NCAA Basketball Pick: Pepperdine Waves +8 over San Francisco

LT Profits Sports Group

Saturday, February 23, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

San Francisco is just 12-15 this season and the Dons are too weak defensively to be giving this many points. Pepperdine just had a two-game win streak snapped but should hang in here.

The home favorite looks like an overlay Saturday night when the Pepperdine Waves (12-14, 5-8 away) pay a visit to those San Francisco Dons (12-15, 6-7 home) at Memorial Gym in San Francisco, CA at 9:00 ET.

The point spread at 5 Dimes is has Pepperdine as a decided underdog for this contest with the current line at +8 with odds of -108.

San Francisco is a surprising 16-6-1 ATS this season despite being three games under .500 straight up, but most of that success against the number has come either as an underdog or as a tiny favorite. The Dons are not trustworthy as decided favorites like they are today, as the last time they were favored in this spread range they lost outright here at home as nine-point favorites vs. the Portland Pilots on Valentine’s Day.

The reason San Francisco cannot be trusted giving this many points is its defense. The Dons are rather fortunate to be allowing 69.8 points per game as that figure could easily be in the mid-70s, considering that they are ranked 204th in the country in defensive efficiency, 246th in effective field goal percentage allowed and 313th in defensive turnover percentage!

The Dons have not done the best of jobs protecting their home court either, as they are one game below .500 at 6-7 straight up in their own gym. Granted they had some acceptable home losses to Gonzaga and BYU, but the Dons have also lost to the likes of Portland, and San Diego here in conference play and, perhaps worst of all, to a Holy Cross team that is ranked 236th on the Pomeroy Ratings in non-conference play.

Besides playing practically no defense, San Francisco is literally one of the worst offensive rebounding teams in the county, ranking 342nd out o 347 Division I schools in offensive rebounding percentage at a measly 23.3 percent, compared to the national average of 31.9 percent. Thus, do not expect the Dons to get many second chances if their initial shots are not falling.

Pepperdine is another team that has had success against the spread at 13-8-1, and the Waves are actually one-half game better than San Francisco straight up at 12-14 overall. They had won two straight games before a non-covering loss at Santa Clara last Saturday and they have had a whole week off between games while the Dons had a game at Loyola Marymount on Thursday.

In case you are wondering, Pepperdine’s scoring average has gone up nearly a full point over its overall average this season (64.2 vs. 63.4) when playing with at least three days of rest. More importantly Pepperdine clearly has the better defensive numbers, in fact ranking a good 65th in the country in two-point defense at 44.3 percent.

That adds up to making Pepperdine an overlay at this price, so take the points with the Waves on Saturday night.

[gameodds]14/222030/19-238-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NCAA Basketball Pick: Pepperdine -8 (-108)

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