BYU vs. Pacific College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions: Is Landslide Victory Incoming for Cougars? (Saturday, January 29)
Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images Pictured: Gideon George (BYU)
- The BYU Cougars hit the road to face the Pacific Tigers on Saturday night.
- BYU finds itself in the thick of the WCC race, while Pacific is just looking to pick up its first conference win.
- DJ James explains below whether or not the Tigers can keep this matchup close.
BYU vs. Pacific Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The BYU Cougars continue their tour of California with a trip to Stockton to take on the Pacific Tigers.
BYU lost on Thursday to Santa Clara on a last-minute layup, while Pacific has lost seven straight games.
The Tigers will also potentially be without Greg Outlaw off the bench.
BYU’s ability to defend the perimeter could essentially eliminate any offensive success the Tigers may have, so expect the Cougars to cover easily on Saturday.
BYU ranks 14th in 3-point defense, as it has limited opponents to 28.2% from deep.
Pacific has the 301st-rated Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, per KenPom, and it only shoots 44.4% on 2-pointers. BYU will not allow much successful outside shooting from its opponent.
In addition, BYU can defend on the interior. Pacific usually manufactures most of its points inside anyways, but this will be yet another tall task against the BYU big men.
Fousseyni Traore averages 1.3 blocks per game and Caleb Lohner is taller than every Tigers starter, so these two should be able to put a damper on the Tigers’ attack.
The Cougars also can rebound on both sides of the ball. Offensively, they rebound at a 32.7% rate and defensively, they rebound 23.9% of the time.
This will prove effective because Pacific crashes the glass defensively at a 22.8% clip, but only 23.2% on offense. This will remove any possibility for second scoring chances for the Tigers.
Offensively, BYU will make it rain from beyond the arc, and Alex Barcello presents a brutal matchup for the Tigers. He has hit 46.7% on his 3s this season, and he’s not the only shooter on the Cougars. Trevin Knell, Gideon George and Te’Jon Lucas can also shoot when needed.
Pacific allows 39.0% of 3s to fall for the opposition on the year. If BYU hits open shots to begin the evening, this should quickly put the game out of reach.
Pacific does not have much going for it in a contest against one of the West Coast Conference’s best outside shooting teams. The last time these two met at BYU, the Cougars won by 22 points. This game should follow a similar pattern.
One of the main reasons is outside shooting.
As touched on above, BYU has a phenomenal perimeter defense, and this is actually where Pacific could be most successful. The Tigers shoot around an NCAA average of 33.3% from deep.
Luke Avdalovic, Alphonso Anderson and Jeremiah Bailey are the usual outside shooters for the Tigers, so to keep their team within striking distance of the spread, they will need to defy the expectations and sink some deep shots.
The Tigers’ defensive rebounding clip could also play into their hands, as well. Since BYU can rebound from multiple positions — both offensively and defensively — Pacific can at least minimize the impact of second scoring opportunities for the Cougars in this contest.
Yes, Pacific is a relatively small team, but BYU does not have any player getting significant minutes who towers over the Tigers. Eliminating BYU’s second chances will loom large for Pacific if it even wants to have a shot at the cover here.
BYU vs. Pacific Betting Pick
Pacific has a daunting checklist ahead of it to contain the BYU attack. Most likely, BYU will win the rebounding margin.
The Cougars will sink outside shots, as they have all season. They are shooting even better in conference play than overall from 3-point land (37.8%).
Once the Cougars win these two battles, they will cover this double-digit spread. Take the Cougars at -14, and play it to -16.5. They should win this game by a landslide, like they did in the last outing between these two squads.
Pick: BYU -14 (Play to -16.5)
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