Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#725 California 138 vs.
#726 Santa Clara -5
Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 5:00pm EST
Written by Blake V.

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#725 University of California, Berkeley
#726 Santa Clara University
5-3
8-2
13-18
19-11-1
15-16
15-16
68
68
76
70

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California and Santa Clara will both look to bounce back from losses when the two teams meet-up on Saturday night. The Golden Bears are coming off a loss against San Francisco on Wednesday. The Broncos come into Saturday’s game fresh off a 31-point loss on the road against Nevada—a game in which they were only a 5.5-point underdog. Saturday night’s game will be hosted at the Leavey Center in Santa Clara.

Cal needing bounce back performance

Cal opened the season with an optimistic four-game winning streak, but the Golden Bears have scuffled since then, falling in three of its last four contests. The year started with home wins against Pepperdine, UNLV, Cal Baptist and Prairie View. Cal did not fare well at the 2K Empire Classic, losing by 25 points to No. 1 Duke and falling to No. 22 Texas, 62-45. The Golden Bears’ fifth win of the season came in a 72-66 decision at home against UC Davis. They lost their last game out—a 76-64 final on the road against San Francisco.

The Golden Bears are led by sophomore guard Matt Bradley, who is scoring 17.4 points per game and shooting 17 of 35 from beyond the arc. He is also contributing 4.4 rebounds per game and 1.6 assists per contest. Senior guard Kareem South is the only other Cal player in double figures. He is scoring 11.1 points per game and is 9 of 28 from downtown. Junior forward Grant Anticevich is the team’s leading rebounder with 7.0 boards per game. He is also the third-leading scorer with an average of 8.4 points per outing. Sophomore forward Andre Kelly has come off the bench to score 7.1 points per game and chip-in 4.9 rebounds per contest.

Santa Clara with chance for big home win

Santa Clara is off to an 8-2 start this season. The Broncos opened the season with consecutive wins against UC Santa Cruz, Cal Poly and Washington State. Their first loss of the year was an 82-64 decision on the road against Stanford. However, they bounced back with a five-game winning streak. Santa Clara picked up wins against Notre Dame de Namur, Idaho State, Denver, Southeast Missouri State, and Cal State Fullerton. The Broncos’ second loss of the year came on Wednesday night when they could not keep pace on the road against Nevada—losing the game by 31 points.

The Broncos are led by a committee, with all five starters averaging at least 9.5 points per game. Sophomore guard Trey Wertz is leading the way with 11.1 points per game and 3.5 assists per game. He has made the most 3-pointers on the team, hitting 15 of 42 attempts. Sophomore forward Guglielmo Caruso is scoring 10.8 points per game and is adding 4.8 rebounds per game. He is an efficient 5 of 10 from beyond the 3-point line. Junior forward DJ Mitchell is scoring 10.4 points per game and adding 5.0 rebounds per outing. He has the best outside shooting percentage on the team, making 12 of 23 attempts. Junior guard Tahj Eaddy is scoring 10.0 points per game and junior forward Josip Vrankic is leading the team in rebounding with 5.3 boards per contest.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Santa Clara is simply too balanced for Cal to beat. The Broncos also have a chance to break a three-game losing streak against the Golden Bears, so the crowd advantage should be in full force. Cal has not been good against-the-spread this season, failing to cover in each of its last five games. A one-dimensional Golden Bears’ offense is going to struggle against the balanced lineup presented by Santa Clara. Cal has not been good on the road, going 0-3 ATS in its games away from home. I like the Broncos to pick up a solid win against ‘big brother’ in this game.

Prediction: Santa Clara -6

Full-Game Total Pick

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Both teams are going to look to control the pace in this game. Santa Clara is No. 25 in KenPom’s adjusted tempo rankings, while Cal is all the way at No. 320. I think the Broncos are going to force the Golden Bears into taking quick shots, while also taking advantage of Cal’s bad defense and scoring easy buckets. The home crowd is going to rush Cal into quick possessions and turnovers, which will lead to fast breaks for the home side. The total has gone over in five of Santa Clara’s last six games against Pac-12 opponents, so look for that to continue against Cal on Saturday night.

Prediction: Over 135.5
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Written By Blake V.

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.