Cal Santa Barbara vs. Cal Irvine, 01/12/17 - Preview & Prediction

Game Snapshot

#570 University of California Santa Barbara Gauchos
vs.
#569 UC Irvine Anteaters

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Image licensed from USA Today Sports

UC Irvine vs. UC Santa Barbara

NCAA Basketball:  Thursday, January 12th, 10:00 pm EST

Line:  UC Irvine -6.5

Total: 139.5

The likely Big West favorite in UC Irvine heads to Santa Barbara to take on the Gauchos.  For the last decade, you could have penciled UCSB in the Big West chase, but they are going through their worst season in decades. They are currently 2-11 and have lost their only Big West tilt.  UC Irving is 9-9 overall and 2-0 in conference.  Sad to think that a 9-9 team overall is the best in conference but that’s how week the Big West is.

Against the spread, UC Irvine has been very solid, going 9-7-1 overall and 5-3 away from home.  The Gauchos are only 4-9 overall and 2-4 at home.  The Thunderdome isn’t rocking like the old days.

UC Irvine wins first two conference games

UC Irvine started off 2-0 in the Big West and raised its record to .500 overall.  They have now won four games in a row.  They won their opener, 82-67 over Long Beach State and came back to beat Hawaii 84-56 in their latest.  They raced out to a 19 point half time lead and then coasted in the second half.  Hawaii has dropped off from last year but this was still an impressive win.

The Anteaters used stellar shooting and a great defense to win the game.  They held the Rainbows to 36% shooting and shot 57% themselves.  UC Irvine was led by Ioannis Dimakopoulos and Jaron Martin who scored 12 points each, but six players had nine points or more.  Martin has been their best player all year and puts up 14 points per game.

U Can Study Basketball

When I went to UCSB we used to say U Can Study Buzzed, but with the way the Gauchos have been playing lately, we should rename it.  They have been downright terrible and they haven’t been this bad since probably the 1980’s.  They are 2-11 with their lone wins over Sonoma State and CSU Bakersfield, hardly a murderers rows of opponent.

They lost their opening game of the conference schedule by a score of 73-47 to UC Davis.  The Aggies raced out to a 20 point lead and the lead only got bigger in the second half.  The Gauchos shot 31% from the field and made only two of 16 three pointers.  It’s been that bad.

Trends:

The UC Irvine Anteaters are:

  • 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
  • 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. Big West.
  • 17-5 ATS in their last 22 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.

The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos are:

  • 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS loss.
  • 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games overall.

I’m out.  I’m out.  I’m out.  There, I said it three times.  It’s hard for me to be out on my alma mater, but I’ve realized the play is to bet against UCSB right now.  They are downright terrible, and a good bet against every time out.  Let’s go with the Anteaters for an easy road win.  The spread should be much higher.

Pick: Irvine

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Big B

Known as Big B since his time at UCSB, Brian O’Sullivan is a novelist, screenwriter, & poker player who follows sports religiously. His betting style would be considered that of a contrarian, and he likes to bet against the general public. It seems to be working. You can find him at the coffee shops of Vegas, hanging with his family in SF, or at the bars of LA.