College Basketball: UCLA at Arizona State - UCLA Favored

Team Page: UCLA :: Arizona State

91% of Bets Placed on UCLA -11.5 | Matchup | CBB Picks
Arizona State's winless record in Pac-10 play is not helping ease UCLA's concerns of a potential upset.

The fifth-ranked Bruins hope to have two injured players back Thursday as they try to bounce back from a tough loss when they visit Arizona State.

Oddsmakers have made UCLA -11.5 point spread favorites (College Basketball Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 117.5 total points (View College Basketball Sports Books).

UCLA (21-3, 10-2) has won five straight over the Sun Devils (6-18, 0-13) and 31 of the last 36 meetings, including a 60-50 victory at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 18.

The Bruins enter Thursday's rematch, however, with Darren Collison and Lorenzo Mata battling injuries, and the team coming off a 70-65 loss to West Virginia on Saturday.

"This game has me very nervous," coach Ben Howland said.

Collison knows Arizona State's winless conference record is a bit misleading. Half of the Sun Devils' games have been decided by five or fewer points - including the last four.

"They have nothing to lose," he said. "ASU is still a good team. They brought everyone down to the wire."

Collison missed Saturday's game because of a sore shoulder, while Mata sat out the second half due to a sore hip. Both starters are hoping to play Thursday. Although Mata, who averages 6.1 points and 5.2 rebounds, said he's feeling better, Collison admitted his injury hasn't completely healed.

The sophomore guard, who is third on the team with 13.0 points per game, injured his left shoulder in the second half of last Wednesday's 70-65 win over Southern California. Though Collison spent 20 minutes shooting on Tuesday, he did not face any contact during practice.

"I can't really extend my left arm all the way, but they said I shot the ball pretty well," he said. "I'm not going to be 100 percent Thursday, but if I'm near 100 percent, then I'm going to feel comfortable playing."

If Collison is not ready, he's confident Russell Westbrook will be able to step in and contribute despite the freshman's rough debut as a starter. Westbrook committed three turnovers and scored just four points on 1-of-11 shooting Saturday while the Bruins shot 38.7 percent from the field.

"I have faith in Russell if he does get that opportunity, he's going to be successful," Collison said. "I told him to keep his head up. It was a team thing. We all played bad."

This is a crucial stretch for UCLA, which will play its third straight road game on Saturday at No. 19 Arizona. The team is battling Washington State for first place in the Pac-10, with a matchup against the Cougars still to be played on March 1 in Pullman, Wash.

"We're in crunch time now," said Howland, whose team is 3-3 in true road games.

Arizona State is coming off a 59-55 loss to Oregon State on Saturday. The lead changed six times in the second half before the Beavers went on a 7-0 run that put the Sun Devils away.

The team has lost a school-record 14 straight overall - the previous worst for the program was an 11-game skid - since beating North Carolina A&T on Dec. 21.

"It's very difficult," forward Allen Morill said. "I can't even explain how I am feeling right now because I've never felt like this. This is the most difficult time of my career."

Morill was one of only two Sun Devil players to score in double figures against Oregon State with 10 points. Leading scorer Christin Polk was the other with 12.

Arizona State is averaging only 59.3 points per game, nearly five fewer than any other team in the Pac-10.

by: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NCAA College Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NCAA College Basketball teams
 - NCAA College Basketball standings
 - NCAA College Basketball schedule
 - NCAA College Basketball scoreboard
 - NCAA College Basketball injuries
 - NCAA College Basketball matchups
 - NCAA College Basketball stats
 - NCAA College Basketball odds
 - NCAA College Basketball public betting chart
 - NCAA College Basketball news wire
 - NCAA College Basketball top stories
 - NCAA College Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NCAA College Basketball predictions
 - Expert NCAA College Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NCAA College Basketball Home

 

NCAAB Top Stories

Thumbnail Bridges staying, MSU now favored With the announcement of Miles Bridgesreturning to Michigan Statenext season, the Spartans have now emerged as the favorite to win the NCAA Tournament...
Thumbnail 2018 NCAA Championship Odds The NCAA Tournamentfor 2017 concluded last night, so now it’s time to take a closer look at what the 2018 Tournament may produce.
Thumbnail Gonzaga vs. UNC Prediction Will Gonzaga pull off the small upset tonight when it takes on North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament Championship Game at 9:20PM ET?
Thumbnail Tournament MOP Odds With the NCAA Tournamentdown to its final game, here is a look at which North Carolinaand Gonzagaplayers are among the favorites to win Most Outstanding...
Thumbnail NCAA Title Game Over/Under Prediction Will tonight's Gonzaga and North Carolina NCAA championship game at 9:20PM ET be high-scoring for bettors?

NCAAB Headlines

NCAAB Team Pages