The Cal Poly Mustangs face off against the UC Irvine Anteaters for the first time this season, so I bring you the best betting pick for their Big West Conference showdown at Bren Events Center in Irvine, California, along with the latest odds on BetMGM Sportsbook.
Last season, these two schools met twice, and the Anteaters recorded a couple of wins but failed to cover in the process. The Mustangs are winless in six straight encounters with UC Irvine, going 2-3-1 ATS in that span.
Cal Poly rides a six-game losing streak
The Cal Poly Mustangs (2-8; 0-4 Conf.) are winless since December 13, 2020, and a 73-71 home victory over San Jose State. Since then, it’s been a bumpy road for the Mustangs who couldn’t cover the spread while surpassing a 60-point mark only once.
Cal Poly is No. 334 in the NCAA Rankings and No. 343 in the latest KenPom rankings. The Mustangs tally just 91.2 points per 100 possessions (337th in the country) on 38.6% shooting from the field (330th). They surrender 109.0 points in a return (318th) on 45.1% shooting (249th).
Sophomore F Alimamy Koroma (11.6 PPG, 5.0 RPG) is the only Mustang who average points in double figures. Senior PG Keith Smith has 5.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game, while sophomore G Colby Rogers adds 9.6 points and 3.2 boards a night.
UC Irvine aims for its fifth win in a row
The UC Irvine Anteaters (6-4; 2-0 Conf.) are rolling on a four-game win streak following a 79-65 victory at the UC San Diego Tritons as 7-point road favorites. It was their fifth consecutive ATS win, as the Anteaters put on a strong second-half performance and dropped 55 points on the Tritons in the last 20 minutes.
UC Irvine is now 121st in the KenPom rankings and 147th in the NCAA NET Rankings. The Anteaters score 102.2 points per 100 possessions (154th) on 48.6% shooting from the field (35th) while yielding only 97.6 points in a return (99th) on 40.0% shooting (55th).
The Anteaters head coach Russ Turner often uses nine or even ten men in his rotation. Freshman G Dawson Baker (12.2 PPG, 2.3 RPG) and junior F Collin Welp (11.8 PPG, 7.1 RPG) lead the way for UC Irvine, while senior C Brad Greene adds 9.7 points, 6.8 boards, and 1.2 blocks per game.Cal Poly:
- 0-5-1 ATS in the last six games overall
- 2-6-1 ATS in the last nine games against Big West
- 3-9-1 ATS in the last 13 games against UC Irvine
- 5-0 ATS in the last five games overall
- 4-1 ATS in the last five games against Big West
College Basketball Picks & Prediction
The Anteaters will have too many dangerous weapons, so I’m not worried about a huge spread. They are a good defensive team and will torture the Mustangs’ hapless offense. Cal Poly is one of the worst teams in the country on both sides of the ball, so give me the hosts to cover.
The Mustangs lost by 17 or more points three times this season. They struggled mightily against UC Riverside last time out, and I’m looking for more of the same when the Mustangs visit the Anteaters who are 12-1 straight up and 9-3-1 ATS in their previous 13 showings on the home court.
Pick: Take UC Irvine -16.5 at -105
The Mustangs failed to score more than 53 points in each of their last five outings. The under is 6-1 in their previous seven outings, so I’m following this trend, looking for another awful display by Cal Poly.
The ‘Eaters lean on their solid defense while averaging 68.6 possessions per 40 minutes (200th in the country). The Mustangs record 68.4 possessions per 40 minutes (207th), so we shouldn’t see a fast-paced game.
Pick: Go under 135.5 points at -110