Free College Basketball Picks from Expert Handicapper: West Coast Game Prediction
I would have to consider last week's free West Coast college basketball pick a good loss, if there is such a thing. I went against Nevada as one of my favorite West Coast teams in a lopsided 100-60 victory verses Colorado State as a 20-point home favorite.
Sometimes in sports betting, one loss can lead to some bigger wins down the road. My concern with the Wolf Pack covering large spreads has been dispelled. More importantly, I quickly erased that loss with Tuesday's 17-point road win against Mountain West rival UNLV as 10.5-point favorites.
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West Coast College Hoops Betting Overview
Tracking the West Coast action all season long, the West Coast Conference's No. 4 Gonzaga Bulldogs and Nevada at No. 8 have been the two biggest stories at the top of the national rankings. Each team appears to have things well in hand as they race towards their respective conference's regular season title.
The Bulldogs have been a hot betting team all season long at 19-2 straight-up with a 15-6 record against the spread. However, they might actually be too good with a 1-2 mark in their last three games trying to cover spreads of 21.5 points or higher. I would look for a bit more competitive game and a much more manageable spread for Gonzaga's road game against BYU this Thursday night.
The pickings are rather slim when it comes to any other West Coast programs catching the national spotlight in the AP Top 25 or Coaches Poll. The biggest conference out West is the Pac-12, and they have been MIA from the polls since the first of year.
I still have high hopes for Washington making a move and possibly Arizona State as the two best teams in that conference. The Huskies have been a great betting team lately after covering in their last seven games.
West Coast College Hoops Free Pick of the Week
I have been able to find some solid betting value in the Big West this season in head-to-head play. This week's top West Coast pick is Thursday night's matchup between the Cal Poly Mustangs and the UC Riverside Highlanders.
At 4-14 SU with a 6-11 record ATS, I have already cashed a few winners going against the Mustangs this season. Look for the Highlanders to open as solid favorites at home for the 10 p.m. (ET) tip on ESPN3. As long as the opening number is less than 10 points, they should cover with ease.
Cal Poly is still looking for its first SU victory in conference play while going 1-4 ATS. Saturday's 80-63 loss to Cal State Fullerton as seven-point home underdogs dropped the Mustangs to 2-7 ATS in their last nine contests. They are 5-7 ATS this season as underdogs, including a 1-5 mark covering the closing number in their last six games getting points.
With one of the lowest scoring averages in the nation at 65.0 points per game, the Mustangs have had a hard time keeping pace with a defensive effort that is allowing 72.5 points a game. This is a case of bad team that cannot cover spreads no matter how many points the Oddsmakers five.
UC Riverside is a marginal team in the Big West at 8-14 SU overall with a 2-4 record in conference play. However, the Highlanders have been a good cover team since the beginning of January. Even with Saturday's 82-64 loss to UC Irvine as 13-point road underdogs, they are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games. One of those covers was a 74-51 road win against Cal Poly as 2.5-point underdogs on Jan. 23.
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