UC Santa Barbara has gotten off to a fast start this season, winning 12 of their first 15 contests. Can they avoid an upset at home against a UC Riverside squad fresh off of a heartbreaking loss?
Cal State Riverside opens Big West season with loss
Cal State Riverside dropped their first Big West Conference game of the season on Wednesday, losing on the road to Cal State Northridge 84-83 after building a double-digit first half lead. Dilkymbe Martin scored 25 points and handed out six assists, while Jordan Gilliam finished with 10 points as the only other Highlanders player in double-figures on the night.
David Patrick’s squad comes in slotted at No. 315 in the latest KenPom rankings after a crushing defeat in their conference opener. The Highlanders are scoring 96.0 points per 100 possessions (296th in the NCAA) and allowing 108.8 points per 100 possessions (298th in the NCAA) so far this season. They play at one of the slowest paces in the country at the offensive end, averaging just 65.4 possessions per game and 18.8 seconds per offensive possession (323rd in the NCAA). They do most of their damage from beyond the arc on offense, where they are shooting 37.5 percent for the season (48th in the NCAA). The Highlanders have gotten 40.6 percent of their total points from the 3-point line (16th in the NCAA) so far this year and they have shot 43.9 percent of their total field goal attempts from long range (59th in the NCAA). However, they are shooting just 46.4 percent from inside the arc (282nd in the NCAA) and they sport some of the worst offensive rebounding and free throw rate percentages in the country.
On defense, the Highlanders are allowing teams to shoot 54.6 percent from inside the ar (292nd in the NCAA) and 34.9 percent from 3-point range (219th in the NCAA).
Gauchos continue strong start to the season
The Gauchos opened the conference season with a 65-56 victory at home versus Cal Poly on Wednesday night. Devearl Ramsey scored 19 points, while Jaquori McLaughlin added 17 for UC Santa Barbara, who led for most of the game.
— UCSB Mens Basketball (@UCSBbasketball) January 11, 2019
Joe Pasternack’s squad comes into Saturday’s matchup ranked at No. 144 in the latest KenPom rankings after winning their Big West Conference opener. The Gauchos are scoring 106.4 points per 100 possessions (105th in the NCAA), despite playing at one of the slowest paces in the country on offense. UC Santa Barbara is averaging just 64.8 possessions per game (337th in the NCAA) and they get their shots up in about 19.1 seconds during an average offensive possession (335th in the NCAA). They value their possessions on offense, crash the offensive glass and get to the free throw line at a high rate. They have turned the ball over on just 17.2 percent of their offensive possessions (76th in the NCAA), while sporting an offensive rebounding rate of 34.5 percent (33rd in the NCAA) and a free throw rate of 42.9 percent (24th in the NCAA) so far this year.
The Guachos haven’t been too bad defensively, but an inability to generate turnovers has held them back on that end of the floor. They are allowing 104.4 points per 100 possessions (204th in the NCAA) despite forcing turnovers on just 15.7 percent of their defensive possessions (323rd in the NCAA). Still, they have managed to limit opponents to an effective field goal percentage of 47.7 percent (76th in the NCAA) and a 3-point shooting percentage of only 30.0 percent (41st in the NCAA) through 15 games this year.
UC Santa Barbara
- Gauchos are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 Saturday games
- Gauchos are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 home games.
- Gauchos are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall
Cal State Riverside
- Highlanders are 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 Saturday games.
- Highlanders are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win.
- Highlanders are 1-4-2 ATS in their last 7 road games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Highlanders have dominated this as of late, covering the spread in 10 of the last 14 meetings and they are 5-2-1 against the spread in their last eight trips to UC Santa Barbara. However, the home team has covered four of the last five meetings in this series and the Gauchos are a step ahead of the Highlanders this season. Look for UC Santa Barbara to cover the spread in this Big West Conference showdown on Saturday evening.
Prediction: Pick: UC Santa Barbara Gauchos
Full-Game Total Pick
These two teams have stayed under the projected total in 13 of their last 18 meetings. UC Santa Barbara has gone under in 12 of their last 15 versus a team with a losing record and the under in 35-15-2 in their last 52 home games. On the other hand, Cal State Riverside has gone under the projected total in 15 of their last 21 home games and the under in 26-9-2 in their last 37 games after covering the spread in their previous contest. Take the under in this matchup on Saturday afternoon.