The South Alabama Jaguars take on the San Diego Toreros in neutral court territory on Thursday afternoon in Las Vegas. The Jaguars posted a convincing home win over William Carey on Monday evening. The Toreros lost to California St. Fullerton in their previous bout. This marks the first meeting since the 2011 season.
South Alabama Targets Third Straight Win
The South Alabama Jaguars enter this one seeking a third consecutive win. The Jaguars two defeats occurred against strong opposition, losing to Wichita State followed by a 73-68 loss to #15 Alabama in a clash that had South Alabama tabbed as large 20 point dogs. They had no problem topping NAIA member Willam Carey 96-53 last time out in a game that did not have a betting line.
Charles Manning Jr. is a key player on this squad. The senior guard transferred from LSU and is leading the way offensively, scoring at least 13 points in three straight games. Manning Jr. is averaging 15.2 PPG. Jay Jay Chandler is also a transfer, he arrived from Texas A&M and is contributing, recording 14.4 PPG and 4.2 RPG. Javon Frankin is thriving. The senior forward has already collected two double-doubles and is sporting an average of 9.8 PPG and 7.4 RPG.
The Jaguars are placed 233rd in the country in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball ratings. It’s hard to get a read on South Alabama’s offensive stats considering they have only played two games against true DI foes. The Jaguars are averaging 80.4 points, ranking them 68th in DI. They are limiting opponents to 55.2 points, good for 16th overall.
San Diego Dealt Surprising Loss by Cal State Fullerton
The San Diego Toreros are looking to rebound from a disappointing loss. They were 6.5 point favorites in a narrow 57-55 home loss to Cal State Fullerton last time out to thwart a two-game winning streak. San Diego tallied an upset win against Nevada in the first week of the season and has covered the points in two out of its four games on the season.
Jase Townsend is in his first season with San Diego after leading Denver in scoring last season. The senior guard has netted at least 13 points in all but one game and has registered 13.8 PPG and 4.6 RPG. Joey Calcaterra is the veteran player on this squad. The senior guard has the ability to take over a game and he did just that in a recent 21 point effort last week. Calcaterra is averaging 11.8 PPG on 57.1% shooting. Marcellus Earlington has tallied double-digits in four of five games and is averaging 11.6 PPG on the season.
The Toreros are tabbed 157th in DI in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball ratings and are definitely good enough to be in the top half of their WCC conference. San Diego is averaging a solid 75.4 points on the year, landing them 137th. They are conceding an average of only 60 points, good for 55th overall.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
I believe this will be a close game. South Alabama almost beat #15 Alabama, losing that one by a narrow 73-68 score. They are a big team and out-rebounded Alabama in that game, plus they held Alabama to 25.9% shooting from three-point range San Diego has lost two out of its last three games including a minor upset loss to Cal State Fullerton in their previous action.
Furthermore, when you look at the advanced stats, not much separates these combatants defensively. South Alabama is allowing 101.2 points per 100 possessions while SD is at 99.6 points per 100 possessions. The Jaguars will surprise teams. Right now their top three scorers are all transfers from power conference teams.
Full-Game Total Pick
I am opting for the under here. San Diego prefers to play with a defensive mindset. They are only averaging 56.5 field goal attempts per game, landing them 253rd in that category and ranking 254th overall in pace. They have allowed 62 and 57 points respectively in the last two games.
In addition, South Alabama is playing terrific defense, limiting foes to 23.9% shooting from three-point range. The under cashed in the Jaguars' only two games that had a betting line so far this season. The Toreros are coming off a season-low 57 points against Cal St. Fullerton.