Washington State at UCLA Prediction, Pick & TV Info

Posted by Kenny Bell on Friday,March 3, 2017 11:25, EDT in

It should be a mismatch on Saturday night when Washington State, one of the Pac-12’s worst teams, visits No. 3 UCLA. But the Bruins probably are locked into their seeding for the Pac-12 Tournament and could be missing a key player. Still, they will be double-digit NCAAB betting favorites.

Washington State at UCLA Prediction, Pick & TV Info

When: Saturday, March 4, 10:15 ET
Where: Pauley Pavilion, LA
TV: ESPN
Stream: WatchESPN
RadioWashington State / UCLA
Opening NCAAB Lines: UCLA favored by TBA

Why Bet On Washington State?

The Cougars (13-16, 6-11) are 10 th in the Pac-12, ahead of only Washington and Oregon State. The Cougars come off an 87-64 loss at USC on Wednesday. USC outscored the Cougars 17-0 off turnovers at the break. Wazzu picked up 20 points off the bench from Franks and another 16 points from Josh Hawkinson.

The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for Washington State. Road wins has been fairly scarce for the Cougars this season, not that they would seem eager to travel. With the loss, they fell to 2-7 away from home.

Hawkinson added 7 rebounds and 5 assists. He now has 989 rebounds and is just 3 shy of the WSU record of 992 rebounds held by Steve Puidokas (1974-77). Hawkinson was 5-for- 6 from the field and 5-for-6 from the free throw line and had 6 of his 7 rebounds in the second half. His 54 double doubles mark the highest active total across NCAA Division I. Of the Pac-12’s top-25 career rebounders,

Hawkinson is one of five student-athletes to have grabbed 942 or more rebounds since the turn of the century. He currently ranks 13th on WSU’s career scoring list.

Senior Ike Iroegbu finished with 10 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in the loss. He moved into eighth on WSU’s career assists list and now has 372 career assists. In his first six conference games, Iroegbu scored in double figures three times, averaging just 9.8 ppg (59 total points) on 20-of- 45 shooting. In his last 10 Pac-12 games, Iroegbu has scored in double figures 9-of- 10 times, averaging 16.5 ppg (165 total points) on 60-of- 123 shooting.

Washington State was routed at home by UCLA 95-79 on Feb. 1. TJ Leaf had 32 points and 14 rebounds for the Bruins. The game was close for the first 30 minutes before a rash of turnovers by Washington State allowed the Bruins to pull away. Iroegbu scored 20 points for Washington State. Conor Clifford added 16 points and Hawkinson had 15. UCLA holds a 105-17 lead in the all-time series.

Why Bet On UCLA?

The Bruins (27-3, 14-3) are likely locked into third place in the Pac-12 as they are a game back of leaders Oregon and Arizona and both those schools should win their finale on Saturday. UCLA won its eighth straight game Wednesday, 86-66 over Washington. Senior Bryce Alford made eight three-pointers and scored 29 points to lead all players, and freshman Lonzo Ball flirted with a triple- double, with 19 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

With his eight dishes against Washington, Ball passed Jason Kidd for second-most assists by a freshman in Pac-12 history. With 227, Ball is just two behind Gary Payton’s record set in the 1986-87 season. This will be his final home game as Ball will be a Top-3 pick in the 2017 draft. Ball has been named as one of 10 national semifinalists for the 2017 Naismith Trophy. He has averaged 14.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and a nation-leading 7.6 assists per game in all 29 contests for UCLA. He has logged a 2.96 assist-turnover ratio while having broken the UCLA record for single-season assists by a freshman.

Fellow star freshman TJ Leaf left UCLA’;s win over Washington on Wednesday with a sprained left ankle, and just how long he’s out could have a big impact on the Bruins’ postseason. It’s not likely he plays here. Given that the 6-10 forward entered Wednesday’s game averaging a team-high 16.8 points in addition to 8.7 rebounds per game, a stumble Saturday or in the Pac-12 Tournament without him could cost UCLA in NCAA seeding. Reserve Gyorgy Golomon likely will fill the void, though he’s limited offensively (3.5 points in 10.9 minutes per game).

Coach Steve Alford also will consider going back to a four-guard lineup he used earlier in the season but hasn’t used much recently as the Bruins have run off eight consecutive victories. Bryce Alford has nailed a UCLA single-season record 102 threes. And he leads the Pac-12 in 3-point percentage (46.2). Alford’s 315 career 3-pointers are three shy of breaking UCLA’s all-time mark of 317 held by Jason Kapono.

UCLA’s overall field goal percentage (52.9%) is the highest mark in the nation. No team in NCAA Division I has shot that well from the field in one season since Duke finished with a 53.6 percentage as the 1992 NCAA Champions. The Bruins have averaged a nation-leading 21.7 assists per game, the highest per-game average of any NCAA Division I team since 1996, when Kentucky captured the NCAA Championship while tallying 21.8 assists per game.

Washington State at UCLA Betting Prediction: UCLA Bruins

Even without Leaf, the Bruins should cover a big number here.