Portland at Santa Clara - 3/5/21 College Basketball Picks and Prediction

Portland at Santa Clara - 3/5/21 College Basketball Picks and Prediction Photo by James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Santa Clara Broncos (10-7) vs Portland Pilots (6-14)

Game Info: Friday, March 5, 2021 at 12:00 am (Orleans Arena)

Betting Odds: Santa Clara Broncos -13.5 -- Over/Under: 144.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Portland Pilots and Santa Clara Broncos will square off at Orleans Arena in the 1st round of the West Coast Conference Tournament this Thursday night.

The Portland Pilots finished their regular season with an overall record of 6-14 and earned the 10-seed in the West Coast Conference Tournament after finishing conference play with an 0-10 record. Portland came in with low expectations this season, as although they were able to pick up some wins early in the season, the Pilots struggled down the stretch and currently rank just 310th in FG%, 336th in scoring defense, & 337th in defensive FG%. Portland started off the season with a 5-1 record (3 wins vs. non-DI teams) which included a solid road win at Oregon State, however, the Pilots had no answers in conference play this season and come into this game on a 12-game losing streak.

On the season, Portland is averaging 68.7 ppg on 40.6% shooting from the field. The Pilots are averaging 7.0 three-pointers per game on 32.9% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Portland has been led by Ahmed Ali (18.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.0 apg), Eddie Davis (11.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.5 apg), Latrell Jones (10.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.2 apg), & Mikey Henn (7.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 12 apg). Ahmed Ali has been out since early February due to an unknown injury and is considered questionable for this matchup.

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Defensively, Portland is allowing their opponents to average 82.7 ppg on 49.9% shooting from the field. The Pilots have a rebound margin of -10.3 and a turnover margin of 0.2.

The Santa Clara Broncos finished their regular season with an overall record of 10-7 and earned the 7-seed in the West Coast Conference Tournament after finishing conference play with a 4-5 record. Santa Clara struggled a bit offensively this season as the Broncos rank just t-263rd in scoring offense & 270th in FG%, however, Santa Clara was able to pick up some wins behind their defense which ranks 135th in scoring defense & 35th in FG%. Santa Clara started off the season with a 7-0 record and picked up decent conference wins against Saint Mary’s & Pepperdine, however, do come into the West Coast Conference Tournament losing three of their last four games.

On the season, Santa Clara is averaging 67.5 ppg on 41.9% shooting from the field. The Broncos are averaging 5.3 three-pointers per game on 29.8% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Santa Clara has been led by Josip Vrankic (15.3 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.1 spg), Jalen Williams (10.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.3 spg), Keshawn Justice (10.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.2 apg), & Christian Carlyle (8.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.2 apg).

Defensively, Santa Clara is allowing their opponents to average 68.9 ppg on 40.3% shooting from the field. The Broncos have a rebound margin of 0.4 and a turnover margin of -1.1.

The Pilots are 17-39 ATS in their last 56 Thursday games and 8-23-1 ATS in their last 32 games overall. The Broncos are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss, however, are 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games following a ATS win.

Portland was able to pick up some nice wins early in the season, however, the Pilots are just not a good team and got especially bad since Ahmed Ali got injured as in their last 4 losses, Portland have lost by an average of 28.8 ppg. Santa Clara has been solid away from home this season as they have a 6-5 record in away & neutral site games and as I think the Broncos defense is going to give Portland a ton of trouble, I think the Broncos do enough in this one to cover this double-digit spread. Good Luck!

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Brett’s Pick Santa Clara Broncos -13.5

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

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