Free College Basketball Picks from Expert Handicapper: West Coast Game Prediction
The final few weeks of the college basketball regular season can always provide a few key indicators for how a team might play in March with everything on the line in its conference tournament and hopefully as part of the 68-team field in the NCAA Tournament.
Since I am already dialed in to the Mountain West as one of my favorite Mid Majors, it is only natural to turn to this conference on a regular basis to find value in the betting lines for the games. When it comes to teams playing out on the West Coast, the MWC is also a good place to look when you want to add a late start to the mix for that day's betting slate.
West Coast College Hoops Betting Overview
The ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and even the SEC continue to grab most of the national media attention this season, with a serious void in the Pac-12 when it comes to the Top 25 polls. The Washington Huskies are the only team within striking distance of either ranking with a straight-up 10-1 record in conference play.
Fortunately, West Coast basketball fans can turn to the No. 3 Gonzaga Bulldogs, out of the West Coast Conference, and the MWC's No. 7 Nevada Wolf Pack, as two national powers that each have the ability to make a very deep run in this year's Big Dance.
The Bulldogs are tearing up their conference with 10 double-digit victories in 10 games. They have also been solid covering some pretty hefty spreads at 7-3 against the spread. The Wolf Pack have posted a SU 10-1 record in conference play with an 8-3 mark ATS. Their closest competition for the regular season title at 8-3 is Utah State and Fresno State, and they have already posted a SU win against each team this season.
West Coast College Hoops Free Pick of the Week
Along with Nevada, I have also been very impressed with the play of Fresno State in its last few games. The Bulldogs did lose to Utah State 82-81 at home on Feb. 5, but they covered as three-point underdogs. They also covered in Saturday's 83-65 road win against UNLV as 2.5-point favorites.
Overall, Fresno State has played its best ball at home this season at 10-3 SU heading into Wednesday night's home game against Boise State as a 6.5-point favorite. Game time from the Save Mart Center is set for 10:30 p.m. (ET) on CBS Sports Network.
The Broncos come into this game at 11-13 SU with a 10-13 record ATS. This includes a 4-5 record ATS on the road and a 3-4 mark covering as underdogs. They lost the first meeting against Fresno State 63-53 on Jan. 19 as slight two-point home favorites. Boise State's 105-57 romp against San Jose State on Saturday as a heavy 18.5-point home favorite was the first time it covered in its last four games as part of a 2-5 record ATS in its last seven games.
Led by a trio of players averaging at least 12 points per game, the Broncos are averaging a respectable 72.3 PPG. They are allowing an average of 67.9 points on defense. While this combination is good enough to win the games they are supposed to, it has come up short more times than not against the better teams in MWC.
Braxton Huggins has led the way for Fresno State with 18.7 PPG. He has scored at least 22 points in each of the Bulldogs' last three games, including 31 points in Saturday's win against the Rebels. The Bulldogs are averaging 76.9 points a game, but they have now scored at least 82 points in each of their last three games.
The Bulldogs have a 9-4 edge ATS in their last 13 games against Boise State and I have them covering at home this time around as well.
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