UC Riverside at UC-Santa Barbara - 3/12/20 College Basketball Picks and Prediction

UC Riverside  at UC-Santa Barbara  - 3/12/20 College Basketball Picks and Prediction Photo by Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

UC Riverside Highlanders (17-15) at UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos (21-10)

College Basketball: Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 5:30 pm (Honda Center)

The Line: UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos -3.5 -- Over/Under: 121.5

TV: ESPN3 Stream College Basketball all season on ESPN+. Sign up now! Advertisement

The UC Riverside Highlanders take on the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in the big West Quarterfinals. The Highlanders are (17-15), coming off a 66-61 win over UC Davis.  The Gauchos are (21-10), after upending Cal Poly, 69-67. 

In the Highlanders win over UC Davis, UC Riverside was led on offense by Dikymbe Martin.  Martin recorded 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. UC Riverside connected on 50 percent from the floor and 46 percent from 3-point range.  The Highlanders played great defense, holding UC Davis to just 38 percent from the floor. The Highlanders out rebounded UC Davis 29 to 28. The Highlanders led 31-24 at the half. 

The Highlanders have been guided on offense by Callum Mcrae.  McRae is recording 9.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest. Martin is adding 8.1 points and 1.3 assists per game.  UC Riverside is registering 64.3 points, while shooting 43.6 percent from the floor.  

In the Gauchos win over Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara was guided throughout the game by JaQuori McLaughlin.  McLaughlin collected 17 points, 2 rebounds, and 6 assists. The Gauchos connected on 42 percent from the floor and 32 percent from 3-point distance.  The Gauchos won this back and forth game from the charity stripe. Uc Santa Barbara out scored Cal Poly from the foul line 14 to 7. The Gauchos trailed 35 to 26 at the half, but held Cal Poly to 32 2nd half points.    

The Gauchos have been carried on offense this season by Amadou Sow.  Sow is collecting 14.1 points and 7 rebounds per contest. McLaughlin is averaging 13.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game.  UC Santa Barbara is averaging over 70 points per contest, while connecting on 45.8 percent from the floor. 

Recent Betting Trends:

UC Riverside is 8-4 ATS in their last 12 games.

UC Riverside is 3-6 SU in their last 9 games.

The under is 9-0 in UC Riverside’s last 9 games.

UC Santa Barbara is 5-1 SU in their last 6 games.

UC Santa Barbara is 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games in March.

The under is 4-1 in UC Santa Barbara’s last 5 games.

The Gauchos have controlled this series as of late, having won 8 of the last 10 meetings.  The Highlanders have one of the toughest defenses in the country, ranking 9th in fewest points allowed (60.5).  However, the Highlanders offense is near the bottom in the country, ranking 324th in offensive production. Both teams are good defensive rebounding teams, so 2nd chance opportunities should be hard to come by.  The Gauchos won both meetings this season by 5 points or fewer. With the games being so close, this is a spot where I can see the Highlanders covering. I’ll take my chances with UC Riverside to not go winless against UC Santa Barbara on the year.  Final score prediction, UC Riverside wins a nail biter, due to their defense, 63-61.    

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Chris’s Pick UC Riverside Highlanders ML

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Pick Dawgz site consensus.