NCAA Basketball Pick: CS Northridge Matadors vs. UC Davis Aggies

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, February 6, 2014 5:00 AM GMT

Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 5:00 AM GMT

CS Northridge is looking to get to the .500 mark, but the Matadors will have to improve their road performance to do so when they travel to UC Davis on Thursday.

The severe home vs. away disparity of the road team should continue in a negative way Thursday night when those CS Northridge Matadors (11-12, 1-10 away) pay a visit to the UC Davis Aggies (7-15, 4-6 home) at the UC Davis Pavilion in Davis, CA at 10:00 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has UC Davis as a small home favorite for this contest with the current line at -1½ with odds of -106.

UC Davis made some nice progress its first two years under Coach Jim Les, going from 5-26 in his first season on the job in 2011-12 to 14-17 last season, but the Aggies have taken a step back this year to 7-15. It has not helped that starting senior guard Josh Ritchart had not played since December 2nd due to an ankle injury, leaving Ryan Sypkens as the only senior getting quality playing time.

Meanwhile CS Northridge now lost five of its last six games since a 10-7 start to the season and while the Matadors now have a chance to get back to .500, they have been just awful on the road this year while going 1-10 with the only win coming vs. little Texas A&M Corpus Christi out of the Southland Conference.

Northridge has a couple of capable perimeter shooters that have the Matadors ranked a respectable 74th in the country in three-point shooting at 36.9 percentage, but that three-point percentage dips all the way down to 30.1 percent on the road where CSN averages just 66.6 points on 42.2 percent shooting overall.

That is because when Northridge’s three-point shots are not falling, it really has nothing else to fall back on as it is ranked just 228th in the country in two-point shooting at 47.3 percent, a percentage that has actually been worse vs. Big West opponents at 46.2 percent, and the Matadors have been one of the sloppiest teams in the conference ranking 226th in the country in offensive turnover percentage at 19.2 percent vs. a national average of 18.5 percent.

As for UC Davis, for all of its struggles and the absence of Ritchart, it does lead the Big West in effective field goal percentage during conference play at 54.8 percent, thanks to ranking second in the conference in three-point shooting at 39.8 percent. Davis is led by junior Corey Hawkins and his 17.9 points per game, and he along with the senior Sypkens (12.4 points, 42.8 percent three-point shooting) have tried to keep the Aggies afloat while Ritchart is out.

The results have usually not been good but the Aggies have had some nice moments at home where they average 72.5 points on 47.4 percent shooting and that could be enough to post their eight win of the season tonight given the Matadors’ road woes.

Thus, lay the small spot and look for UC Davis to emerge victorious on Thursday.

[gameodds]14/256967/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NCAA Basketball Pick: UC Davis -1½ (-106)

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