NCAA Basketball Picks: Santa Barbara Should Win Outright Over USC

Charles Stark

Thursday, December 3, 2015 12:58 PM GMT

There is a lot for people to be excited about when it comes to the future of USC basketball. This is a really young team with a coach that really enjoys up-tempo. Are they our NCAA basketball pick?

Betting Odds
NCAA basketball odds have come out with USC at a -2.5 favorite. This puts some pretty good value in my opinion on Santa Barbara so I will take the points with them playing at home. Although USC is very talented, and have played well so far this season, Santa Barbara can be a tough place to play so for one of my selection I like them to get it done tonight.

 

USC Trojans
USC comes in averaging 84.6 points per game, shooting 46.4% from the field, and 38.5% from beyond the arc. As mentioned there is a lot to be excited about for the future of this team. On the offensive end they have been pushing a very up-tempo pace putting up 65.6 field goals per game which ranks 22nd in the country. This is exactly what we should expect though from head coach Andy Enfield who brings that sort of mindset from his previous fast-paced Florida Gulf Coast teams. Tonight they will face a Santa Barbara team that has been decent in controlling tempo.

Defensively USC is allowing 73.9 points per game, 37.8% shooting from the field, and 31.1% from beyond the arc. Although there allowing teams to shoot a really high 67.7 attempts per game from the field they have been doing a good job statistically on this side of the ball. They have lost their last two games in a row though where they allowed 87 and 83 points respectively. Tonight on the road in a hostile environment giving up a lot of points consistently I think will be a problem.

 

Santa Barbara Gauchos
Santa Barbara is averaging 64.4 points per game, 39.8% shooting from the field, and 28% from beyond the arc. These are pretty surprising numbers considering they brought back four of their top five scores from last season. Coach Bob Williams always does a solid job with this program and I expect them to be very motivated tonight. Led by senior guard Michael Bryson I expect them as a unit to put up a lot of points tonight against a USC defense that will allow it. They have had a tough preseason schedule facing three PAC 12 teams already losing to California, Oregon state, and Arizona State (by 2 at Arizona State). Those three teams are all a little better than USC in my opinion.

Defensively Santa Barbara is allowing 69.2 points per game, 40.5% shooting from the field, and 29% from beyond the arc. Considering the early schedule these are all respectable numbers and they should be able to get enough stops tonight against USC. This will be the pinnacle point of this matchup and I think a well coached Santa Barbara team is up to the task.

If you just look at the records and the conferences you would think that USC would be a little bit bigger of a favorite in this spot. But they aren't for reason, because Santa Barbara is probably going to win this game. One of your NCAA basketball picks I recommend backing the Gauchos tonight to take this game to the wire or more than likely get the straight up win.

NCAA Basketball Pick: UC Santa Barbara +3 at 5Dimes

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