Free College Basketball Picks from Expert Handicapper: West Coast Game Prediction
As a professional sports handicapper splitting time between Las Vegas and New Orleans, I have come to realize that many recreational bettors outside the Pacific Time Zone tend to focus most of their attention on East Coast and Midwest teams when it comes to college basketball. Maybe it is because of the late tip offs or lack of national media attention, but on any given night during the season, there is always some great betting value to be found in these West Coast games.
West Coast College Hoops Betting Overview
The West Coast is in the national spotlight this week with the Gonzaga Bulldogs moving to No. 1 in both major polls on the strength of last Wednesday's impressive 89-87 upset of Duke as eight-point underdogs. With Monday's 102-60 pounding of North Dakota State as 26.5-point favorites, the Bulldogs improved to 7-0 straight-up and 6-1 against the spread.
The great thing about the Zags as a national power out of the West Coast Conference is the fact that this is also a Mid Major. This year's squad has the depth and experience to win a national title and the fast start out the gate only confirms this notion.
I would also like to quickly mention the Nevada Wolf Pack out of the Mountain West as another West Coast Mid Major that has the ability to make a very deep run this season in the Big Dance. They are already ranked No. 5 in the latest AP Top 25 at 7-0 SU with a 6-1 record ATS.
West Coast College Hoops Free Pick of the Week
This week's West Coast college hoops pick for Doc's is an inter-conference clash between the WCC's Pacific Tigers and the MWC's Fresno State Bulldogs. Game time this Wednesday night from the Save Mart Center in Fresno is set for 10 p.m. and the Bulldogs have been opened as 10-point favorites .
The Tigers have been a mixed bag out of the gate at 5-3 SU with a 3-4 record ATS. They lost to Nevada 83-61 as 18.5-point underdogs early in November before falling to UNLV 96-70 as 5.5-point underdogs in two previous outings against the Mountain West. A disturbing 73-71 loss to Abilene Christian last Friday as six-point home favorites points to a long season in WCC play if they do not start playing with more consistency on both sides of the court.
Pacific has shown the ability to put some points on the board behind Roberto Gallinat (14.3 points) and Lafayette Dorsey (12.1 points) as two of four players scoring in double-figures, but shooting 36.3 from three-point range is a concern. The biggest issue in on defense with a points-allowed average of 71.3.
Fresno State has eased its way into the new season at 3-2 SU, but I do like the way it has been able to cover in four games with a posted spread. On the plus side, the Bulldogs beat the Big Ten's Northwestern Wildcats 78-59 as 6.5-point favorites on Thanksgiving before losing to Miami (FL) the next night 78-76 to cover as 8.5-point underdogs in the Wooden Legacy. They went on to beat Hawaii 79-64 for third place in that holiday tournament as 6.5-point favorites.
Deshon Taylor scored 20 points in that latest victory to raise his scoring average to 16.2 PPG. Braxton Higgins continues to lead Fresno State in scoring with 19.8 PPG and he put up 28 points in the loss to Miami.
Pacific will face its third MWC opponent this season with a 2-6 record ATS in its last eight games against this conference. Fresno State comes in at 16-5 ATS in its last 21 nonconference games. The favorite in this matchup has covered in the last six meetings with the home team going 4-1 ATS in the last five. Lay the points and bet the Bulldogs in this one.
Click here to visit Raphael Esparza's Insider's Page at Doc's Sports for more information on his amazingly-profitable sports handicapping picks. Also, get $60 worth of Esparza's member's picks absolutely free - no obligation, no sales people - you don't even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit for any sport Esparza handicaps. Click here for $60 worth of free picks from Raphael Esparza .
Read more articles by Raphael Esparza
Get all of this Weeks College Basketball Picks
Get all of this Weeks guaranteed Expert College Basketball Picks