The UCLA Bruins have a losing record against the Washington Huskies during the Ben Howland era, which is important to consider when making your NCAA basketball picks Thursday night.


Let’s take a closer look at the betting odds for this Pac-12 Conference matchup from Pauley Pavilion in Westwood.

ATS run

Washington snapped a four-game losing streak by capturing a 96-92 victory over the Arizona State Sun Devils as three-point home favorites last Saturday, which also served as the program’s third consecutive spread victory. The Huskies have definitely been undervalued in the betting market during conference play, as they enter this affair with a 7-2 against-the-spread (ATS) mark versus conference foes.

For more Pac-12 action, check out our NCAA Basketball Picks: Colorado vs. Oregon article.

Losing ways

UCLA has lost back-to-back games for the first time during the 2012-13 NCAA basketball season, as it attempts to bounce back from a disappointing 75-71 overtime loss to the USC Trojans as 10-point home favorites. The Bruins have failed to cover the number in four of their last five games, while the UNDER is 3-2 in that span.

Howland vs. Romar

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Two of the longest tenured coaches in the Pac-12 Conference will face off in this affair, with the Huskies going 11-8 under the direction of Lorenzo Romar when taking on the Bruins during the Howland era. Romar always seems to get his squad up for this conference rivalry, considering he spent four years as an assistant at UCLA.

Muhammad needs to deliver

I was a bit surprised that the Bruins opened up as eight-point home favorites in the betting market, as star freshman Shabazz Muhammad has been dealing with flu-like symptoms for nearly a week. He leads the squad in averaging 18.4 points per game, which is the second-highest scoring average among all Pac-12 players. The program is 8-1 when Muhammad finishes with 20-plus points in the scoring column.

Conflicting numbers

The Huskies rank last in the conference in allowing opponents to shoot 43.5 percent from the field, but they’re giving up 67.3 points per game. If the season ended today—the points allowed mark would be the team’s best since the 2000 squad surrendered 65.1 points per game. The UNDER is 2-0 in Washington’s two games as road underdogs of 6.5 to 9 points during the 2012-13 campaign.


Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Huskies as one of their sports betting picks Thursday night, as I’ve established the Bruins as seven-point home favorites in this affair. Washington will improve to 8-1 ATS in its last nine games versus teams with a winning record.

College Basketball Pick: Washington Huskies +9 at Pinnacle