UCLA vs Washington State Pac-12 Tournament Picks and Predictions: Making the Bruins Earn It

After besting California in Round 1, the Washington State Cougars are now up against last year's March Madness Cinderella story — the UCLA Bruins. Read our NCAAB betting picks to find out if they can keep things within the 7-point number.

Last Updated: Mar 10, 2022 11:48 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Michael Flowers Washington State Cougars Pac-12 Tournament
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

No. 2 seed UCLA (23-6) looks to get tournament season off on the right foot as it plays No. 7 seed Washington State in the second round of the Pac-12 Tournament.

The Cougars locked down defensively in a 66-59 first-round win over California and will be looking for their fifth straight win Thursday night.

The Bruins — who had a bye in Round 1 — were postseason darlings a year ago, making the Final Four as a double-digit seed.

Check out our college basketball picks and predictions for the Washington State Cougars and UCLA Bruins on Thursday, March 10.

UCLA vs Washington State odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The line has held steady since opening at UCLA -7 in the wee hours of Thursday morning. The total also hasn’t budged since opening at 132.5.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

UCLA vs Washington State predictions

Predictions made on 3/10/2022 at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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UCLA vs Washington State game info

Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Date: Thursday, March 10, 2022
Tip-off: 9:00 p.m. ET
TV: Pac-12 Network

UCLA at Washington State betting preview


UCLA: Johnny Juzang G (Probable), Mac Etienne F (Out).
Washington State: Mouhamed Gueye F (Questionable), Jefferson Koulibaly G (Out), Myles Rice G (Out), Tony Miller F (Out).

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Cougars are 11-4 against the spread in their last 15 neutral site games as an underdog. Find more NCAA betting trends for UCLA vs. Washington State.

UCLA vs Washington State picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

Washington State handled business in the first round against an overmatched California team. The Cougars locked down defensively, switching their scheme throughout the game from zone to man and back again while confusing the Bears.

The Cougars are usually a team that lives and dies by the three but found a way to advance despite going just 6-21 from behind the arc. Big man Efe Abogidi led the way with 19 points, dominating an overmatched Cal frontcourt.

The Cougars now square off with the No. 2 seed, UCLA. The Bruins earned a bye in Round 1 and will be the more rested team, although the Cougars were never truly tested in their breeze of a first-round game and should also be able to bring the requisite intensity tonight. 

This game is a contrast in style. Washington State attempts the most 3-pointers in the Pac-12 and the 24th-most nationally at 26.6 per game. The Bruins do most of their scoring at the rim and from the mid-range, ranking just 262nd nationally with 19.9 3-point attempts per contest.

The heavy3-point shooting from the Cougars brings a level of uncertainty to this matchup. The Bruins do a suitable job running teams off the 3-point line, limiting opponents to just 31.9% shooting from downtown. 

These teams met only once during the regular season. Mick Cronin’s squad dominated that one, winning 76-56 in their home confines of Pauley Pavilion.

The Bruins have been a solid team this year if not the juggernaut that some people unreasonably expected going into the season. They made a Final Four appearance a year ago and returned all five starters — an obvious positive — but this was never a team that was going to win by double-digits every game.

They were a double-digit seed in last year’s tournament for a reason. That being said, this is a veteran team with plenty of experience playing in win-or-go-home games. The roster hasn’t been fully healthy in a while but is expected to be as close to full-go as they have been nearly all season.

While we understand the appeal of betting on this veteran UCLA team in March, we have reservations that make us go in the other direction. The Cougars have lost by double-digits only two times all season, and both of those losses came to the top two seeds in the tournament (Arizona and UCLA).

While the Bruins got the better of Washington State in the first meeting, the game was played in Los Angeles and the Cougars didn’t get the chance to respond in the regular season.

This number is too wide. Give us the Cougars.

Prediction: Washington State +7 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

The Cougars play at a slow pace, checking in at 245th in adjusted tempo, per KenPom. They went Under the total in their first-round matchup with Cal, while all three of the other first-round games in the tournament went Over.

UCLA slows things down offensively as well, ranking 255th in adjusted tempo. They allow only 64.3 points per game, the 45th-best mark nationally. Opponents find difficulty getting easy looks, as Mick Cronin’s team ranks within the Top 100 in field-goal defense (41.4%) and 3-point defense (31.9%).

We have two good defensive teams that will be playing at a slow tempo, which initially points us in the direction of the Under.

That being said, this total is set very low at 132.5. The Cougars and their opponents combined for at least 133 points in five of their last seven games to end the regular season, while the Bruins went over that mark in each of their last three games.

We’ve seen teams shoot the ball well at T-Mobile Arena and this is a low total for two teams that combine to average 149 points per game.

Prediction: Over 132.5 (-110)

Best bet

Washington State played well in its first-round game against California even though the shots weren’t falling. The Cougars didn’t need to expend a ton of energy in that contest and therefore the rest advantage shouldn’t be too big for UCLA.

Teams that shoot a high percentage of 3-pointers and lock down defensively are always a tricky team to face in March. The Cougars shoot more threes than any team in the conference and allow only 65.3 points per game.

This is a style of play we want to back in tournaments and the number is right to grab the Cougars as the underdog.

Pick: Washington State +7 (-110)

College basketball parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our UCLA vs. Washington State picks, you could win $26.45 on a $10 bet?

Use our college basketball parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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