The Arizona Wildcats look to snap the program’s six-game losing streak to one of their fiercest Pac-12 Conference rivals in Tucson on Thursday night.
The 16-2 Wildcats host No. 3-ranked UCLA nine days after the Bruins thumped Arizona, 75-59, in Westwood. Arizona and UCLA tip off at 6 p.m. Arizona time Thursday on ESPN.
The Wildcats haven’t beaten the Bruins in four years, with Arizona’s last victory in the series coming March 9, 2018 — a 78-67 win in Tucson.
Fast forward 1,427 days, and Tommy Lloyd’s team has its best shot yet at snapping the streak, with Arizona the consensus Arizona betting apps favorite in Thursday’s clash of Pac-12 titans.
Wildcats Favorited at Home Thursday
It appears Arizona sportsbooks haven’t soured on the Wildcats’ chances against Mick Cronin’s squad, despite the blowout loss at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 25.
BetMGM Arizona, FanDuel Sportsbook Arizona and DraftKings Sportsbook Arizona list the Wildcats as a 6.5-point favorite (-110).
On the moneyline, Arizona is -300 at BetMGM Arizona, -265 at FanDuel Sportsbook Arizona and -280 on DraftKings Sportsbook Arizona.
Caesars Sportsbook Arizona is even more bullish on the Wildcats’ odds Thursday, favoring the home side by seven with a -320 moneyline.
The Wildcats have failed to cover in four of their last seven contests, including as a 21-point favorite against Arizona State (a 67-56 win) and as a 2.5-point favorite in their earlier matchup against the Bruins.
Overall this season, the Wildcats are 12-7 against the spread in college basketball betting, and have cleared the over in 10 of their 19 games.
Can the Wildcats Come Through?
The Wildcats had one of their worst shooting performances this season in their first showdown with the Bruins, connecting on a mere 30.7% from the field.
Of Arizona’s five starters, only center Christian Koloko wound up shooting above 50% from the floor, with the junior hitting five of his eight attempts. The team’s other four starters combined to shoot nine of 49, while the Wildcats’ three bench players hit nine of 18 from the field.
The Bruins, on the other hand, made 50% of their field goal attempts, with four starters wrapping up the night with double-digit scoring. Guards Jules Bernard and Johnny Juzang had 15 points apiece in the victory.
Arizona will obviously have to get more out of its starters Thursday. Guards Kerr Kriisa and Dalen Terry missed all 17 of their field goals in the first game against UCLA.
The Wildcats’ one edge against the Bruins was on the glass, where Arizona outrebounded UCLA 49-35, thanks in large part to 10 rebounds from guard Bennedict Mathurin.