Arizona State vs. UCLA Picks & Prediction March 2: Important Pac-12 Battle With 3 Picks

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Jaime Jaquez Jr. #24 of the UCLA Bruins reacts after scoring a basket against the Utah Utes during the second half of their game. Chris Gardner/Getty Images/AFP

NCAAB Pick: UCLA First-Half -7.5 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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UCLA First-Half -7.5 (-110)
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With No. 4 UCLA having already wrapped up another Pac-12 title, do they look past Arizona State and instead look toward a revenge game with No. 8 Arizona on Saturday?

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Arizona State Sun Devils vs. UCLA Bruins

Thursday, March 2, 2023 – 09:00 PM EST at Pauley Pavilion

Can the Sun Devils Accomplish the Near Impossible?

With last week’s unforgettable upset at Tucson, 89-88, on a three-point measured heave from Desmond Cambridge Jr. from 60 feet, Arizona State shot from next to last group – out, for the NCAA Tournament to – last 4 in.

The Sun Devils are sitting at 20-9 (13-16 ATS) and have a chance at being the fourth Pac-12 team to hear their name called two Sundays from now. Getting there won’t be easy, playing in Los Angeles twice, first against UCLA, who still has a chance at No. 1 seed, and USC, whose situation is only modestly less precarious than Arizona State.

For Arizona State to knock off UCLA, their terrific defense will have to be possibly better than permitting 39.3% shooting and surrendering 67.2 points a contest. Coach Bobby Hurley has a well-balanced offense with five starters averaging double figures. Winning the first half as they did in Tempe (-35-30) won’t be enough, the Sun Devils will need a 40-minute effort.

Do Bruins Play With Intensity or Again Assume They Got This?

Like Arizona State, UCLA (25-4, 16-12-1 ATS) can play a stifling defense. Coach Mick Cronin’s crew holds opposing teams to 59.7 PPG on 40.5% shooting and generates 16 turnovers on average.

What we question here is what the Bruins are playing for. We would like to think UCLA would have a strong desire to be a No. 1 seed and they could accomplish that by winning two games this weekend and taking the Pac-12 tourney next week. One has to question if that will be enough motivation because plenty of teams having No. 1 seeds have not won national championships, so that path is hardly a guarantee.

Plus, the Bruins have star players like Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Tyger Campbell who two years ago lost in the Final Four in overtime to Gonzaga as an 11-seed. One has to wonder about UCLA’s motivation.

How to View this Pac-12 Battle Against the Spread

In the last meeting, as mentioned, UCLA was down 35-30 at the half. Once the Bruins started to play better defense and placed more offensive pressure on Arizona State, they panicked and were outscored 44-27 in the final 20 minutes.

Though it could seem like the Bruins could be flat at the start, we’ll say the nerves are with the Sun Devils early and UCLA comes out focused because they have heard from Cronin ASU is 10-4 SU in away games.

With that, UCLA is a 6.5-point first-half favorite and is 17-7 ATS vs. the first-half line as a home fave of 5.5 or more points. ASU on the other hand is 6-19 in road games after allowing 45 points or more in the first half of their last contest.

Let’s go with the Bruins up 7.5 points at halftime. After that’s when they let up, Hurley implores his team to play harder in the second half, and UCLA coasts to the victory but fails to cover for college basketball picks.

Key Game Trends and System

  • Arizona State is 11-2 ATS playing only their second game in eight days.
  • UCLA is 56-81 ATS off a road win.
  • Underdogs like the Sun Devils revenging a same-season loss, off an upset win as a road underdog of 12 points or more are 20-8 ATS.

The Total Will Go Past the Number

The NCAAB odds have a total of 134. That is virtually the same total as the matchup in Tempe (134.5), which covered in the final minute 74-62. Let’s call for more of the same with Arizona State fighting in the second half and they are 8-1 over in road games after two straight games committing 11 or fewer turnovers.

Score Prediction: UCLA 73 – Arizona State 63

The 3 Picks

NCAAB Pick: UCLA First-Half -7.5 (-110) at Bovada

NCAAB Pick: Arizona State +11.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Arizona State +11.5 (-108)
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NCAAB Pick: Over 134 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Over 134 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.