Cal Poly heads to UC Irvine in a battle of Big West teams on Thursday night. The Mustangs are just 1-2, playing less than any other team in the conference and they are only 6-11 overall. The Anteaters aren’t much better, coming in at 7-13 overall and 2-2 in conference. They are coming into Thursday’s contest off of a win, however, beating Northridge 71-54 in their latest.
For two teams with lousy overall records, their points scored and given up aren’t all that bad. The Mustangs are putting up 68.1 points per game while giving up 71.6, which is a -3.5 point differential per game. The Anteaters are scoring 70.3 and allowing 71.1, so they are only -0.8 points per game.
Line: UC Irvine -7
Cal Poly starts 1-2 in Big West
The Mustangs have gotten off to a 1-2 mark in the Big West with their lone win over UCSB in an amazing finish. They trailed by two points with a second left, but the Gauchos fouled a Mustang on a three pointer. He went to the free throw line and nailed all three free throws for an exhilarating win for Cal Poly. Unfortunately, they have followed that with losses to Cal State Fullerton and 57-45 to Hawaii.
On the year, the Mustangs have been led in scoring by Victor Joseph. The senior guard is putting up a solid 14.7 points per game and also contributing 2.5 boards and 2.0 assists per game. He is shooting only 40% from the field, however, although he does shoot a sparkling 89.4% from the free throw line.
Anteaters defeat Northridge
UC Irvine had no problem with the worst team in the Big West on Saturday night, beating Cal State Northridge by 17 points, 71-54, on the road. Technically, the Highlanders of UC Riverside have a worse conference record than Northridge, but the Matadors only have three wins all year long and really are the worst team in the conference. Still, the Anteaters will take any win they can get.
They were led by Evan Leonard in the win. The sophomore guard who is averaging 12 points per game, put up 20 points and also contributed six boards and had two steals. The Anteaters needed the big game by Leonard, because only two other Irvine players finished in double digits, but he had his team’s back.
The Cal Poly Mustangs are:
- 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
The UC Irvine Anteaters are:
- 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 home games.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
- 0-7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win.
I don’t see a huge difference between these two teams so I’ll gladly take the points and play the Mustangs on Thursday.