California vs UCLA: Predictions, Picks, Odds (2/18/23)

California visits UCLA in a Pac-12 clash. California is coming off a blowout road loss to USC, while UCLA survived a closer than expected win against Stanford at home. This should be an interesting matchup for the Pac-12 standings. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!

California vs. UCLA Prediction & Pick

Prediction: UCLA -25

The size of the spread is scary at first glance, but UCLA’s at home here. They had a hard fought win against Stanford, and should be able to use that into them getting a big-time blowout win against a worse team.

Jaime Jacquez Jr. has been the best player the Bruins have had this year. He leads the team in scoring and rebounding per game for the season. Jaylen Clark has been very good for the Bruins too. He’s second in scoring for the Bruins, but is also one of the best defenders on UCLA and leads the team in steals per game for the season. Tyger Campbell has been a great point guard for the Bruins this year and is right behind Jacquez and Clark in scoring. He leads the team in assists too. David Singleton has also been good for the Bruins and has been their most consistent three-point shooter.

As a team, UCLA excels more on defense than on offense. They are top-10 in points allowed and then they’re also top-10 in point differential.

On the other side, California has struggled all year this year and has been one of the worst teams in college basketball this year.

Devin Askew was the best player all year for the Golden Bears, but he got injured and had to get surgery that ended his season. Lars Thiemann now leads the team in scoring and rebounding. DeJuan Clayton and Kuany Kuany have also stepped up more with Askew being out for the season. Grant Newell is another player to watch from a production standpoint too.

As a team, California is better on defense than offense, but only slightly with how bad the season’s gone. They have struggled to score all season, and even more so now with Askew being out.

Everything in this game points to UCLA. They’re at home, they’re healthier, and they’re more talented across the board. California is very outmatched in this game, so expect UCLA to roll and cover.

California vs. UCLA Odds

UCLA is a 25-point home favorite against California and is at -12500 on the money line. The over/under is also at 125.5. UCLA being this much of a favorite makes sense because California’s been one of, if not the, worst team in college basketball in a power conference. The over/under also makes sense because with how good UCLA is on defense they can play it at a slow pace, especially at home. This spread could move because it’s so big right now too before tip-off.

California vs. UCLA Key Matchups

Can Kuany Kuany matchup with Jaime Jacquez Jr.? Can Adema Bona matchup with Lars Thiemann?

Jaime Jacquez Jr. vs Kuany Kuany

Jaime Jacquez Jr. is playing like an All-American candidate this season. He averages 17 points, 3 assists, and 8 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Kuany Kuany most of the game, who averages 9 points, 1 assist, and 4 rebounds per game for the season. This is a big matchup because Kuany Kuany is decent on defense and Jacquez is one of the best players in the country. Kuany Kuany needs to have a good game here for California to have a chance.

Lars Thiemann vs Adem Bona

Lars Thiemann has taken over some of the scoring output from Devin Askew. He averages 10 points, 1 assist, and 6 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Adem Bona, who averages 8 points, 1 assist, and 5 rebounds per game for the season. This is a big matchup because Bona is a really good defender and has a big matchup against Thiemann. If Bona can shut him down then UCLA should win this game pretty easily.

Jake Faigus, graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minored in sports management. He wrote for The Daily Wildcat, as well as the Arizona Fansided blog, Zona Zealots. He currently writes for Aaron Torres Media and runs social media for BracketFanatics.

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