UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Riverside Highlanders Pick

February 14, 10:00 PM EST

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
UC Riverside +8.5

The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (17-6) will cross the Golden State to take on the UC Riverside Highlanders (8-17) for a Big West Conference clash set to take place on Valentine’s Day. Tip-off time is set for 10:00 PM ET. The Gauchos are presently riding a four-game winning streak against the Highlanders that dates back to 2017. Ironically enough the Highlanders have been the team that has covered in the last three meetings. The two teams last met in January where the Gauchos hosted the Highlanders and defeated them 72-64 but failed to cover as a 12-point underdog.

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UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Riverside Highlanders Overview

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos

The Gauchos enter into this contest off a home loss five days ago to one of the conference’s big dogs, UC Davis. In the aforementioned contest, the Gauchos were favored for the second straight time by 8.5 points and failed to cover for the second consecutive occasion. UCSB stands 6-3 SU in Big West play.

UC Riverside Highlanders

The Highlanders enter on a four-game losing streak and a four-game skid against the spread dating back to January 26th. Most recently, Riverside hosted the Cal State Fullerton Titans on February 9th and was pummeled 77-54 despite closing as just a five-point underdog. The Highlands are only 2-7 SU in conference play this season.

Reasons To Back UC Santa Barbara

The number presented says it all as this is the third consecutive outing that we see the Gauchos spotting the same amount of lumber. Given their lack of profitability as of late and their failure to cover in this series as a whole, this number is no mistake but rather a direct reflection of the market’s faith in the Gauchos to dominate this contest. The Gauchos have many advantages heading into this contest on both sides of the ball. However, the most prominent distinction that really promotes the stock of the Gauchos here is the fact that they are the sixth-ranked team in America in defending the three-pointer as they allow opponents to shoot just 27.9% from three-point range. UC Santa Barbara also is a force on the boards curating 39 rebounds per game (33rd in the NCAA) while standing in the top-20 in rebounds against (28 defensive rebounds against per game).

Reasons To Avoid UC Riverside

In college basketball, home court advantage is a huge influencing factor. However, in this case, it is not as prevalent as the Gauchos stand 5-4 SU outside of Santa Barbara. Contrarily, the Highlanders are just 6-5 SU on their own court. The points look appetizing, but when taking a further look under the hood, it is also revealed that Riverside owns the 317th-ranked scoring offense in America (66.6 points per game) and they have a true mismatch here against a Gauchos defense that sits 24th in the land giving up just 64.1 points per game. It will be hard for the Highlanders to come in under the number if they cannot score any points.

UC Santa Barbara at UC Riverside Prediction 02/14/2019

This game has all the makings of a blowout written all over it, and we can trust that UC Santa Barbara will get the job done here. The Gauchos will take the Highlanders wire-to-gate and win this one by double digits at the minimum.

Free Pick: 
Take UC Santa Barbara -8.5