Long Beach State vs. Cal State Fullerton College Basketball Odds & Picks: 2 Bets for Big West Championship (March 12)
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Joel Murray.
- In the final conference tournament title game of Saturday evening, Cal State Fullerton squares off vs. Long Beach State in the Big West tourney.
- The Titans are coming off of a low-scoring win over Hawaii while the top-seeded Beach edge out Santa Barbara.
- Here's how Keg is betting the title game.
Long Beach State vs. Cal State Fullerton Odds
|Long Beach State Odds|
-110o / -110u
|Cal State Fullerton Odds|
-110o / -110u
For the first time since 1978, Cal State Fullerton will square off with Long Beach State in the Big West Conference Tournament final.
Long Beach State secured its place in the championship game in classic March Madness fashion with this buzzer-beater to down UC Santa Barbara.
LONG BEACH STATE (+150 ML) WINS IT AT THE BUZZER 😳 pic.twitter.com/LmZXhkiOkw
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) March 12, 2022
The Beach struggled for most of the game, specifically in finding success on the offensive end. But ending the game on a 7-0 run was all they needed to survive and advance to the final.
Meanwhile, Cal State Fullerton had a close game in the first half against Hawaii but pulled away at the end to win, 58-46.
The Beach came back from down 11 twice against Santa Barbara, and while it was impressive, a fair amount of the comeback was due in part to the Gauchos playing poorly rather than the Beach being good.
But this has become a reoccurring trend with the Beach. LBSU is not playing amazing basketball by any means, but one way or the other, it’s finding ways to win games.
Long Beach has been the fastest in pace of play against conference opponents while also being the most efficient team on the defensive end against Big West teams.
Perhaps the Beach’s biggest advantage, though, has been how clean of a game they play. LBSU leads the Big West in conference play when it comes to limiting turnovers. It also averages just 16.6 fouls per game, while drawing 19.2 against opponents.
The Titans have been a balanced team all year, ranking fourth in the conference in offensive efficiency while also sitting third on the defensive end.
And while they do rank 217th in adjusted tempo, Fullerton is actually one of the faster-paced teams in the Big West — where seven different teams rank outside the top 250 in pace.
Fullerton is led by E.J. Anosike, who averages 16.3 points per game and is just barely edging out LBSU’s Joel Murray to lead the conference in scoring.
He won’t be shut down by the Beach, but LBSU has improved considerably on the defensive end since their first meeting this year. Even before, the Beach were a problem for Anosike, who had four fouls and just eight points in Fullerton’s 10-point loss to Long Beach on Feb. 8.
Long Beach State vs. Cal State Fullerton Betting Pick
The Beach defense has gotten better and better as the season has progressed. In the tournament so far, they’ve held both opponents to under 65 points. They haven’t been playing bad offensive teams, either, as Santa Barbara is the second-highest scoring team in the conference behind only Long Beach.
Fullerton was held to just 58 points against a Hawaii team that has been better, but Long Beach has outperformed it as of late. The Titans do have a respectable defense of their own, but LBSU is just finding ways to win games right now regardless of how it has to do it.
I have Long Beach at +500 to win the conference, so I’ll be riding that out and sticking with LBSU in this one. But if I didn’t have the future, I would still be on the Beach here.
But what really caught my eye in this game is the total, which opened up at 139.5.
These teams may move at a faster pace than the average Big West team, but they also boast two of the best defenses. Both teams also rely heavily on one player for a majority of their offense.
Long Beach opened as a 1.5-point favorite, and I would back it as high as -2.5. I’ll also bet the under at 136.5 or better.
Pick: Long Beach State -1.5 (Play to -2.5) · Under 139.5 (Play to 136.5)
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