Free College Basketball Picks from Expert Handicapper: West Coast Game Prediction
Nearing the end of the year, the nonconference portion of the 2018/19 college basketball season is also coming to a close. As a big fan of the Pac-12 and the Mountain West among some of the other conferences that are located on the West Coast, I have been able to find some tremendous value betting on these early games in the Pacific Time Zone.
Looking ahead to Wednesday night's West Coast lineup of games, I have found an intriguing Big Sky/Pac-12 matchup that offers some tremendous betting value based on the current spread. Most times I am looking for the best value among Mid-Major programs, but I have to go with the Power 5 team this time around.
West Coast College Hoops Betting Overview
West Coast college basketball has been in the national spotlight this season highlighted by teams such as the No. 6 Nevada Wolfpack and the No. 8 Gonzaga Bulldogs with their strong starts. The Bulldogs dropped four spots in the national polls this week with a pair of losses last week to Tennessee and North Carolina, but this is still one of my top teams when it comes to legitimate national title contenders.
I have been touting the Wolfpack all season long as another national power this season and I am not backing off that stance as they wind down play in their nonconference schedule. They have beaten everyone they faced straight-up in their first 11 games and despite a recent betting blip at 0-2-1 against the spread, they are still a profitable 7-3-1 ATS on the year.
West Coast College Hoops Free Pick of the Week
In a slated 8:30 p.m. tip in Tucson, the Big Sky's Grizzlies will be on the road as 7.5-point underdogs against the Pac-12's Arizona Wildcats.
The Grizzlies got past North Dakota State 60-53 on Monday night, but they failed to cover as 11-point home favorites. This was just their second straight-up win in their last five games and they have failed to cover in their last five contests with a closing betting line. Overall, Montana is 6-3 SU with a 1-6 record covering the closing number. It has lost both of its games (SU and ATS) as an underdog this year.
Montana does have some solid scoring depth with four players averaging at least 14 points per game. Senior forward Jamar Akoh recently missed some playing time as the team's leading scorer (15.0 points), but he quickly returned to form on Monday night with 17 points to help pace the win. The concern in the matchup against Arizona is the points allowed on defense against some of the better teams the Grizzlies have faced.
Arizona has dropped its last two games to Alabama as a road underdog and to Baylor as a seven-point home favorite as part of its SU 7-4 start while going 5-5-1 ATS. The Wildcats have been able to cover in four of seven games closing as favorites. This is not the best start for a program that is usually in the national rankings, but from what I can tell watching the games, it is actually headed in the right direction.
Saturday's loss to Baylor will not sit well with the Wildcats heading into Wednesday night's contest. It snapped a SU 52-game winning streak at home against a nonconference opponent. The Wildcats were held to just 49 points as opposed to a season scoring average of 75.7 PPG. Brandon Randolph continues to lead the team in scoring with 16.9 points a game and he has scored at least 15 points in each of his last four starts.
Montana has failed to cover a spread in its last eight road games and I do not see the Grizzlies covering against Arizona with the 7.5 points.
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