Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#4841 Washington State vs.
#4842 UCLA
Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 5:00pm EST
Written by Adam Rauzino

The UCLA Bruins will host the Washington State Cougars in a Pac-12 battle on Thursday night. The Cougars have been competitive in conference play and enter this one with a 2-2 record in PAC-12 action.

The Bruins are locked in, winning four consecutive games, and have yet to lose a conference game this season. Each team recorded a win in last year’s two-game season series.

Washington State Competetive in Conference Play

The Washington State Cougars head into his challenging matchup a loser of two out of their last three games. Washington State narrowly lost to Arizona earlier in conference play and defeated California before falling 75-60 to Stanford this past weekend in a tilt that had the Cougars tabbed as 7 point dogs. Washington State has covered the points in three of four conference games.

Isaac Bonton is zoned in, sinking over 20 points in back-to-back games, and has surpassed 20 points three times this year. The senior guard has registered an average of 17.7 PPG and 5.1 RPG. Noah Williams has posted his fair share of big performances this season. The sophomore guard has shot at least 50% in two out of his last four games and is averaging 12.1 PPG. Efe Obogidi has recorded 12 or more points in five out of his last six clashes. The freshman center is third in team scoring with 10.5 PPG along with 8.5 RPG.

The Cougars are currently positioned 123rd in DI in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball ratings. Washington State is not a high scoring team, averaging 69.4 points on the season, placing them 244th in the country. They are playing sharp defense and are holding teams to 62 points, good for 27th overall.

UCLA Remains Undefeated in PAC-12 Action

The UCLA Bruins remain perfect in conference play. They have won all four Pac-12 bouts and their only two blemishes came against San Diego State and Ohio State. The Bruins were 4.5 point dogs in an 81-76 road win over Arizona on Saturday night. UCLA has covered in three of their four conference battles.

Jamie Jaquez Jr. is playing a key role in the Bruins’ success. The sophomore guard scored 13 points in Saturday’s victory and is averaging a team-leading 12.8 PPG along with 6 RPG. Tyger Campbell came through with 22 points on Saturday. The sophomore guard has been inconsistent at times and enters this one averaging 11.6 PPG on 42% shooting. Johnny Juzang is contributing with at least 10 points in four out of his last five games. The sophomore guard is posting 11.4 PPG. UCLA is playing the remainder of the season without Chris Smith (12.6 PPG), however, his absence has not had a negative effect.

The Bruins surprisingly did not earn a spot in this week’s AP Top 25 list but have landed in the coaches' poll. Ken Pomeroy has them at 27th overall in his ratings. UCLA is averaging a terrific 76.4 points on the season, ranking them 98th overall. They are allowing an average of 68.6 points, landing them 150th in DI.

Best Bets for this Game

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Full-Game Side Bet

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Washington State has been very competitive as they only have one bad loss which came against Stanford. The Cougars took a good Arizona team to overtime and their stifling defense should result in a very close PAC-12 battle.

Furthermore, while UCLA has fared well offensively in their last few games, they could have trouble scoring against this outstanding defense, especially considering a big piece of their team in Chris Smith (12.6PPG) is out for the season. The Cougars are limiting opponents to 35.5% shooting from the field which leads all of DI in field goal defense. Take the points with Washington State in this one.

Prediction: Washington State Cougars +10.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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This one has the ingredients for a low scoring clash. UCLA plays at a slower pace of only 70 possessions per game which ranks them 252nd overall in pace, meaning fewer goal attempts. The Bruins only scored 65 points against Colorado in their previous home game and WSU’s effective defense will contain their scoring. 

In addition, the Bruins defense is also sharp and scoring is not the Cougars' specialty. They are only shooting 40.3% as a team and also frequently miss free throws, recording a 67% efficiency from the line.

Prediction: Under

Full-Game Prop Bet

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UCLA will have trouble generating their usual offense. Washington State does not give up many threes. They are holding teams to 25.6% shooting from three-point territory. The Cougars held Oregon State to 55 points, Arizona to 70 points before overtime, and California to 60 points this season and should contain the Bruins.

Prediction: UCLA Team Total Under 70.5

Half-Time Total Bet

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I am going with the over on the first half total. UCLA just scored 41 points in the first half last time out while giving up 41 points. Also, Washington State hasn’t been quite as strong in the first half defensively where they have allowed an average of 32.7 points in their last three games.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Adam Rauzino , "Adam Rauzino"

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball, and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.