The Big West Conference Championship Tournament continues Thursday night at Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas, so I bring you the best Cal Poly Mustangs vs. UC Irvine Anteaters betting pick along with all the key tips and trends for this quarterfinal clash.
The Anteaters opened as firm double-digit favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook. They already smashed the Mustangs twice this season, tallying a 68-49 win as 16-point home favorites and a 67-44 victory as 16.5-point home favorites.
The Mustangs stunned CSU Fullerton in the first round
The Cal Poly Mustangs (4-19; 1-15 Conf.) put an end to a terrible nine-game losing streak last Tuesday, outlasting the CSU Fullerton Titans 87-82 as 5.5-point underdogs in the first round of the Big West Conference Championship Tournament.
The Mustangs had a big night on the offensive end, making 56.6% of their field goals and handing out 19 assists. Also, they went 12-for-18 from downtown (66.7%), while sophomore guard Colby Rodgers led the way with 21 points, six boards, and three assists.
Rodgers is one of the best players in this Cal Poly team, He’s averaging 12.2 points and 2.2 dimes per game, while sophomore forward Alimamy Koroma is posting 13.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest.
The Mustangs are scoring only 90.3 points per 100 possessions (343rd in the nation) on 40.0% shooting from the field (326th). They are yielding 106.8 points in a return (275th) on 44.1% shooting from the field (210th) and 35.1% from downtown (267th).
The Anteaters aim for their fifth consecutive win
The UC Irvine Anteaters (16-8; 10-4 Conf.) wrapped up the regular season on a four-game winning streak, outlasting Long Beach State 73-58 as 8.5-point home favorites in their final game. The Anteaters finished second in the Big West Conference, a couple of games behind UC Santa Barbara.
Junior forward Collin Welp leads the way for the Anteaters, averaging 14.8 points and 7.7 rebounds on the season. Freshman guard Dawson Baker tallies 10.6 points and 2.2 boards per game, while senior center Brad Greene adds 9.6 points and 7.5 rebounds a night.
The Anteaters score only 100.8 points per 100 possessions (216th in the nation) on 45.3% shooting from the field (111th). However, their defense has been outstanding, surrendering just 92.9 points per 100 possessions (35th) on 38.8% shooting from the field (7th) while recording 7.8 steals per game (55th).
- 3-11-1 ATS in the last 15 games against UC Irvine
- 2-7-1 ATS in the last ten games as double-digit underdogs
- 4-1 ATS in the last five games as double-digit favorites
- 8-2 ATS in the last ten tilts played on Thursday
I’m expecting the Anteaters to rout the Mustangs once more. Cal Poly entered the Big West tournament as the worst team in the conference, and the Mustangs stood no chance in two encounters with UC Irvine this past regular season.
The Anteaters will torture their rivals defensively and get a lot of easy baskets in transition. Therefore, I’m not afraid of this massive spread.
Pick: Take UC Irvine -13.5 at -115
The totals could be a tricky wager because of the paltry 127-point line, so I would stick with the Anteaters to cover. The Mustangs had an incredible shooting night in the first round, and I highly doubt their chances to replicate that performance against UC Irvine’s stout D.
The under is 4-1 in the Anteaters’ last five outings, and it is 6-1 in Cal Poly’s previous seven games overall. Also, the under has hit in four of their previous seven head-to-head duels.
Pick: Go under 127.0 points at -110