California vs. Arizona Prediction, Odds and Key Players for Thursday, Feb. 1 (Trust the Wildcats' Offense)

College basketball betting preview, prediction and best bet for California-Arizona. 

Jan 17, 2024; Tucson, Arizona, USA; Arizona Wildcats guard Caleb Love (2) shoots a basket against
Jan 17, 2024; Tucson, Arizona, USA; Arizona Wildcats guard Caleb Love (2) shoots a basket against / Zachary BonDurant-USA TODAY Sports
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No. 11 Arizona was able to right the ship on the road. The Wildcats lost as a big favorite to Oregon State (83-80) before bouncing back in Eugene with an 87-78 win over the weekend against Oregon. The Wildcats return home and have been dominant inside the McKale Center. Does that trend continue tonight as monster favorites against the Golden Bears?

California started 2-5 in Pac-12 play, but were able to pull out a pair of close contests at home last week over Washington State in overtime (81-75) and Stanford (73-71). With a step up in class, can they keep that momentum as a double-digit underdog against the top team in the conference?

Here’s the betting preview for Thursday’s conference clash with a best bet. 

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California vs. Arizona odds, spread and total

California vs. Arizona betting trends

  • California is 10-9-1 ATS this season
  • Arizona is 13-7 ATS this season
  • California is 9-3 ATS this season as an underdog
  • Arizona is 12-7 ATS as a favorite this season
  • The OVER is 13-7 in California games this season
  • The OVER is 11-9 in Arizona games this season 

California vs. Arizona how to watch

  • Date: Thursday, Feb. 1
  • Game time: 8:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: McKale Center
  • How to watch (TV): Pac-12 Network
  • California record: 8-12 (4-5 Pac-12)
  • Arizona record: 15-5 (6-3 Pac-12)

California vs. Arizona key players to watch

California

Jaylon Tyson: The 6-foot-7 junior guard has been the Golden Bears’ leading scorer in eight of the last nine games and now leads the Pac-12 in scoring (20.6). A top-20 scorer in the country, Tyson went for 30 points in California’s overtime win over Washington State Jan. 20. He has five double-doubles on the year, including a 22-point, 10-rebound performance against Arizona Dec. 29. 

Arizona

Oumar Ballo: Now in his third season with the Wildcats since starting his collegiate career at Gonzaga, Ballo is a great rim protector and a top-50 rebounder in the country. The 7-foot senior center is averaging double figures for the second consecutive season at 12.3 points per game. He had 17 points and 11 boards in the first meeting against California and has grabbed 13-plus rebounds in three of the last five games. 

California vs. Arizona prediction and pick

California has been excellent in the scrappy underdog role, going 9-3 ATS when getting points. But the Golden Bears have played just one ranked opponent this season, that was against this Arizona squad in December when the Wildcats were laying 13.5 points on the road and cruised to a 100-81 victory. 

Arizona is a KenPom darling with the No. 4 overall ranking, the No. 6 offense and No. 11 defense. The Wildcats have put up impressive metrics despite playing the No. 5 hardest schedule, according to KenPom. As was the case in December, Arizona’s offense has a dream matchup against a Golden Bears’ defense that is 11th in the Pac-12 in scoring at 76.3 points per game. 

California’s defense is No. 228 in effective field goal percentage, doesn’t force turnovers (No. 310) and is No. 306 in defending shots from beyond the arc. Arizona has covered just once in its last five games, but its offense should mimic the night it had against California in December. Arizona scored 100 points in the first matchup despite shooting only 13 three-pointers and missing 12 free throws. Trust the Arizona offense and go over the Wildcats’ team total. 


Game odds update periodically and are subject to change