The Arizona Wildcats bounced back from an ugly upset against Oregon State on the road with a win against Oregon, 87-78.
They’ll look to carry that momentum over with a home game against the California Bears. The Bears have only won eight games this NCAA basketball season. However, they’re 4-5 in Pac-12 play and have won their last two games against Washington State and Stanford.
But there’s a difference between those two games and this one. The Bears were home in their latest two games. Now, they’ll be on the road against one of the biggest fanbases in college basketball.
Arizona already defeated California on the road, 100-81, to start Pac-12 play. The Wildcats went up 54-26 at halftime and just cruised to the finish line in the second half.
The odds for this game are expecting the same. Arizona is a -18 favorite, with the total at 158.5.
Check out the Cal vs Arizona odds for this early Pac-12 matchup in the McKale Center.
Cal vs Arizona Odds & Trends
In the last ten games, California has never beaten Arizona.
The Wildcats have also gone 8-2 against the spread despite having to cover major numbers during these times.
California has gone 10-10 against the spread this season in 20 games. They’ve also hit the Over in 13 of those 20 games. On the road, the Bears are just 1-3 and haven’t really been tested away from home throughout the season.
Meanwhile, Arizona is 10-0 at home and has won against the spread in 13 of 20 matchups. The Wildcats have hit the Over in 11 of 20 games and are 15-5 straight up.
Again, Arizona destroyed California as a 13.5-point favorite earlier in the year, winning 100-81.
Jaylon Tyson Expected To Play For California
Jaylon Tyson has averaged 20.6 points per game to lead the entire Pac-12. However, in California’s most recent win against Stanford, Tyson left the game due to an undisclosed injury to his leg.
Tyson scored 14 points in the win but might’ve had a cramp or upper-leg ailment that kept him out of the remainder of the game in the second half.
Without Tyson for the final six minutes, California outscored Stanford 20-14, which was very impressive.
There has been no clarity on his NCAAB injury. However, head coach Mark Madsen stated Tyson was probable for this game.
Caleb Love Found the Perfect Fit
Caleb Love left North Carolina and decided on Michigan as his next school. However, once Hunter Dickinson left Michigan for Kansas, Love also picked up his things and found a new school.
He chose Arizona.
The rumor was that Love had an admissions issue related to credits transferring from North Carolina to Michigan. Others speculated that he didn’t want to play for Michigan after the best player in the country dipped.
Either way, he certainly made the right choice after all.
Love has averaged 19.3 points per game and just helped the Wildcats snap a six-game losing streak at Oregon’s home facility, the Matthew Knight Arena.
He added a career-high 36 points in the win and is easily one of the best NCAA basketball players in the country at Arizona.
Same As Last Time
The Arizona Wildcats earned a 19-point win over California earlier in the season. They dominated the first half and let the second half play out with a bit less effort in that half.
Nothing will change this time around, especially at home.
Arizona has been money from downtown, hitting 37.1% from deep. They’ve also nailed 54.5% from inside the arc and have hit close to 73% from the foul line.
The Wildcats don’t turn the ball over often and won’t have to worry about high turnovers against a California team that has added only 15% of turnovers this season.
The Bears have also allowed a 51.5% effective field goal percentage and aren’t earning many blocks or steals to create opportunities the other way. Arizona is also good at avoiding those things.
On the other hand, the Wildcats are one of the best defensive rebounding teams in the country, holding opponents to 21.6% of offensive rebounds per game. While Arizona isn’t great at defending the three, the Bears have shot under 34% from downtown. Compare that to Arizona’s three-point shooting of 37.1%.
Beyond that, the Bears have only hit 49.4% from inside the arc, a below-average number in college basketball. Meanwhile, Arizona has held college basketball teams to 48.3% from inside, a top-100 number defensively.
The Wildcats figure to earn more turnovers, dominate the glass, and get to the foul line more. You can also expect Arizona to shoot at a better rate on their home floor.
There’s nothing California does better than Arizona. They rank better in almost every metric on KenPom.
The Cal vs Arizona odds closed at -13.5, with Arizona on the road in that first game. Just ten minutes in, Arizona would’ve covered that spread.
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