Big West Conference NCAA Basketball Picks: Back Long Beach St. To Win vs. UC Santa Barbara

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 5:44 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016 5:44 PM UTC

We have an early season Big West Conference clash happening on Wednesday night when Long Beach St. visits UC Santa Barbara. Don't miss the NCAA basketball picks for this matchup.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Long Beach State +105
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


Long Beach St. vs. Cal-Santa Barbara (-2-) 10:00 ET
Long Beach St. travels 100 miles north to visit Cal-SB for this early season Big West Conference clash. If the 49ers can find their way to the oddly-lined Thunder Dome (volleyball is a bigger sport than is basketball at UCSB…so those lines dominate the court), they will do so by circumventing the massive skateboards, bicycles and surfboards that dot the campus of this scenic beach town. These teams split a pair of meetings on their home courts last year with Beach winning by 16 at home and Barbie capturing a 15 point decision at their Thunder Dome home.

Today, each of these teams enters the fray with 2 league losses to top-ranked opponents. Gauchos lost by 8 at Hawaii and 9 vs. Irvine, while winning at Poly by 3. Long Beach dropped games to Irvine by 4 and Poly by 4 in their most recent outings, after starting 2-0 SU ATS against weak links, Davis and Northridge. My predictions for this league find Hawaii and Irvine at the top, being closely challenged by the Beach for league supremacy. With much respect for 17th year Gaucho HC Bob Williams, UCSB does not have the horses to challenge the upper echelon of the league. This is an impotent offensive Gaucho team with mediocre numbers of 70/43/35.


Betting Analysis
Long Beach has far more upside. The 49ers have been hardened by their usual rigorous, non-con schedule, including wins over BYU and Seton Hall, as well as a rigorous slate of big-name teams, including Virginia, Oklahoma St. (twice), San Diego St. and PAC 12 teams, UCLA, Oregon and Arizona, then concluding the gauntlet at Duke on December 30th. No team is better prepared to play their conference season. That is why I expect the 49ers to be extraordinarily focused after the 2 narrow defeats. Against that tough slate, the Beach still has outstanding offensive numbers of 75 PPG and long-range shooters that are averaging 9 triples per game at 39%. With 16 assists per game, they are sharing the basketball well. This speaks highly of PG Bibbins (5+ assists per game) and 3-point marksman Faust, who is averaging 16 PPG on 43% from behind the arc. In my opinion, the wrong team is favored in this game!

I invite you to put the NCAA basketball odds in your favor and join me in my NCAA basketball pick with Long Beach St on Wednesday night.

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