Free College Basketball Picks from Expert Handicapper: West Coast Game Prediction
There are more than a few benefits to following college basketball on the West Coast. Given a bettor's bias toward the earlier games in the East and Midwest regions of the country, the late games out west tend to fall off the radar screen. This can sometimes set the stage for softer betting lines in a few of these late-night starts if there is a particularly heavy schedule that day.
Another benefit of betting late West Coast games is extending your betting opportunities for the day. If you are on a hot streak with your earlier bets, you might be able to cap off that big day with one last winning play.
West Coast College Hoops Betting Overview
Conference play is underway in college basketball, and one of the top teams out west continues to be the No. 5 Gonzaga Bulldogs. At 14-2 straight-up with a very profitable 12-4 record against the spread, this West Coast Conference power have been able to cover in its last five games as a heavy double-digit favorite in each contest.
Gonzaga opened conference play with a 91-48 romp against Santa Clara last Saturday as a 26.5-point home favorite. I would look for a number of dominating victories in many of its WCC matchups this season.
My top Mountain West team took it on the chin last Saturday, with Nevada dropping all the way to No. 10 after losing to New Mexico 85-58 as a 14.5-point road favorite. This could be something to watch moving forward. However, even with that lopsided loss, I still have the Wolf Pack ranked as one of the best teams in the nation.
West Coast College Hoops Free Pick of the Week
Turning to Wednesday's late-night schedule out on the West Coast, I really like the UC Santa Barbara Gouchos covering as 13.5-point home favorites against the Cal Poly Mustangs in a 10 p.m. (ET) tip for this Big West tilt.
The Gouchos' early play this season paints them as the team to beat in the Big West. They are 11-3 SU heading into their conference opener with a 9-3 record ATS in games closing with a posted spread. They were able to cover against Washington as 13-point underdogs in a 67-63 loss in early December and more recently they beat San Francisco 73-71 at home on Dec. 29 as four-point underdogs.
UC Santa Barbara has four different players averaging at least 11 points as part of a team scoring average of 77.8 points per game. It has also done a good job playing defense at the other end of the court with a points-allowed average of 64.3. Senior guard Ar'Mond Davis has led the way with 14.2 PPG and he is pulling down an average of 5.4 rebounds a game behind Amadou Sow (6.4) as the team leader in that category. The combination of a deep bench and veteran leadership make the Gouchos an attractive play in their conference opener in front of the hometown crowd.
This is a hefty spread to cover against a conference foe, but Cal Poly's early play points to a long season for the Mustangs. They closed out nonconference play at 4-9 SU with a 5-7 record ATS. They have failed to cover in three of their last four games, including a 21-point loss to Siena on Dec. 29 as 6.5-point road underdogs. They also failed to cover as eight-point road underdogs in a 74-61 loss to Cal State-Bakersfield on Dec. 18.
The Mustangs are 4-14-2 ATS in their last 20 road games and they have gone 0-4 ATS in their last four road games against UC Santa Barbara.
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