Long Beach State vs. Cal Santa Barbara, 02/18/17 - Expert Prediction

Game Snapshot

#624 University of California Santa Barbara Gauchos
vs.
#623 California State University, Long Beach 49ers

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Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Long Beach State vs. UC Santa Barbara

NCAA Basketball:  Saturday, February 18th, 7:00 pm EST

Line:  Long Beach -6.5

Total: 141

Long Beach State heads up the coast to take on UC Santa Barbara on Saturday night in  a Big West conference battle.  Long Beach had a brutal off season schedule, but has played reasonably well since conference play started.  Meanwhile, the Gauchos are going through one of their worst seasons in decades.  They are last place in the conference and it’s painful for this alumni to see this demise, but they did get their second win of the year in conference on Thursday.

Against the spread this year, both teams have been equally dismal.  Long Beach State is only 8-16 ATS overall this year and an equally pathetic 5-12 ATS away from home.  The Gauchos are 7-15 overall ATS and 4-6 ATS at home.  Sad to say, but 4-6 looks half decent with these two teams.

Long Beach State beat UCSB the first time

The 49ers beat the Gauchos earlier this year, almost a month to the day.  Long Beach State built up a 49-39 halftime lead and then had to hold off a second half Gaucho rally, before holding on for the 81-76 win.  Temidayo Yussuf had a career high 25 points and unbelievable 10 of 12 shooting from the field.  Roschon Prince contributed with a double double.

The 49ers have won three of four, with the lone loss a five point affair at Cal State Fullerton.  The offense has been stellar, as they have scored 69 points or more in 11 straight games.  The Gauchos will have to outscore them if they want to beat the 49ers.

Gauchos grab second conference win

No, it wasn’t pretty, but for UC Santa Barbara they will just take the win.  They grabbed their second conference win on Thursday with a 56-54 win over Hawaii, and with it they broke an eight game losing streak.  Alex Hart had a tip in with two seconds left to break the tie.  He finished with 16 points, but was one of only two players (one for each team) in double digits.

Yes, the offense was ugly, but the Gauchos used a solid defense to guide them to victory.  They held the Hawaii offense to 36% from the field and forced misses on 19 of 25 three pointers.  They also forced 16 turnovers.

Trends:

The Long Beach State 49ers are:

  • 10-1 ATS in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400.
  • 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
  • 16-5 ATS in their last 21 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.

The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos are:

  • 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.

The only question about this game is whether I bet on it.  It’s very obvious that the trends favor the 49ers and that’s where I lean, but I do I bet against my alma mater?  Does that break some sports betting code?  Screw it, the Gauchos are terrible and money is money.  Let’s take the 49ers for the easy win.

Pick: Long Beach State

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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.