UC Riverside Highlanders at UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Pick - Odds and Betting Predictions

January 12, 10:00 PM EST

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
UC Santa Barbara -12.5

The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (12-3) will host a Golden State rivalry game when they take on the UC Riverside Highlanders (6-11) for a Big West conference clash set to take place on Saturday, January 12th, 2019. Tip-off time is set for 8:00 PM EDT and will be available for streaming. The Gauchos are presently riding a three-game winning streak against the Highlanders. The two teams last met in 2018 where UCSB defeated Riverside by a score of 76-69 allowing the Highlanders to cover as an eleven-point favorite.

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UC Riverside Highlanders at UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Overview

UC Riverside Highlanders

The Highlanders come in off a loss sustained on Wednesday in another rivalry game with cross-state foe Cal State Northridge. The game was a heartbreaker as the Highlanders fell by a mere point in an 84-83 thriller that afforded UC Riverside to cover as a 1.5-point underdog. UC Riverside is 1-3 SU over their last four games, and they have yet to win a game this season on the road.

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos

The Gauchos enter into this contest in great form as they are presently riding a four-game winning streak complemented by a 2-1 ATS record over this span. Most recently, the Gauchos hosted the Cal Poly SLO Mustangs on Wednesday and pulled off a 65-56 victory. The Gauchos failed to cover as a 13-point favorite. Overall Santa Barbara is 9-4 ATS this season, and more notably they are undefeated at home with a pristine 8-0 record on their own hardwood.

Reasons To Back UC Riverside

The tale of the tape here is quite misleading. The Highlanders have played a tougher schedule by contrast to the Gauchos as UCRV’s Non-Conference Strength of Schedule sits 222nd according to KenPom while UCSB's is 322nd. When you factor in that the Gauchos have had more fortune against their schedule (70th in Luck according to KenPom) compared to the Highlanders who sit 215th in that department, the first glance does not paint the whole picture of both squads. Furthermore, the Gauchos have accrued 76.9 points per game (108th in the NCAA) was attained against one of the weakest sets of defenses in America as the strength of their opponents’ defense rank 350th. Riverside’s defense is a step up as they sit 83rd in the nation giving up just 67.4 points per game. Very likely, the Gauchos are laying too many points here.

Reasons To Avoid UC Santa Barbara

In addition to the variables above, UC Santa Barbara is prone to an overlay because they are undefeated at home this season compared to UC Riverside who is in position to take back inflated points due to their lack of wins on the road. The combination of these elements has now priced a Highlanders team as a 12.5-point pup in a series that has had nine of its last ten games settled by 10 points or less.

UC Riverside at UC Santa Barbara Prediction 01/12/2019

There is also the rivalry element of this game and the fact that both teams have played just one Big West contest. For a team like UC Riverside who had struggled mightily in their non-conference play, a win here injects momentum into their program and puts them right in the thick of the Big West race. We have to like their motivation levels here against a conference rivalry that they are hungry to beat.

Free Pick: 
Take UC Riverside +12.5

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