Cal State Fullerton vs UCSB Odds & Pick: How to Bet Big West Title Game
Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images. Pictured: Dedrique Taylor (Cal State Fullerton)
Cal State Fullerton vs UCSB Odds
|Cal State Fullerton Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
We’re finally here — the championship game of the Big West Tournament. If you followed along with my Big West Tournament preview, you likely have been riding a Cal State Fullerton team that has gotten hot at just the right time.
The Titans have been led by star point guard Latrell Wrightsell Jr., who lifted Fullerton over top-seeded UC Irvine with a 22-point performance.
Fullerton must now face off against a UC Santa Barbara offense that has been the class of the Big West all season long.
Much like Fullerton, the Gauchos’ offense has been led by its star point guard Ajay Mitchell. The sophomore Belgium native has posted back-to-back 20-point performances to lift UC Santa Barbara to the championship game.
To pick which team will lift the Big West Tournament trophy, let’s take a look at the odds and make a prediction for Cal State Fullerton vs. UC Santa Barbara.
Although Cal State Fullerton has built much of its success on the defensive end, its offense has come to play in the Big West Tournament.
In their semifinal matchup with No. 1 seeded UC Irvine, the Titans were able to post 83 points, which is the most Fullerton has scored since Dec. 19.
This impressive offensive performance was the result of a balanced offensive attack that saw the Titans have five players end up in double-figures.
Although UCSB is allowing just 65.9 points per game, there’s reason to believe Fullerton will continue to have success on the offensive end.
In particular, Fullerton has been clinical from the perimeter, averaging 37.4% shooting from beyond the arc, the highest rate in the Big West.
This outside shooting will be crucial against a Santa Barbara defense that ranks 277th nationally in 3-point percentage defense allowed, according to Haslametrics.
The Titans should also see some progression on the offensive glass against a Santa Barbara defense allowing the seventh-highest offensive rebounding percentage at 27.8%.
Even with Fullerton playing its third game in three days, I expect the offense to continue to click given Wrightsell’s exceptional play at the point guard position.
The Gauchos will be making an appearance in the Big West title game following a 92-point offensive explosion in their semifinal game against UC Riverside.
This level of offensive efficiency will be critical as the Gauchos face off against a Cal State Fullerton defense that has created problems for its opponents all season long.
The Titans rank first in the Big West in Adjusted Efficiency, turnover percentage and 3-point percentage. This level of efficiency has resulted in the Titans allowing just 66.1 points per game.
This defensive competence will be on full display as UC Santa Barbara’s offense looks to create in the half-court. The Gauchos rank 308th nationally in Adjusted Tempo and scores 53.2% of their baskets off an assist, the highest rate in the Big West.
In the most recent matchup between these two teams, Fullerton was able to hold UC Santa Barbara to just 60 total points on its way to a 14-point win on its home floor.
The Titans were able to win the rebounding battle while holding the Gauchos to just 27.8% shooting from the perimeter.
Cal State Fullerton vs UCSB Betting Pick
Overall, this Fullerton team continues to be an underdog despite its ability to keep games close through its play on the defensive end.
I don’t expect this trend to change as the Titans face off with the Big West’s most efficient offense in UC Santa Barbara.
The Titans have the ability to limit Mitchell through the defensive play of Wrightsell and an exceptional backcourt.
Given these advantages, I will once again be backing Fullerton as an underdog, which is now one game away from cashing our Big West Tournament futures.
Pick: Cal State Fullerton +3.5 (Play to +2.5)
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