The Big West visits the West Coast Conference in a mismatch of NCAA Basketball leagues which will result in winning pick for this handicapper.
Cal Poly Slo vs. San Francisco (-9) 10:00 ET
The Big West visits the West Coast Conference in a mismatch of leagues. The Big West is the 17th ranked conference in America. At the top of the standings are lower rung, mid-major teams, UCSB, UC-Irvine and Long Beach St. Ranking at the bottom of the league ratings is Cal Poly, the underdogs in NCAA Basketball odds tonight. Their host tonight is West Coast entry, San Francisco, who plays in a powerful conference ranked 7th in the nation. This league is perennially headlined by teams such as Gonzaga, St. Mary’s and BYU. Last year, San Fran finished a remarkable 13-5 SU in the league, good for 3rd place. That is the same rating (above St. Mary’s) where the Dons are currently listed.
Cal Poly was the Big West overachiever last season. The Mustangs hit their peak at the close of the season, when they swept through the conference tournament with victories over UCSB, UC-Irvine and Cal Northridge in the Finals. A play-in victory against Texas Southern led them to a matchup with Wichita St. against whom they were overwhelmed (64-37). Unfortunately for 6th year HC Joe Callero, following that NCAA appearance, was the transfer of leading scorer, Chris Eversley. Along with the departure of PG Johnson and outside shooter Odister, this team has been left bereft of scorers. For the season, Cal Poly is just 3-4 SU with home wins vs. weak links, San Fran St., Delaware and Menlo. When traveling, however, the Ponies are 0-4 SU ATS with losses of 16 at Nevada, 20 at California, 14 at St. Mary’s and 6 at a struggling Fresno team (Saturday night). In those games, they have averaged just 54.5 PPG and failed to cover the number by 31 points. Their offensive failures are reflected by the fact they are shooting just 37% from the field and 27% from the arc. The Mustangs will be hard-pressed to keep pace with an up-tempo San Fran team.
The Dons enter at 5-4 SU, 2-4 ATS. Yet, they have been offensively prolific on this court. Last Thursday, they suffered a home defeat to E. Washington. But, anyone who has seen the Eagles take flight with their win at Indiana and covers at SMU and Washington (last night), realizes there is no shame in that defeat. Besides, 7th year San Fran HC Walters has coached teams who are 21-9 ATS, if they lost at home in their previous game. Despite some losses of their own, the high-scoring Dons are still averaging 75 PPG on 48% shooting. In each of their 5 home games, they have surpassed 75 points. Understand, before placing your College Hoops Pick, that this is a game of tempo, often played at the liking of the home team. Once the Dons get their preferred pace, there is little the Mustangs can do to catch up.
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: San Francisco Dons -8 at BetOnline