NCAA Basketball Picks: Back California to Cover +12 vs. Virginia

Jake Walker

Tuesday, December 22, 2015 12:57 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015 12:57 PM UTC

The California Golden Bears (9-2) visit the No. 5 Virginia Cavaliers (9-1) on Tuesday. Which team should we back with our NCAA Basketball picks?

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NCAA Basketball Pick: California +12
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle


California Golden Bears
California has won five straight games, improving to 9-2 on the season after last Saturday's 84-51 victory against Coppin State. 

The Golden Bears are averaging 77.6 points per game while shooting 46.8 percent from the floor and 33.0 percent from beyond the arc. Defensively, Cal allows 65.4 points per game and their opponents shoot just 37.7 percent.

Tyrone Wallace leads the team with 16.8 points, 4.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Jaylen Brown adds 13.9 points and 5.4 rebounds and Ivan Rabb averages 12.7 points and 8.5 rebounds. 


Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia has won eight games in a row, including two impressive victories against No. 14 West Virginia (70-54) and No. 12 Villanova (86-75). 

The Cavaliers are averaging 77.3 points per game while shooting 51.4 percent from the floor and 40.3 percent from three-point range. The Virginia defense allows just 58.9 points per game (8th in the nation) and their opponents are shooting 41.4 percent overall and 32.5 percent from beyond the arc. 

Malcolm Brogdon averages team-bests with 17.2 points and 3.0 assists, Anthony Gill adds 14.3 points and 6.5 rebounds and London Perrantes complements them with 11.5 points per game.


Betting Trends
California is just 3-7 ATS after a non-conference game and 1-5 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record.

Virginia on the other hand is 5-3 ATS as a favorite and 4-1 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record.


Final Analysis
Recent betting trends favor Virginia and they have prevailed against strong opponents but California is also playing solid basketball and they have young talented players that can keep the game close.

College Hoops odds makers favor Virginia by 12 points and I see them winning at home but I'm taking California to cover with one of my NCAA Basketball picks.

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