over Washington Saturday, is more beneficial to the Wildcats moving without the ball and not having to create his own shot – which is where the additional firepower of having Trier start would make Arizona even more dangerous.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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