Pac 12 Hoops Picks: Washington Huskies at UCLA Bruins

Washington Huskies at UCLA Bruins
Thursday, February 7, 2013, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN

Pauley Pavilion РLos Angeles, California 
Opening Line: UCLA -8
Current Total: UCLA -7 1/2
Opening Total: 147
Current Total: 148
Opening Money Line: UCLA -400 / Washington +330
Current Money Line: UCLA -350 / Washington +290

UCLA is a 7.5 point favorite at home in  a key Pac 12 match-up Thursday.

UCLA is a 7.5 point favorite at home in a key Pac 12 match-up Thursday.

Up until last weekend, it looked like undefeated Oregon would run away with the Pac 12 title. However, Oregon was swept at Cal and Stanford and the race tightened considerably. Now, Arizona leads the conference by a half game over Oregon. Two of the teams chasing them meet Thursday in LA. The 16-6 UCLA Bruiins are 6-3 in conference, tied with Arizona St for third in the conference. The Bruins host the 13-9 Washington Huskies, who are 5-4 in conference. The Huskies are tied with California for fourth in the conference.

UCLA leads the series 90-42, including 60-7 at Pauley. The Bruins won the last meeting between the teams last year in the regular season finale 75-69 to snap a 4 game game losing streak to the Huskies.

Washington is coached by Lorenzo Romar. Washington has home losses to Albany, Colorado St, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona along with road losses at UConn, Oregon St and Oregon . The Huskies also have a loss to Ohio St in a tournament in Connecticut. Washington has key wins over Seton Hall in Connecticut, home against Saint Louis, CS-Fullerton, Seattle, Cal-Poly, Northern Illinois, Colorado, and Arizona St Saturday 96-92 and road wins over Washington St, Cal and Stanford. The ASU win snapped a 4 game losing streak for Washington. Washington is 12-8 ATS and the total is 5-6 this season.

Washington is outscoring teams 70-67 this season. The Huskies are shooting 44.1% from the field and 35.4% from 3 point range. Washington makes 69.7% of their free throws. The Huskies average 35.9 rebounds per game and give up 27.6 per game. Washington opponents are shooting 43.5% from the field and 33.5% from 3 point range. The Huskies average 12 assists, 5 steals, 4 blocks, and 13 turnovers.

Guard C.J. Wilcox averages 18.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.2 blocks per game. Guard Scott Suggs averages 12.2 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists. Guard Abdul Gaddy averages 11.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 3.8 assists. Center Aziz N’Diaye averages 10.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. Guard Andrew Andrews averages 8.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Desmond Simmons averages 5.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1 steal per game. Shawn Kemp, Jr., Jernard Jarreau, and Hikeem Stewart make up the rest of the rotation. Forward Austin Sefarian-Jenkins is out for the season with an elbow injury.

UCLA is coached by Ben Howland. The Bruins have losses to Georgetown in Brooklyn, at home against Cal Poly and Oregon, to San Diego St in Anaheim, at Arizona St and at home to USC 75-71 in overtime last Wednesday. The Bruins have lost 3 of their last 4 games after a 10 game winning streak.  The Bruins have key wins over Indiana St, UC-Irvine, James Madison, Georgia in Brooklyn, Texas in Houston, Long Beach St, Fresno St, Missouri, Cal Stanford and Oregon St, and at Utah, Colorado and Arizona St. UCLA is 8-13 ATS and the total is 7-8 this season.

UCLA is outscoring teams 77-69 this season. The Bruins are #25 in scoring. UCLA is #43 in field goal percentage at 46.5% from the field and 32.6% from 3 point range. UCLA makes 71.1% of their free throws. The Bruins average 38.2 rebounds and give up 34.5 per game. Bruin opponents are shooting 41.8% from the field and 31.7% from 3 point range. UCLA averages 17 assists, 8 steals, 4 blocks, and 11 turnovers per game.

Guard/forward Shabazz Muhammad averages 18.2 points, and 4.8 rebounds a game. The freshman missed the first 3 games of the season due to being ineligible, but has been sensational since then. Guard Jordan Adams averages 15.2 points, 4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. Forward Travis Wear averages 12.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game.¬† Guard Kyle Anderson averages 9.4 points, 9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.7 steals. Guard Norman Powell averages 7 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. Forward David Wear averages 7.3 points, and 4.9 rebounds per game. Guard Larry Drew II averages 6.3 points, 8 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. Guard Nick Kazemi hasn’t played yet this season, and is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

Washington is 7-1 ATS against teams with winning records, 5-1 after a cover, 4-1 in Thursday games, after allowing 90 points or more, in road games and against teams with winning home records, 7-2 overall, and in Pac 12 games.

UCLA is 14-5-1 ATS in Thursday games, 2-5 in home games, 1-4 overall, and in Pac 12 games.

Both of these teams have struggled recently. The winner will be right back in the Pac 12 race, especially if UCLA wins. The Bruins could actually be tied for the Pac 12 lead depending on what Arizona and Oregon do this weekend. I like the Bruins to win at home.

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