NCAA Basketball Pick: CS Fullerton -3 over San Jose State

LT Profits Sports Group

Saturday, November 23, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

The Cal State Fullerton Titans are shooting the ball very well so far averaging 75.8 points per game and topping 80 points twice, and they should handle San Jose State Saturday.

The visiting team with the hot offense should be able to take advantage of the weak home team that has struggled in both sides of the ball Saturday when the CS Fullerton Titans (2-2, 1-2 away) pay a visit to the San Jose State Spartans (1-4, 0-0 home) at the San Jose Events Center in San Jose, CA at 3:30 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has CS Fullerton as a small road favorite for this contest with the current line at -3 with odds of -106.

The Titans have performed better than expected in the early going for a team that returned just two starters, as the current contingent is shooting the ball well while averaging 75.8 points and it seems to be getting better each game. Fullerton has also already won a true road game, and it is not as if San Jose State has some enormous home court advantage anyway.

The Spartans basically went in the tank last season after their then leading scorer James Kinney was suspended after a 9-6 start, as they then went on to lose their last 14 games. That resulted in a new head coach this season in Dave Wojcik, but that losing streak reached 18 with an 0-4 start before San Jose finally broke through with an 83-77 win over an equally bad Pepperdine team last time out on Wednesday. Despite playing five games, this is the Spartans’ home opener.

Cal State Fullerton also has a new coach following a 14-18 season in Dedrique Taylor, and the team rewarded him with the aforementioned road win in his first game as coach at Montana State. The Titans shot 53.6 percent from the floor in that 84-55 blowout, as it became apparent that the offense could be just fine this season despite the 52.1 points per game lost by the departures of seniors Sammy Yeager, Kwame Vaughn and D.J. Seeley.

Current seniors Michael Williams and Marquis Horne have helped pick up the slack, but it is junior Alex Harris, who averaged 10.5 points while starting as a sophomore last year and getting better offensively as the season went on, who has mastered his game to the points where he currently leads the club with his 17.7 points per game.

Add this all up and you have a team that is a very respectable (especially for a Big West team) 67th in the country in effective field goal percentage at 53.8 percent, as the Titans are making 52.8 percent of their two-point attempts as well as a good 37.3 percent of their three-pointers. They also topped 80 points for the second time this season with a nice 86-83 home win over Santa Clara last Saturday.

San Jose State could eventually get better this season as the two starting freshmen in its starting lineup, Rashad Muhammad and Jalen James, gain valuable experience. The Spartans are still certainly a work-in-progress right now though that is going through growing pains.

Yes, snapping the 18-game losing streak at Pepperdine is nice, but the Waves are not a good shooting team that could not take advantage of a San Jose State defense that is ranked 286th in the country in efficiency in the early going, while Fullerton certainly seems equipped to do so. The Spartans are actually struggling on both sides of the ball as they are also ranked just 241st in offensive efficiency through five games.

We do not expect home court advantage to mean much here as CS Fullerton should still come away with the handy victory on Saturday.


NCAA Basketball Pick: CS Fullerton -3 (-106)

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